United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division
ANTHONY R. BAKER, Plaintiff,
MIKE WILLIAMS, et al., Defendants.
ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE
TIMOTHY J. CORRIGAN United States District Judge.
a pretrial detainee at the Duval County Jail who is
proceeding as a pauper, initiated this case by filing a pro
se Civil Rights Complaint (Doc. 1). He is currently
proceeding on a Fourth Amended Complaint (Doc.
He names as Defendants Sheriff Mike Williams and the
following individuals employed at the jail: Lieutenant
Rodriguez, Sergeant Barth, Sergeant Warren, Officer Rodarte,
Officer Pollard, and Sergeant Jordan. Plaintiff claims that
Defendants were deliberately indifferent when they failed to
protect him from an assault by other inmates in the jail.
Prison Litigation Reform Act requires the Court to dismiss a
case at any time if the Court determines that the action is
frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). In reviewing a pro se
plaintiff's pleadings, the Court must liberally construe
the plaintiff's allegations. See Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Bingham v.
Thomas, 654 F.3d 1171, 1175 (11th Cir. 2011).
respect to whether a complaint “fails to state a claim
on which relief may be granted, ” §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) mirrors the language of Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), so courts apply the same standard
in both contexts. Mitchell v. Farcass, 112 F.3d
1483, 1490 (11th Cir. 1997); see also Alba v.
Montford, 517 F.3d 1249, 1252 (11th Cir. 2008).
“To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “Labels and conclusions”
or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause
of action” that amount to “naked
assertions” will not do. Id. (quotations,
alteration, and citation omitted). Moreover, a complaint must
“contain either direct or inferential allegations
respecting all the material elements necessary to sustain a
recovery under some viable legal theory.” Roe v.
Aware Woman Ctr. for Choice, Inc., 253 F.3d 678, 683
(11th Cir. 2001) (quotations and citations omitted).
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege that (1) the defendant deprived him of a right secured
under the United States Constitution or federal law, and (2)
such deprivation occurred under color of state law. See
Salvato v. Miley, 790 F.3d 1286, 1295 (11th Cir. 2015).
Moreover, “conclusory allegations, unwarranted
deductions of facts, or legal conclusions masquerading as
facts will not prevent dismissal.” Rehberger v.
Henry Cty., Ga., 577 F. App'x 937, 938
(11th Cir. 2014) (per curiam) (quotations and citation
omitted). In the absence of a federal constitutional
deprivation or violation of a federal right, a plaintiff
cannot sustain a cause of action against a defendant.
Fourth Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that during the
week of January 10, 2016, he contacted investigators through
Crime Stoppers and provided “numerous tips.” He
submitted an inmate request to Defendant Sergeant Warren
because Plaintiff wanted to speak to a homicide detective.
Plaintiff was called out of his dormitory to an interview
room, and Sergeant Warren was in the middle pod of the third
floor sergeant station. After the interview, other inmates
called Plaintiff a snitch. On January 28, 2016, Plaintiff was
attacked in his cell by several inmates associated with the
“Cutt Throat Committee Gang.” Plaintiff was in
pain, he was bleeding, and he had blurred vision after the
attack. He notified Defendant Officer Rodarte, who took
Plaintiff to the medical unit. Plaintiff was transferred to
Shands hospital for treatment. After he returned from the
hospital, he was relocated to dormitory 3 West. He submitted
several grievances and inmate requests regarding the assault
and his inability to obtain employee complaint forms. He
alleges that he did not receive any responses.
“A prison official's deliberate indifference to a
known, substantial risk of serious harm to an inmate violates
the Fourteenth Amendment.” Goodman v.
Kimbrough, 718 F.3d 1325, 1331 (11th Cir. 2013) (quoting
Cottone v. Jenne, 326 F.3d 1352, 1358 (11th Cir.
2003)); accord Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832,
114 S.Ct. 1970, 128 L.Ed.2d 811 (1994) (“[P]rison
officials must . . . ‘take reasonable measures to
guarantee the safety of the inmates.'” (quoting
Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 526-27, 104 S.Ct.
3194, 82 L.Ed.2d 393 (1984))). A deliberate indifference
claim thus consists of three elements: “(1) a
substantial risk of serious harm; (2) the defendants'
deliberate indifference to that risk; and (3)
causation.” Hale v. Tallapoosa Cty., 50 F.3d
1579, 1582 (11th Cir. 1995).
