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Coleman v. Inch

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division

September 24, 2019

SHAW VALE COLEMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
MARK S. INCH et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          Patricia D. Barksdale United States Magistrate Judge

         The plaintiff, an inmate without a lawyer, sues twenty-six defendants for alleged constitutional and state law violations. Doc. 4.[1]

         A complaint must provide “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Each allegation must be “simple, concise, and direct.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(d)(1). A complaint must state claims in numbered paragraphs, “each limited as far as practicable to a single set of circumstances.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(b). Labels, conclusions, and formulaic recitations of the elements, and “naked” assertions are insufficient. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

         A court must hold a pro se plaintiff to a less stringent standard than a lawyer. Tannenbaum v. United States, 148 F.3d 1262, 1263 (11th Cir. 1998). If a more carefully drafted complaint might state a claim, a court must afford a pro se plaintiff at least one chance to amend the complaint before the court may dismiss it with prejudice. Bryant v. Dupree, 252 F.3d 1161, 1163 (11th Cir. 2001). A court may not rewrite a deficient complaint for a pro se plaintiff or otherwise serve as his de facto counsel. GJR Investments, Inc. v. County of Escambia, 132 F.3d 1359, 1369 (11th Cir. 1998), overruled on other grounds by Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662.

         The amended complaint includes some factual allegations. But it remains deficient because it fails to allege facts about each defendant, fails to allege facts to connect each defendant to each cause of action, asserts causes of action against defendants who are not listed as parties in section I, includes conclusory assertions unsupported by factual allegations, and fails to specify which factual allegations support which causes of action.

         To proceed, the plaintiff must file an amended complaint. In amending the complaint, he must consider the following law.

         First, to state a claim for deliberate indifference in violation of the Eighth Amendment, a plaintiff must allege facts showing a prison official “actually (subjectively) knows [he] is facing a substantial risk of serious harm, yet disregards that known risk by failing to respond to it in an (objectively) reasonable manner.” Rodriguez v. Sec’y for Dep’t of Corr., 508 F.3d 611, 617 (11th Cir. 2007). A prisoner’s vague, generalized, and unsubstantiated reports of fear do not put prison officials on notice that he faces a substantial risk of serious harm. Carter v. Galloway, 352 F.3d 1346, 1349 (11th Cir. 2003). A prisoner claiming cruel and unusual prison conditions must allege facts showing an “extreme deprivation violating contemporary standards of decency.” Thomas v. Bryant, 614 F.3d 1288, 1306-07 (11th Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks omitted).

         Second, supervisory liability has been rejected as a theory of recovery under § l983. A supervisor cannot be held liable under § 1983 under respondeat superior or vicarious liability. Danley v. Allen, 540 F.3d 1298, 1314 (11th Cir. 2008), abrogated on other grounds as recognized in Randall v. Scott, 610 F.3d 701, 709 (11th Cir. 2010). For supervisory liability under § 1983, the supervisor must personally participate in the alleged constitutional violation or there must be a causal connection between the supervisor’s actions and the alleged constitutional deprivation. Id.

         Third, “an inmate has no constitutionally-protected liberty interest in access to” a prison’s grievance procedure. Bingham v. Thomas, 654 F.3d 1171, 1177 (11th Cir. 2011). Accordingly, a claim under § 1983 that a prison’s grievance procedures are inadequate is frivolous. Id.

         Fourth, threatening language and gestures are not constitutional violations. McFadden v. Lucas, 713 F.2d 143, 146 (5th Cir. 1983). A claim that a prison official was mean to a prisoner is frivolous.

         Finally, serving time in disciplinary confinement implicates no constitutionally protected liberty interest sufficient to support a due process claim unless the confinement imposes “an atypical and significant hardship on the inmate in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life.” Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 484 (1995).

         If the plaintiff files an amended complaint:

1. The amended complaint must state the full name of each defendant (to the extent the plaintiff knows the full name) in both the case caption and the listing of “Parties ...

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