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 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. 2, 6].
Plaintiff Demirus Jerome Crawford (“Plaintiff”),
who is a North Carolina prisoner currently incarcerated at
Marion Correctional Institution located in Marion, North
Carolina, filed this action on June 10, 2019, pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff names the North Carolina
Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) and FNU Abdleghafar,
identified as a correctional officer at Alexander
Correctional Institution (“Alexander”), as
Defendants in this matter. [Doc. 1 at 1, 3].
Plaintiff does not specifically identify his claim, it is in
the nature of an excessive force claim in violation of his
constitutional right to be free from cruel and unusual
punishment under the Eighth Amendment to the U.S.
alleges specifically that on Friday, December 14, 2018,
between two and four p.m., Defendant Abdleghafar came to
Plaintiff’s cell, opened the trap door of
Plaintiff’s cell, and discharged his mace four times
“without any legitimate excuse, warning or any kind of
lawful justification” at Plaintiff, his cell wall, and
his property. [Doc. 1 at 3]. Plaintiff was taken for a
decontamination shower afterwards. Plaintiff asked for
medical help, but the officers refused him medical treatment.
Plaintiff was returned to his same contaminated cell and
required to stay there for four months without it being
decontaminated. [Id. at 3-4]. Plaintiff alleges that
his eyes are being treated “for now.” Plaintiff
also alleges that, at the time of the attack, he asked
Defendant Abdleghafar why Plaintiff was being maced and
Defendant told him “to shut the fuck up
motherfucker.” [Id. at 4].
injuries, Plaintiff states he suffered “physical and
psychological injuries.” [See id.]. For
relief, Plaintiff seeks “administrative and judicial
review” and monetary damages. [Id.]
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).
Defendant North Carolina Department of Public Safety, neither
the State of North Carolina nor its agencies constitute
“persons” subject to suit under Section 1983.
Will v. Mich. Dep’t of State Police, 491 U.S.
58 (1989). Furthermore, the Eleventh Amendment bars
Plaintiff's suit for monetary damages against the State
of North Carolina and its various agencies. See Ballenger
v. Owens, 352 F.3d 842, 844-45 (4th Cir. 2003).
Eighth Amendment prohibits the infliction of “cruel and
unusual punishments,” U.S. Const. amend. VIII, and
protects prisoners from the “unnecessary and wanton
infliction of pain,” Whitley v. Albers, 475
U.S. 312, 319 (1986). To establish an Eighth Amendment claim,
an inmate must satisfy both an objective component–that
the harm inflicted was sufficiently serious–and a
subjective component–that the prison official acted
with a sufficiently culpable state of mind. Williams v.
Benjamin, 77 F.3d 756, 761 (4th Cir. 1996).
assessing an Eighth Amendment excessive force claim, the
Court must consider such factors as the need for the use of
force, the relationship between that need and the amount of
force used, the extent of the injury inflicted, and,
ultimately, whether the force was “applied in a good
faith effort to maintain or restore discipline, or
maliciously and sadistically for the very purpose of causing
harm.” Albers, 475 U.S. at 320-21.
Furthermore, the Supreme Court has recently reiterated that
“[a]n inmate who is gratuitously beaten by guards does
not lose his ability to pursue an excessive force claim