. . .
The second element of a deliberate indifference claim has
both a subjective and an objective component. To satisfy the
subjective component, a plaintiff must allege facts that
would allow a jury to conclude that the defendant actually
knew that the plaintiff faced a substantial risk of serious
harm. See Caldwell v. Warden, FCI Talladega, 748
F.3d 1090, 1099 (11th Cir. 2015). To satisfy the objective
component, a plaintiff must allege facts showing that the
defendant disregarded that known risk by failing to respond
to it in an objectively reasonable manner. See id.
Scott v. Miami Dade Cty., 657 F. App'x 877, 881,
882-83 (11th Cir. 2016) (footnote omitted); see Lane v.
Philbin, 835 F.3d 1302, 1307 (11th Cir. 2016)
(recognizing on a motion to dismiss that a plaintiff
“must allege facts sufficient to show (1) a substantial
risk of serious harm; (2) the defendants' deliberate
indifference to that risk; and (3) causation.”
(quotations and citation omitted)). “To be deliberately
indifferent a prison official must know of and disregard an
excessive risk to inmate health or safety; the official must
both be aware of facts from which the inference could be
drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists, and he
must also draw the inference.” Goodman, 718
F.3d at 1332 (quotations and citations omitted); see
Bowen v. Warden Baldwin State Prison, 826 F.3d 1312,
1321 (11th Cir. 2016) (“[I]t is only a heightened
degree of culpability that will satisfy the subjective
knowledge component of the deliberate indifference standard,
a requirement that is far more onerous than normal tort-based
standards of conduct sounding in negligence.”
(quotations and citation omitted)); Brown v. Hughes,
894 F.2d 1533, 1537 (11th Cir. 1990) (“Merely negligent
failure to protect an inmate from attack does not justify
liability under section 1983.”).
on a review of the Fourth Amended Complaint and supplemental
exhibits (Docs. 30-31),  the Court finds Plaintiff has failed to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Although
inmate-on-inmate violence may create a “substantial
risk of serious harm, ” Plaintiff has not provided any
factual allegations to suggest that “violence and
terror reign” at the jail. Purcell v. Toombs Cty.,
Ga., 400 F.3d 1313, 1320 (11th Cir. 2005). Nor has he
alleged facts suggesting that the conditions in the jail
created a substantial risk of serious harm. See Keith v.
DeKalb Cty., Ga., 749 F.3d 1034, 1047 (11th Cir. 2014)
(“Whether a risk of harm is substantial is an objective
inquiry.”); cf. Lane, 835 F.3d at 1307-08
(finding that an inmate's civil rights complaint
“sufficiently set out a substantial risk of serious
harm” when he alleged that the building in which he was
housed consisted of 90% gang members, there were numerous
stabbings and beatings, inmates who were not gang members
were robbed and stabbed, inmates would make weapons, officers
would not confiscate weapons from inmates, and the plaintiff
was previously stabbed several times by gang-affiliated
inmates). He also has not alleged any facts indicating that
the named Defendants knew of a substantial risk of harm and
then deliberately chose to disregard that risk. See Murphy v.
Turpin, 159 F. App'x 945, 948 (11th Cir. 2005)
(affirming a district court's dismissal of a
failure-to-protect claim, “because [the plaintiff]
alleged no facts indicating that any officer was aware of a
substantial risk of serious harm to [the plaintiff] from [the
inmate-attacker] and failed to take protective
measures”). Therefore, his failure-to-protect claim is
due to be dismissed.
his statement of claims, Plaintiff also lists a violation of
his due process rights for Defendants' “failure to
train and supervise gang members.” To the extent he is
attempting to raise a claim alleging that Defendant Sheriff
Williams failed to train his officers on how to handle gang
members in jail, Plaintiff has not alleged sufficient factual
matter to state such a claim. See Weiland v. Palm Beach
Cty. Sheriff's Office, 792 F.3d 1313, 1328-29 (11th
see also Connick v. Thompson, 563 U.S. 51, 60-63
(2011); Keith, 749 F.3d at 1052-53. Additionally, as
Plaintiff was previously advised, the Sheriff cannot be held
liable on the basis of respondeat superior. See
Keith, 749 F.3d at 1047 (citing Cottone, 326
F.3d at 1360). Finally, insofar as Plaintiff raises a
negligence or intentional infliction of emotional ...