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
Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e) and § 1915A, (Doc. No. 1). On August 14, 2018,
the Court entered an order waiving the initial filing fee and
directing monthly payments to be made from Plaintiff's
prison account. (Doc. No. 7). Thus, Plaintiff is proceeding
in forma pauperis.
Plaintiff Ronald McClary is an inmate of the State of North
Carolina, currently incarcerated at Scotland Correctional
Institution in Laurinburg, North Carolina. Plaintiff filed
this action on July 19, 2018, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983, naming as Defendants FNU Dixie, identified as a nurse
at Lanesboro Correctional Institution, and Defendant John
Doe, identified as a dietician at Lanesboro at all relevant
times. Plaintiff purports to bring a claim against Defendants
for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs in
violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. Specifically,
Plaintiff alleges that, on unspecified dates,  Defendant Dixie
refused to treat Plaintiff, despite that he suffers from
numerous ailments. Plaintiff alleges that he has submitted
numerous sick calls but that they went unanswered by
Defendant Dixie. Plaintiff also alleges that an unnamed
dietician at the prison did not provide Plaintiff with the
nutrition he needed by refusing to provide him the special
diet he was supposed to be receiving. Plaintiff seeks
compensatory and punitive damages.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court must
review the Complaint to determine whether it is subject to
dismissal on the grounds that it is “frivolous or
malicious [or] fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Furthermore,
§ 1915A requires an initial review of a “complaint
in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a
governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental
entity, ” and the court must identify cognizable claims
or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if
the complaint is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted; or seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. In
its frivolity review, this 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).
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on an alleged lack of or
inappropriate medical treatment fall within the Eighth
Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual
punishment. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104
(1976). To state a claim under the Eighth Amendment, a
plaintiff must show a “deliberate indifference to
serious medical needs” of the inmate. Id.
“Deliberate indifference requires a showing that the
defendants actually knew of and disregarded a substantial
risk of serious injury to the detainee or that they actually
knew of and ignored a detainee's serious need for medical
care.” Young v. City of Mt. Ranier, 238 F.3d
567, 575-76 (4th Cir. 2001) (citations omitted). “To
establish that a health care provider's actions
constitute deliberate indifference to a serious medical need,
the treatment must be so grossly incompetent, inadequate, or
excessive as to shock the conscience or to be intolerable to
fundamental fairness.” Miltier v. Beorn, 896
F.2d 848, 851 (4th Cir. 1990).
that might be sufficient to support negligence and medical
malpractice claims do not, without more, rise to the level of
a cognizable § 1983 claim. Estelle, 429 U.S. at
106; Grayson v. Peed, 195 F.3d 692, 695 (4th Cir.
1999) (“Deliberate indifference is a very high
standard-a showing of mere negligence will not meet
it.”). To be found liable under the Eighth Amendment, a
prison official must know of and consciously or intentionally
disregard “an excessive risk to inmate health or
safety.” Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837
(1994); Johnson v. Quinones, 145 F.3d 164, 167 (4th
Cir. 1998). “[E]ven if a prison doctor is mistaken or
negligent in his diagnosis or treatment, no constitutional
issue is raised absent evidence of abuse, intentional
mistreatment, or denial of medical attention.”
Stokes v. Hurdle, 393 F.Supp. 757, 762 (D. Md.
1975), affd, 535 F.2d 1250 (4th Cir. 1976). The
constitutional right is to medical care. No. right exists to
the type or scope of care desired by the individual prisoner.
Id. at 763. Therefore, a disagreement “between
an inmate and a physician over the inmate's proper
medical care [does] not state a § 1983 claim unless
exceptional circumstances are alleged.” Wright v.
Collins, 766 F.2d 841, 849 (4th Cir. 1985) (dismissing
the plaintiffs § 1983 claim against a defendant
physician for allegedly discharging the plaintiff too early
from a medical clinic, as such claim did not rise to the
level of deliberate indifference but would, “at most,
constitute a claim of medical malpractice”).
Court finds that, assuming that Plaintiffs allegations are
true, and drawing all reasonable inferences in his favor,
Plaintiffs against Defendants for deliberate indifference to
serious medical needs is not clearly frivolous. Thus, this
action survives initial review.
reasons stated herein, the Court finds that Plaintiff has
alleged a claim for deliberate indifference to serious needs
sufficient to survive this Court's initial review as to
IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiffs allegations survive initial review as to
Defendants. See 28 U.S.C. §§ ...