United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
D. Whitney Chief United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on initial review of
pro se Plaintiff's Complaint, (Doc. No. 1). Also
pending are Plaintiff's “Motion for Permanent
Restraining Order and Preventive Relief/Injunction, ”
(Doc. No. 3), and Plaintiff's “Notice, ”
(Doc. No. 8), in which he seeks transfer to another prison
and a trial date. Plaintiff is proceeding in forma
pauperis. (Doc. No. 7).
se Plaintiff filed this civil rights suit pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 while incarcerated at the Marion
Correctional Institution. He names as Defendants the following
Marion C.I. employees: Unit Manager T. Boysworth, Nurse FNU
Connely, Superintendent H. Corpening, Program Director D.
Cotherin, Officer Davis, Assistant Unit Manager Hamilton, and
Assistant Superintendent D. Watkins.
construing the Complaint and accepting the allegations as
true, Plaintiff was promoted to regular population on January
12, 2018 and is entitled to enjoy the privileges associated
with regular population (“RPOP”) including
unrestrained movements, meals in the dining hall, purchase of
items from canteen, recreation in the gym, weekly visitation,
and phone calls.
was given an “adhesion contract” when he was
placed in the restrictive Rehabilitation Diversion Unit
(“R.D.U.”) program. He has been placed in
solitary confinement and deprived of his RPOP privileges
without due process. Defendants Boysworth, Hamilton and
Cotherin are violating due process by denying Plaintiff a
food package without an opportunity to appeal even though he
is eligible to order food packages. (Doc. No. 1 at 3).
Plaintiff is exposed to indefinite solitary confinement and
Defendants Hamilton, Boysworth, Corpening, Watkins and
Cotherin deprive him of his 13th Amendment rights. The RDU
program restricts Plaintiff to be reviewed by a DCA
(director's classification authority) nor FCC (Facility
Classification Committee). They violate (RHCP) restrictive
housing for control purposes by not providing that after a
maximum of 90 days in solitary. This program is duress and
cruel and unusual punishment, punished without due process,
and involuntary servitude.
sincerely believes in the Rastafarian faith and he is
authorized to attend Rastafarian group worship services in
the Marion C.I. Religious Service Center. He was denied a
religious vegan diet on October 9, 2018 due to “chain
of command, ” (Doc. No. 1 at 4), and Sergeant
Kinzer's refusal to inform kitchen management to replace
a missing special diet bag.
October 8, 2018, Officer Davis was escorting Plaintiff back
to his assigned cell when Davis assaulted and battered
Plaintiff by punching him in the back of the head with heavy
force, stating “you fucking snitch that's for the
lawsuit and earlier.” (Doc. No. 1 at 7). Defendant
Connley refused to assist Plaintiff after being notified of a
use of force report on October 11, 2018 that required
emergency medical attention.
Hamilton and Boysworth are violating the Unit Management
chapter of NCDPS Policy & Procedure by placing Plaintiff
in an environment where he is in fear after intimidation,
reprisals, and unsafe conditions with staffing on the unit.
Plaintiff has notified them of intimidation, reprisal and
unsafe conditions on multiple occasions.
Corpening, Watkins and Cotherin have the authority to issue
disciplinary actions for violating NCDPS Policy &
Procedure and staff misconduct but failed to do so. Their
failure to act makes them liable under bystander liability.
Hamilton, Boysworth, Corpening, Watkins and Cotherin violated
Plaintiff's privacy rights and continue to defame his
character by publishing false information. They defamed his
character by “associating Plaintiff with RPOP and the
activities that comes with RPOP in which Plaintiff has no
connection to” and associating him with false charges
and infractions. (Doc. No. 1 at 9).
relief, Plaintiff seeks declaratory judgment, injunctive
relief (immediate transfer to Alexander C.I. and closure of
RDU), compensatory damages, punitive damages, nominal
damages, jury trial, costs, sentence reduction, any relief
the court deems just, proper, and equitable.
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 Cir. 1999)).
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
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.
body of the Complaint contains allegations against at least
one individual who is not named as a defendant in the caption
as required by Rule 10(a). This failure renders those
allegations 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). The allegations directed at individuals
not named as Defendants are therefore dismissed without
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Eighth Amendment prohibits punishments that “involve
the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain.”
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 103 (1976) (quoting
Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153, 173 (1976)).
“It not only outlaws excessive sentences but also
protects inmates from inhumane treatment and conditions while
imprisoned.” Williams v. Benjamin, 77 F.3d
756, 761 (4th Cir. 1996). The Constitution
“does not mandate comfortable prisons, … but
neither does it permit inhumane ones.” Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994) (quoting Rhodes v.
Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 349 (1981)). Thus, prison
official must provide sentenced prisoners with adequate food,
clothing, shelter, and medical care, and “take
reasonable measures to guarantee the[ir]
safety….” Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S.
517, 526-27 (1984); see Farmer, 511 U.S. at 832-34.
Inmates' claims that prison officials disregarded
specific known risks to their health or safety are analyzed
under the deliberate indifference standard of the Eighth
Amendment. See Pressly v. Hutto, 816 F.2d 977, 979
(4th Cir.1987). To establish the imposition of
cruel and unusual punishment, a prisoner must prove two
elements: (1) “the deprivation of [a] basic human need
was objectively sufficiently serious, ” and (2)
“subjectively the officials act[ed] with a sufficiently
culpable state of mind.” Shakka v. Smith, 71
F.3d 162, 166 (4th Cir. 1995) (quoting
Strickler v. Waters, 989 F.2d 1375, 1379
(4th Cir.1993) (quotation omitted).
Conditions of Confinement
establish a violation of the Eighth Amendment in the context
of a challenge to conditions of confinement, an inmate must
allege (1) a “sufficiently serious” deprivation
under an objective standard and (2) that prison officials
acted with “deliberate indifference” to the
inmate's health and safety under a subjective standard.
Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 297-99 (1991). A
sufficiently serious deprivation occurs when “a prison
official's act or omission ... ...