United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Statesville Division
GARY D. GOCHIE, Plaintiff,
KEN BEAVER, et al., Defendants.
D. Whitney Chief United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on initial review of
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, filed under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. [Doc. 16]. See 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2); 1915A. On September 13, 2018, this Court entered
an order granting Plaintiff in forma pauperis status and
waiving the initial filing fee. [Doc. 11].
Plaintiff Gary D. Gochie (“Plaintiff”), a North
Carolina state inmate currently incarcerated at Alexander
Correctional Institution, filed this action on August 13,
2018, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On March 4, 2019,
Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint, in which he, names the
following persons as Defendants, all alleged to be employees
at Lanesboro at all relevant times: (1) Ken Beaver,
Administrator; (2) Kenny Boteat, Unit Manager; (3) Elizabeth
Nicole Powell, N.C. Department of Public Safety; (4) FNU
McPearson, Sergeant; (5) FNU Warden, Officer; (6) FNU
McNemar, Officer; and (7) FNU Ward, Officer. Plaintiff
purports to bring a claim against Defendants for an Eighth
Amendment violation based on conditions of confinement.
Plaintiff also alleges that his Fourth and Fourteenth
Amendment rights were violated. [Doc. 16 at 4]. Specifically,
Plaintiff alleges that violations of his constitutional right
occurred on June 27, 2018 and July 10, 2018, as well as on
“several past dates, ” when he was forced to wear
“leg, waist and hand chains for every single movement
without due cause.” These movements included movements
“to the showers, to rec, to see medical, a counselor,
case worker or anywhere else on the housing unit.”
[Doc. 16-1 at 1]. Plaintiff alleges that leg chains
“are only to be used on HCON [high-security maximum
control unit] inmates, ” which he is not. Plaintiff
states that he has told officers and the Administration that
their use of chains is against policy, but the use of the
chains has persisted. [Doc. 16 at 6]. Plaintiff argues that
he is being “exposed to the chance of contracting many
diseases, ” but concedes that “most of the cuts
are superficial” and does not allege that he has
contracted any disease. Plaintiff also fears falling but has
not actually done so. [Doc. 16-1 at 1-2]. In short, it
appears the onus of Plaintiff's argument is that
Defendants are “deliberately indifferent” to DPS
policies regarding the conditions of confinement. [Doc. 16-1
injuries, Plaintiff alleges to have suffered “chaffing,
bruising, cuts, abbrations and damage to tattoo's at or
around the ankle area. Color being rubbed out of
tattoo's. (I've got tattoo's on both legs at and
around ankle area).” Plaintiff also states that he
“was forced to acquire my own A&D ointments and
creams to treat cuts and chaffing” and that “[a]t
each use of leg chains on bare skin I've been put at risk
of contracting some form of disease or virius.” [Doc.
16 at 6]. In his prayer for relief, Plaintiff seeks
injunctive relief as well as compensatory and punitive
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).
Eighth Amendment protects prisoners from inhumane methods of
punishment and from inhumane conditions of confinement.
Williams v. Benjamin, 77 F.3d 756, 761 (4th Cir.
1996). Extreme deprivations are required, and only those
deprivations denying the minimal civilized measure of
life's necessities are sufficiently grave to form the
basis of an Eighth Amendment violation. Hudson v.
McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 9 (1992). The plaintiff must
allege facts sufficient to support a claim that prison
officials knew of and disregarded a substantial risk of
serious harm. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 847
(1994). A plaintiff must also allege “a serious or
significant physical or emotional injury resulting from the
challenged conditions.” Strickler v. Waters,
989 F.3d 1375, 1381 (4th Cir. 1993).
even assuming each Defendant Plaintiff names was specifically
involved in the alleged constitutional violations, Plaintiff
has not alleged sufficient facts to proceed past initial
review under Section 1915(e). Plaintiff has not stated a
claim for an Eighth Amendment violation as to Defendants. At
most, Plaintiff alleges that Plaintiff, for the two
enumerated days (and perhaps others not specifically
identified), was forced to wear restraints in his movements
about the prison. Requiring an inmate to wear restraints for
this limited purpose for brief periods of time without
causing more than very minor or superficial injury does not,
in and of itself, constitute an Eighth Amendment violation.
With respect to his bare assertion of the violation of his
rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, Plaintiff
has not alleged facts in support of these claims or otherwise
stated in any way how he contends these rights were violated.
reasons stated herein, Plaintiffs Amended Complaint fails
initial review under § 1915(e) and will be dismissed.
IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that:
Plaintiff s Amended Complaint [Doc. 16] fails initial review
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) and is DISMISSED WITH