United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
WILLIE T. BOBBITT, Plaintiff,
FNU SCOTT, et al., Defendants.
D. Whitney Chief United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court on initial review of
Plaintiff's Complaint, (Doc. No. 1). Plaintiff is
proceeding in forma pauperis. See (Doc. No.
se Plaintiff Willie T. Bobbitt has filed a civil rights
suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 with regards to
incidents that allegedly occurred at the Lanesboro
Correctional Institution. He names the following as
Defendants: Correctional Officers Scott and Gaddy, Captain
Mimms, Program Director Georgia Hall-Martin, and the Mental
the Compliant liberally and accepting the allegations as
true, Plaintiff has a long history of mental health problems.
He was in a cell on suicide watch in Lanesboro C.I.'s
main medical unit on March 16, 2016, and he was released from
suicide watch the following day. Defendant Scott came to
Plaintiff's cell asking him to stop knocking on the door.
Plaintiff repeatedly stated that he was no longer on suicide
watch and needed clothes and was ready to go back to his
cell. Scott assaulted Plaintiff by saying “don't
make me come in there.” (Doc. No. 1 at 3).
time later, around 11:00 or 11:30 AM, Defendant Scott opened
the food trap and sprayed Plaintiff and Plaintiff's cell
with MK-9 pepper spray. (Doc. No. 1 at 4). Scott then told
Gaddy to open Plaintiff's cell and he entered, which
caused Plaintiff to fear for his safety. Scott continued to
spray the entire can of MK-9 on Plaintiff as well as his
personal mace, then punched Plaintiff's left eye twice.
Plaintiff tried to cover himself with the suicide smock as
Scott sprayed him. Plaintiff was never aggressive toward
Scott or himself and did nothing to provoke the type of force
that Scott used. During the assault Scott was yelling
“I should kill you.” (Doc. No. 1 at 4). Defendant
Gaddy watched the assault and did nothing to stop it.
Plaintiff received a red swollen left eye, loss of vision and
the assault, Plaintiff was removed from main medical and was
taken to see Nurse Wilkerson. Plaintiff received no medical
treatment and was sent to his cell. Plaintiff did not receive
treatment for his exposure to mace until 3:00 PM when two
other correctional officers took him for treatment. Plaintiff
was in a great deal of pain and discomfort from the MK-9 and
mace. As a result of the incident, Plaintiff fears for his
life, has problems sleeping, and experiences stress,
depression and anxiety. Plaintiff sent numerous mental health
requests yet received no help.
told Defendant Gaddy that he was going to write to his mother
and newspapers about being assaulted, and Gaddy said she
would report it to Mims. Mims retaliated by rejecting
Plaintiff's outgoing mail that was sealed for no
justifiable reason, which caused Plaintiff to become
depressed and stressed. Hill-Martin retaliated by rejecting
Plaintiff's grievance “based on her lie.”
(Doc. No. 1 at 3). Plaintiff fears for his well-being and is
under a lot of unnecessary stress.
retaliated by rejecting Plaintiff's grievance which was
unjustifiable and intentional. Plaintiff worries that other
papers of his that Hill-Martin comes across might not get
processed (Doc. No. 1 at 6). Hill-Martin should show the
reasons she rejected his grievances. It was later determined
by Amanda Henry, the Administrative Secretary Grievance
Coordinator that “plaintiff had no grievance pending to
stop him from submitting one.” (Doc. No. 1 at 6).
retaliated by rejecting Plaintiff's outgoing mail. He had
never rejected Plaintiff's outgoing mail until Gaddy told
him that Plaintiff was going to write to his mother and
newspapers about the assault. Plaintiff is not a threat to
the prison and is not a Security Threat Group member so
rejecting his sealed outgoing mail is unjustifiable and
retaliatory. Plaintiff has serious family issues and he is
not sure if his loved ones are getting his mail, this is
causing him stress and worry.
seeks declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, compensatory
and punitive damages, and such other relief to which he is
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Plaintiff is a prisoner proceeding in forma
pauperis, the Court must review the Complaint to
determine whether it is subject to dismissal on the grounds
that it is “(i) frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to
state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). In its
frivolity review, a court must determine whether the
Complaint raises an indisputably meritless legal theory or is
founded upon clearly baseless factual contentions, such as
fantastic or delusional scenarios. Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327-28 (1989). A complaint
should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim
“unless ‘after accepting all well-pleaded
allegations in the plaintiff's complaint as true and
drawing all reasonable factual inferences from those facts in
the plaintiff's favor, it appears certain that the
plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of his
claim entitling him to relief.'” Veney v.
Wyche, 293 F.3d 726, 730 (4th Cir. 2002) (quoting
Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 244 (4th
pro se complaint must be construed liberally.
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); see
also Smith v. Smith, 589 F.3d 736, 738 (4th Cir. 2009)
(“Liberal construction of the pleadings is particularly
appropriate where … there is a pro se
complaint raising civil rights issues.”). However, the
liberal construction requirement will not permit a district
court to ignore a clear failure to allege facts in his
complaint which set forth a claim that is cognizable under
federal law. Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901
F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990). A pro se complaint must
still contain sufficient facts “to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level” and “state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 570
(2007); see Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009)
(the Twombly plausibility standard applies to all
federal civil complaints including those filed under §
1983). This “plausibility standard requires a plaintiff
to demonstrate more than a sheer possibility that a defendant
has acted unlawfully.” Francis v. Giacomelli,
588 F.3d 186, 193 (4th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks
omitted). He must articulate facts that, when accepted as
true, demonstrate he has stated a claim entitling him to