United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Ocala Division
GERRARD D. JONES, Plaintiff,
PATRICIA RODGERS, MARK GEIGER and JEFFREY HOWELL, Defendants.
E. MENDOZA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
CAUSE is before the Court on a Motion to Dismiss
(“Motion, ” Doc. 36) filed by Defendants Patricia
Rodgers, Mark Geiger, and Jeffrey Howell (collectively
“Defendants”) and Plaintiff's Response
thereto (Doc. 37). As set forth below, the Motion will be
granted in part and denied in part.
filed an Amended Civil Rights Complaint (“Amended
Complaint, ” Doc. 6) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
On October 5, 2017, Plaintiff was talking to an unnamed
prison staff member while sitting in the hallway of the
medical department at Marion Correctional Institution
awaiting foot surgery when he overheard a conversation among
Classification Supervisor Patricia Rodgers (“Defendant
Rodgers”), Assistant Warden Jeffrey Howell
(“Defendant Howell”), and Sergeant Mark
Geiger (“Defendant Geiger”).
(Id. at 6). The Defendants were talking about
“how stupid” Sergeant Savage was, and then called
him over the radio to report to their location.
Defendants and Savage discussed the deficiencies in
disciplinary reports (“DRs”) that Savage had
prepared and that he needed to correct them so the inmates,
referred to as a racial slur, would not win on appeal.
(Id.). Defendant Rodgers wrote out a list of points
that Savage needed to include in the DR “so we can
stick the n ----- .” (Id.) Plaintiff had
received a pencil and paper from the unnamed staff member and
was taking notes of what he had heard. (Id. at 7).
Defendant Geiger saw Plaintiff writing, confiscated the
notes, and sought to put him in confinement, but some unnamed
nurses intervened telling Defendant Geiger that Plaintiff was
already prepped for surgery and the doctor was waiting.
was given crutches after he underwent the two-hour procedure
and the doctor told him to go back to his dorm and to stay
off his foot. (Id.). At some point after the surgery
Defendant Geiger and Savage accosted Plaintiff, took his
crutches, pushed him to Geiger's office, called him a
racial slur, berated him about the earlier notetaking, and
complained about Plaintiff's anti-gang
program. (Id.). Plaintiff states that at
the request of Defendant Rodgers, Defendant Geiger conjured
up false allegations that Plaintiff was in a gang.
(Id.). Defendant Geiger then forced Plaintiff to
stand on his foot with stitches, take off his shirt, and took
pictures of Plaintiff's upper body tattoos. Defendant
Geiger told Plaintiff he was going to close management and
complained that Plaintiff's anti-gang program was going
to put him out his job as the institution's gang-officer.
(Id. at 7-8). Defendant Geiger then told Savage to
“Take his black ass fake lawyer ass to fucking
confinement.” (Id. at 8).
also states that at the request of Defendant Rodgers,
Defendant Geiger made false PREA allegations against
Plaintiff, false reports of Plaintiff extorting inmates,
false reports of running a prostitution ring, falsely accused
him of being affiliated with gangs, and falsely accused
Plaintiff of controlling drugs, cell phones, and money.
(Id. at 9). Plaintiff claims that Defendants Rodgers
and Geiger falsified the close management referral which led
to him being placed on close management 2 (“CM
II”) status, in retaliation for him filing grievances
and lawsuits and for his anti-gang program. (Id. at
9-12). Plaintiff states that Defendant Rodgers was in charge
of the CM II panel that approved the referral she falsified.
(Id. at 12-13).
claims that Defendants Howell, Rodgers, and Geiger are
retaliatory and racist, and treat white inmates more
favorably. (Id. at 14-16). Plaintiff lists multiple
white prisoners that committed severe infractions while
incarcerated that were reviewed by the Defendants but not
referred to close management. (Id.). Plaintiff also
states that he provided information that got one of Defendant
Rodgers' and Geiger's favorite officers fired, which
also led to him being falsely referred to close management.
(Id. at 16-17).
complains that his ability to appeal his CM II referral was
denied because Defendants Rodgers and Howell were on the
administrate review panel. (Id. at 17-18). Plaintiff
further claims that Defendant Howell sabotaged his appeals by
withholding documents and delaying the return of his appeal
paperwork. (Id. at 17-20).
also claims that he is being housed in a cell without
adequate drinking water, a leaking toilet, no heat, and no
winter clothing. (Id. at 20). Plaintiff states that
he has been denied visitation, phone calls, personal
clothing, and comfort items. (Id. at 21). He claims
he is a personal prisoner of the Defendants, who brag to
other inmates regarding “how they put that n -----
Lawyerboy on CM2.” (Id.).
pleading that states a claim for relief must contain . . . a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a party
may move to dismiss a complaint for “failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted.” In determining
whether to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a court accepts the
factual allegations in the complaint as true and construes
them in a light most favorable to the non-moving party.
See United Techs. Corp. v. Mazer, 556 F.3d 1260,
1269 (11th Cir. 2009). Nonetheless, “the tenet that a
court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in
a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions, ” and
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). Furthermore, “[t]o 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.'” Id. (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Id. Generally, in deciding a motion
to dismiss, “[t]he scope of the review must be limited
to the four corners of the complaint.” St. George
v. Pinellas Cty., 285 F.3d 1334, 1337 (11th Cir. 2002).
In the case of a pro se action, the Court should
construe the complaint more liberally than it would pleadings
drafted by lawyers. Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9