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Hall v. Pruitt

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division

April 27, 2018

ADAM WADE HALL, Plaintiff,
v.
FNU PRUITT, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          FRANK D. WHITNEY, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on initial review of Plaintiff's Complaint, (Doc. No. 1). Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis. See (Doc. No. 6).

         I. BACKGROUND

         Pro se Plaintiff has filed a civil rights suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 with regards to an incident that allegedly occurred at the Marion Correctional Institution where he is still incarcerated. He names as Defendants Sergeant Pruitt, Officer Kos, and Officer Bright.

         Construing the Complaint liberally and accepting the allegations as true, on January 4, 2018, the following occurred:

I request (PC) because of statements that Officer Kos told me he would get my (faggot a**) and then number of officer come to take me to E-unit PC. I had my prayer rug and Qur'an then was attacked by Officer K and spraed by Sgt Pruitt two time, in cell and hallway.

(Doc. No. 1 at 2).

         Plaintiff further claims that Officer Kos “acted out of duty” by “jumping on” Plaintiff “when [Plaintiff] was trying to get away from him on PC.” (Doc. No. 1 at 2). Officer Bright was in the cell when another officer in the cell jumped on Plaintiff in handcuffs and did not help Plaintiff, then helped other officers take Plaintiff's property. (Doc. No. 1 at 2). Plaintiff fears for his safety and his left leg is in pain. (Doc. No. 1 at 3). He seeks to be transferred from Marion C.I., the return of his property, and “fix's it to where officer's can't be in cell here with inmates off crames footage.” (Doc. No. 1 at 5).

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Because 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 Cir. 1999)).

         A 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 relief. Id.

         III. DISCUSSION

         (1)Individuals Not Named as Defendants

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide that, “[i]n the complaint the title of the action shall include the names of all the parties.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(a); see Myles v. United States, 416 F.3d 551 (7th Cir. 2005) (“to make someone a party the plaintiff must specify him in the caption and arrange for service of process.”). Although pro se litigants are entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed, Haines, 404 U.S. at 520, ...


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