United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Statesville Division
D. Whitney Chief United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on initial review of
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint [Doc. 11], filed under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. See 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e) and 1915A. Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis.
[Docs. 2, 7].
Plaintiff Jonathan James Newell (“Plaintiff”), a
North Carolina state inmate currently incarcerated at Warren
Correctional Institution located in Norlina, North Carolina,
filed this action on April 12, 2019, pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. [Doc. 1]. Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint
on May 24, 2019. [Doc. 11]. In his Amended Complaint,
Plaintiff names Shelby Howell, identified as a correctional
officer at Alexander Correctional Institution
(“Alexander”) as the sole Defendant in this
matter. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Howell violated his
Eighth Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution by
sexually harassing him, denying him full access to grievance
procedures, and retaliating against him for filing
Court takes the following allegations by Plaintiff as true
for the purpose of this initial review:
Shelby Howell upset at my refusal to misuse the toilet to
urinate. Made body shaming comments, repeatedly informed
inmates I was gratifying myself and directs them to encourage
me to misuse the toilet making multiple false allegations and
Shelby Howell used her collegiality to disrupt the ability to
report by grievances, PREA and other avenues. She repeatedly
relied upon collegiality to bully me into being written up
relying upon unknown stuff to disrupt due process.
Due to the level of harassment I was repeatedly moved around
dormitories and cells. The level of retaliation by her
colleagues lead to loss of mail and other property loss of
money due to frivolous write-ups. The level of bullying and
relying upon inmates and staff to horseplay at my expense -
even body shaming verbal abuse and finding my being sexually
abused as a child funny while she continued to ignore the
policy of privacy screening applied in policy.
[Doc. 11 at 3].
injuries, Plaintiff claims that, as a result of
Defendant's conduct, he was impaired in his ability to
rehabilitate and reform, that his welfare and well-being were
adversely affected, and that he lost mail and other property.
[Id. at 3]. Plaintiff seeks injunctive and monetary
relief. [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).