United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
D. Whitney Chief United States District
MATTER is before the Court on initial review of the
Complaint, (Doc. No. 1). Also pending is Plaintiff's
Motion for Classification of the Class, (Doc. No. 4). He is
proceeding in forma pauperis. (Doc. No. 9).
se incarcerated Plaintiff has filed a civil rights suit
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 addressing the conditions
of his confinement at the Mountain View Correctional
Institution. Plaintiff also cites 18 U.S.C. § 242 as a
basis for this lawsuit. He names as Defendants: Mountain View
C.I. Superintendents Mike Slagle and Dexter Gibbs, Physician
Assistant Jeffrey Patane, Supervisor Nurse Norma Melton, and
Registered Nurse Brandon Barrier.
the Complaint liberally and accepting the allegations as
true, Plaintiff and “countless others” are
experiencing unnecessary daily pain and suffering, mental
anguish, and worsening physical condition because they are
receiving inadequate medical care. (Doc. No. 1 at 4).
Plaintiff has filed 50 or more sick calls since arriving at
Mountain View C.I. on December 1, 2017, along with five
grievances and 10 medical emergencies. He has made
approximately 20 outside communications for intervention only
to be told by medical staff that his pains are psychological
and that, as a 40-year-old, it is impossible to be
experiencing as much pain as he reports. Plaintiff seeks
declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, compensatory and
punitive damages, and such other relief that the Court deems
Motion for Class Certification, Plaintiff lists 60 inmates
who have allegedly experienced inadequate medical care at the
Mountain View Correctional Institution. He claims that he
received “word-of-mouth, voluntary written
signature” of the other “Plaintiff(s).”
(Doc. No. 4 at 8).
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 relief. Id.
a pro se prisoner, is barred from representing
anyone other than himself. See Oxendine v. Williams,
509 F.2d 1405, 1407 (4th Cir. 1975) (the Fourth
Circuit does not certify a class where a pro se
litigant will act as the representative of that class);
see also Hafner v. Office of Thrift Supervision, 977
F.2d 572 (4th Cir. 1992) (holding that, because
plaintiff is pro se and is not an attorney, although
he filed pleadings purporting to represent a group, he is
“barred from representing anyone other than
himself.”)(unpublished). Therefore, Plaintiff's
claims asserted on behalf of others will be dismissed and his
Motion for Classification of the Class, (Doc. No. 4), will be
claims that Plaintiff asserts on his own behalf are too vague
and conclusory to proceed. He appears to assert claims of
deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. The
deliberate indifference standard has two components. The
plaintiff must show that he had serious medical needs, which
is an objective inquiry, and that the defendant acted with
deliberate indifference to those needs, which is a subjective
inquiry. See Iko v. Shreve, 535 F.3d 225, 241
(4th Cir. 2008). A “serious medical
need” is “one that has been diagnosed by a
physician as mandating treatment or one that is so obvious
that even a lay person would easily recognize the necessity
for a doctor's attention.” Id. at 241
(internal quotation marks omitted).
fails to allege that he had a serious medical need. Nor does
he allege how each of the Defendants' was deliberately
indifferent to that serious medical need. See.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) (requiring a short and plain statement
of the claim). Conclusory allegations, unsupported by
specific allegations of material fact are not sufficient.
Simpson v. Welch, 900 F.2d 33, 35
(4thCir. 1990). A pleader must allege facts,
directly or indirectly, that support each element of the
claim. Dickson v. Microsoft Corp., 309 F.3d 193,
201-02 (4th Cir. 2002). Plaintiff's conclusory
allegations about the denial of medical care are insufficient
to proceed at this time.
Plaintiff's Complaint, as submitted, fails to state a
claim against any named Defendant and is subject to dismissal
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). The Court
will allow ...