United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
WILLIAM P. GRAWBADGER, Plaintiff,
GEO CARE, LLC, FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, DONALD SAWYER, Dr., REBECCA JACKSON, Dr., FNU KILGO, C.O., FNU FOSSI, C.O., and JOHN DOE 1-6, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
E. STEELE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court upon review of the motion to
dismiss filed on behalf of Defendants Donald Sawyer, Rebecca
Jackson, and FNU Fausi (Doc. #28, Motion). Plaintiff filed a
response in opposition (Doc. #34, Response) and included
attachments (Doc. #34-1), which are not pertinent for review
at the motion to dismiss stage of the proceedings. This case
is ripe for review.
William Grawbadger, a resident who is civilly detained at the
Florida Civil Commitment Center (“FCCC”),
initiated this action by filing a pro se Civil
Rights Complaint (Doc. #1, Complaint). Liberally construing
the Complaint, Plaintiff attempts to state a medical
deliberate indifference claim, an excessive use of force
claim, and a conditions of confinement claim. Plaintiff names
as Defendants GEO Care, LLC, the Florida Department of
Children and Families, and the following individuals in their
official and individual capacities who work at the FCCC:
Doctor Donald Sawyer, Doctor Rebecca Jackson, Correctional
Officer Kilgo, Correctional Officer Fausi, and John Does 1-6.
to the Complaint, on January 29, 2014, Plaintiff attempted to
speak with Doctor Jackson “concerning treatment
issues.” Complaint at 5. Plaintiff alleges that Doctor
Jackson refused to speak to him and then went to speak
privately to Correctional Officer Fausi. Id.
Thereafter, Plaintiff states he attempted to leave to return
his living quarters, but Fausi “put his hand out and
grabbed my upper arm to restrain me.” Id. Unit
manager Price, who is not named as a Defendant, “came
to see what was happening.” Plaintiff states
“upon [Fausi] being disengaged from [Plaintiff's]
arm, [Fausi] then grabbed [Plaintiff] violently and forced
[Plaintiff] to the ground.” Id.
claims several FCCC security officers then arrived and two
sat on Plaintiff's shoulders and two grabbed his legs,
including Defendant Kilgo. Id. Plaintiff alleges
Kilgo placed his knee in the back of Plaintiff's head and
“ground Plaintiff's face and head into the tiled,
hallway floor.” Id. Kilgo “placed the
knuckle of his right hand into a pressure point behind my
left ear and pressed.” Id. Fausi and Kilgo
“then tried to break my arms to force handcuffs on
[Plaintiff's] wrists.” Id. “Upon
putting handcuffs on [Plaintiff], the officer then picked
[Plaintiff] up.” Id.
claims he was refused “immediate medical treatment,
” “marched to confinement, ” and placed in
a suicide/observation cell at the FCCC that had no bunk,
desk, or stool. Id. Plaintiff alleges that Fausi
told Plaintiff to remove his shoes. Kilgo then grabbed
Plaintiffs' shoes and “wrenched them off
[Plaintiff's feet].” Plaintiff claims he remained
handcuffed for “20-23 [sic].” Id. at 6.
“getting off the floor” and “hobbling to
the door, ” Plaintiff alleges he looked out the door
and saw Facility Administrator, Doctor Donald Sawyer present.
Plaintiff claims “he brought to Sawyer's attention
[Plaintiff's] injuries.” Id. Plaintiff
states he was kept in “confinement” for two
weeks. Id. During this time, Plaintiff alleges
“he refused all food for fear [he] would be
poisoned.” Id. Plaintiff alleges he was denied
mattress, bedding, and hygiene items for 12 hours.
Id. Plaintiff states he was charged with
disciplinary infractions and ultimately had a disciplinary
hearing, during which his charges were reduced to minor
infractions. Id. Plaintiff believes that because he
“was victorious in a previous Civil Rights Complaint
against the Institution that [he] is being harassed and
punished at every opportunity.” Id. Plaintiff
seeks compensatory and declaratory relief. Id. at
Standard of Review
deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court limits
its consideration to well-pleaded factual allegations,
documents central to or referenced in the complaint, and
matters judicially noticed. La Grasta v. First Union
Sec., Inc., 358 F.3d 840, 845 (11th Cir. 2004). The
Court must accept all factual allegations in Plaintiff's
Complaint as true and take them in the light most favorable
to the plaintiff. Pielage v. McConnell, 516 F.3d
1282, 1284 (11th Cir. 2008). Conclusory allegations, however,
are not entitled to a presumption of truth. Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1951 (2009)
(discussing a 12(b)(6) dismissal); Marsh v. Butler
County, Ala., 268 F.3d 1014, 1036 n.16 (11th Cir. 2001).
Court employs the Twombly-Iqbal plausibility
standard when reviewing a complaint subject to a motion to
dismiss. Randall v. Scott, 610 F.3d 701, 708, fn. 2
(11th Cir. 2010). A claim is plausible where the plaintiff
alleges facts that “allow the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). The plausibility
standard requires that a plaintiff allege sufficient facts
“to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will
reveal evidence” that supports the plaintiff's
claim. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
556 (2007); Marsh, 268 F.3d at 1036 n.16.
Specifically, “[w]hile a complaint attacked by a Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual
allegations . . . a plaintiff's obligation to provide the
'grounds' of his 'entitle[ment] to relief'
requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.” Id. at 555 (citations omitted). Thus,
“the-defendant-unlawfully harmed me accusation”
is insufficient. Ashcroft, 129 S.Ct. at 1949.
“Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders naked
assertions devoid of further factual enhancement.”
Id. The “[f]actual allegations must be enough
to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” See Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct.
1955, 1965, 1968-69 (citations omitted) (abrogating
Conley, 355 U.S. 41 in part). Additionally, there is
no longer a heightened pleading requirement.
Randall, 610 F.3d at 701. Because Plaintiff is
proceeding pro se, his pleadings are held to a less
stringent standard than pleadings drafted by an attorney and
will be liberally construed. Hughes v. Lott, 350
F.3d 1157, 1160 (11th Cir. 2003) (citing Tannenbaum v.
United States, 148 F.3d 1262, 1263 (11th Cir. 1998)).
Applicable Law and Analysis
42 U.S.C. § 1983 imposes liability on anyone who, under
color of state law, deprives a person “of any rights,
privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and
laws.” To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must allege that (1) defendants deprived him of a
right secured under the United States Constitution or federal
law, and (2) such deprivation occurred under color of state
law. Arrington v. Cobb County, 139 F.3d 865, 872
(11th Cir. 1998); U.S. Steel, LLC v. Tieco, Inc.,
261 F.3d 1275, 1288 (11th Cir. 2001). In addition, a
plaintiff must allege and establish an affirmative causal
connection between the defendant's conduct and the
constitutional deprivation. Marsh v. Butler ...