United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
D. Whitney, Chief United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court on initial review of the
Complaint,  (Doc. No. 1). Plaintiff has been granted
leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. No. 4).
se Plaintiff, a North Carolina prisoner, filed this
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He is complaining
about an incident that occurred at the Lanesboro Correctional
Institution on June 12, 2014. He names as Defendants the
following Lanesboro C.I. employees: Officer Phillip Boney,
Officer Burke, Officer Heh, Officer Mack, Officer Mcintosh,
Officer Smith, and Officer Holder.
construing the Complaint and accepting the allegations as
true, Plaintiff was being escorted to the rec yard in
handcuffs when Officer Smith called him a "wetback m....
f... .r Mexican, " threw him to the floor, placed his
knee on Plaintiffs back, held his head still, and beat him by
hitting various parts of his body. (Doc. No. 1 at 4).
Officers Boney, Mack, Mcintosh, Goss, Holder, Bruce, Burke,
Heh, and Smith all joined in the beating. Plaintiff was not a
threat to the officers and did not resist. The beating was an
act of retaliation and occurred after a long history of
harassment, bias, racial slurs, threats, intimidation, and
prejudice toward Mexicans. Plaintiff sustained fractures to
his right hand, one foot, and shoulder, and injuries to his
left hand, arms, head, and face. He has problems walking due
to these injuries. Plaintiff seeks punitive damages of $50,
000 from each Defendant.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
"court shall dismiss [a prisoner's] case at any time
if the court determines that ... the action or appeal ...
fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted."
28 U.S.C. § l9l5(e)(2)(B)(ii). A complaint should not be
dismissed for failure to state a claim "unless
'after accepting all well-pleaded allegations in the
plaintiffs complaint as true and drawing all reasonable
factual inferences from those facts in the plaintiffs 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)). 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).
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.
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, "[d]istrict judges have no obligation to act as
counsel or paralegal to pro se litigants, "
Pliler v. Ford, 542 U.S. 225 (2004).
body of the Complaint refers to individuals who are not named
as defendants in the caption as required by Rule 10(a). This
failure renders Plaintiffs allegations against them
nullities. See, e.g., Londeree v.
Crutchfield Corp., 68 F.Supp.2d 718 (W.D. Va. Sept. 29,
1999) (granting motion to dismiss for individuals who were
not named as defendants in the compliant but who were
served). Therefore, this cause cannot proceed on any claims
against individuals who are not named in the caption of the
Complaint and, to the extent Plaintiff intended to assert
claims against them, they are dismissed.
(2) Excessive Force
treatment a prisoner receives in prison and the conditions
under which he is confined are subject to scrutiny under the
Eighth Amendment, " Helling v. McKinney, 509
U.S. 25, 31 (1993). In its prohibition of "cruel and
unusual punishments, " the Eighth Amendment places
restraints on prison officials, who may not, for example, use