United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
D. Whitney, Judge
MATTER is before the Court on initial review of
Plaintiff's Complaint, filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
[Doc. 1]. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2);
1915A. The Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis. [Doc.
Plaintiff Travon Levi Woods (“Plaintiff”), who is
a North Carolina state court inmate currently incarcerated at
Scotland Correctional Institution (SCI) in Laurinburg, North
Carolina, filed this action on December 13, 2018, pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff makes two claims. One is in
the nature of an excessive force claim in violation of his
constitutional right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual
punishment under the Eighth Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution. Plaintiff also claims Defendants violated his
Fifth Amendment due process rights in relation to
Plaintiff's attempt to use the grievance procedure
related to and after his alleged attack. [Doc. 1 at 3]. In
his Complaint, Plaintiff names as Defendants (1) the
Department of Public Safety; (2) Ronald Covington, identified
as a Captain at SCI; FNU Barnes, identified as a Unit Manager
at SCI; and FNU Hunt, identified as a Correctional Officer at
SCI. [Id. at 1-2].
alleges specifically as follows:
I, inmate/prisoner Travon Woods opus #1280490 was led to
receiving and assaulted while restrained by officials led by
Cpt. Covington, even though I was completely cooperative to
Cpt. Covington repeatedly threatened me, and gave orders to
the co-defendants. Barnes physically assaulted me with the
nightstick and hands while [I was] restrained. A. Hunt maced
me and neglected to stop the assault.
The defendants have officials falsifying technicalities to
turn down (make null and void) my grievances that I've
filed. Many attempts have been made with my adjustments to
fit requirements with no avail.
[Id. at 2-3].
injuries from the alleged assault, Plaintiff states he
suffered bruises and abrasions. [Id. at 3]. As
relief, Plaintiff seeks various injunctive relief and
compensatory and punitive damages for his physical pain,
humiliation, and “mental traumatic damages.”
[Id. at 5].
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,
under § 1915A the Court must conduct an initial review
and identify and dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the
complaint, if it 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 to such relief.
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). Furthermore, a
pro se complaint must be construed liberally. Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). 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).