Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Mayfield v. Cole

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

September 27, 2018

EARL R. MAYFIELD, Plaintiff,
v.
CRAIG COLE, CHRIS ARAGON, and CAMERON J. GEMOE, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

         THIS MATTER is before the Court under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) and 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) on the Amended Civil Rights Complaint Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 filed by Plaintiff Earl R. Mayfield on November 16, 2017. (Doc. 20) (“Amended Complaint”). The Court dismisses the Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted and imposes a third “strike” under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).

         Plaintiff Earl Mayfield is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis. Plaintiff Mayfield instituted this action by a letter complaint on March 9, 2017. (Doc. 1). Mayfield subsequently amended his complaint and sent numerous filings seeking to further amend or supplement his original filing. (Doc. 2, 3, 6, 9, 14, 15). The Court entered a Memorandum Opinion and Order on September 20, 2017, dismissing Mayfield's claims for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) and 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), and granting Mayfield leave to file an amended complaint within 30 days. (Doc. 19).

         Mayfield did not amend his complaint within the 30 day time period. Instead, on November 16, 2017, Mayfield filed an Emergency Motion for Continuence (Doc. 21) and his second Amended Complaint. (Doc. 20). His Emergency Motion sought an extension of time to file the Amended Complaint on the grounds that the Northeastern New Mexico Detention Facility had delayed delivery of the Court's Memorandum Opinion and Order to Mayfield for one and one-half months. (Doc. 21). The Court grants Mayfield's request for an extension of time and accepts the Amended Complaint as filed in a timely manner. Mayfield's Emergency Motion also requested the Court order “NENMBF and DOC to stop the delayed passing out of and/or hinderance of mail.” (Doc. 21 at 2). Neither NENMBF nor DOC is a party to this action and the Court denies Mayfield's request for an order directed to them.

         In the Amended Complaint, Mayfield identifies four Defendants: Chief Classification Officer Craig Cole; Disciplinary Hearing Officer Lt. C.J. Giermoe;[1] Correctional Officer Sgt. Daniel Grant; and Nurse Stephanie Westerfield. (Doc. 20 at 1-3). The Amended Complaint consists largely of conclusory, factually unsupported allegations of civil rights violations. (Doc. 20 at 1-4, 7-14). Mayfield's request for relief states:

For each and every violation of Plaintiff's rights wherefore I move this Honorable Court for monetary, compensatory, and punitive damages in the amount of $1, 000, 000. ºº and that the above mentioned Defendants and DOC receive better training and or higher sanctions for violations, so that no other inmate has to endure these violations, and that CD/DOC/ACA start taking seriously the law and care for their inmates. Better training for all staff that State Police be call so I can press charges against Lt CJ Gemos. And any other relief this fed court deem just, and that CNMCF follow PLGRA when it come to grieve & appeal, displinary action ect.”

(Doc. 20 at 14).

         ANALYSIS OF PLAINTIFF MAYFIELD'S CLAIMS

         Plaintiff Mayfield is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has the discretion to dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint sua sponte for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted under either Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) or 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) the Court must accept all well-pled factual allegations, but not conclusory, unsupported allegations, and may not consider matters outside the pleading. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); Dunn v. White, 880 F.2d 1188, 1190 (10th Cir. 1989). The court may dismiss a complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim if “it is ‘patently obvious' that the plaintiff could not prevail on the facts alleged.” Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1109 (10th Cir. 1991) (quoting McKinney v. Oklahoma Dep't of Human Services, 925 F.2d 363, 365 (10th Cir. 1991)). A plaintiff must allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. A claim should be dismissed where it is legally or factually insufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.

         Under § 1915(e)(2)(B) the Court may dismiss the complaint at any time if the Court determines the action fails to state a claim for relief or is frivolous or malicious. 28 U.S.C. § 915(e)(2)(B)(2). The authority granted by § 1915 permits the court the unusual power to pierce the veil of the complaint's factual allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are clearly baseless. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989). See also Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d at 1109. The authority to “pierce the veil of the complaint's factual allegations” means that a court is not bound, as it usually is when making a determination based solely on the pleadings, to accept without question the truth of the plaintiff's allegations. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992). The Court is not required to accept the truth of the plaintiff's allegations but, instead, may go beyond the pleadings and consider any other materials filed by the parties, as well as court proceedings subject to judicial notice. Denton, 504 U.S. at 32-33.

         In reviewing a pro se complaint, the Court liberally construes the factual allegations. See Northington v. Jackson, 973 F.2d 1518, 1520-21 (10th Cir. 1992). However, a pro se plaintiff's pleadings are judged by the same legal standards that apply to all litigants and a pro se plaintiff must abide by the applicable rules of court. Ogden v. San Juan County, 32 F.3d 452, 455 (10thCir. 1994). The Court is not obligated to craft legal theories for the plaintiff or to supply factual allegations to support the plaintiff's claims. Nor may the Court assume the role of advocate for the pro se litigant. Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d at 1110.

         To state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must assert acts by government officials acting under color of law that result in a deprivation of rights secured by the United States Constitution. 42 U.S.C. § 1983; West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). There must be a connection between official conduct and violation of a constitutional right. Conduct that is not connected to a constitutional violation is not actionable under Section 1983. See Trask v. Franco, 446 F.3d 1036, 1046 (10th Cir. 1998).

         Further, a civil rights action against a public official or entity may not be based solely on a theory of respondeat superior liability for the actions of co-workers or subordinates. A plaintiff must plead that each government official, through the official's own individual actions, has violated the Constitution. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 676 (2009). Plaintiff must allege some personal involvement by an identified official in the alleged constitutional violation to succeed under § 1983. Fogarty v. Gallegos, 523 F.3d 1147, 1162 (10th Cir. 2008). In a Section 1983 action, it is particularly important that a plaintiff's complaint “make clear exactly who is alleged to have done what to whom, to provide each individual with fair notice as to the basis of the claim against him or her.” Robbins v. Oklahoma, 519 F.3d 1242, 1249-50 (10th Cir. 2008) (emphasis in the original).

         I. Claims Against Chief Classification Officer Craig Cole:

         In his Amended Complaint, Plaintiff Mayfield alleges:

“Mr. Cole is the Cheif Classification Officer at CNMCF and an employee of DOC. All acted in their own individual capacity to add and/or allow sexual contact, battery, conspiracy, civil rights violations, due process violations, falsified misconduct reports, and retaliation CD policy, DOC & ACA policy, denied equal protection of the law and cruel and unusual punishment. PREA Complain. . . .
Then the retaliation starts. I was told by medical staff that I could obtain a grievance form from the education bldg., so once in the ed. bldg. I encountered Creg Cole, at which time he threatened me with a right up if I didn't leave. . . .
Also C. Cole denial me legal access, due process, I never seen a case worker, never taken to committee before transfer, he was an still is head classification officer from 2-2-17 to 3-17-17. Did i see a case worker or taken to committee, all at no time did he order or answer any of 20 informal complaints, and threat me when I try to got to his office for a grievs, I was not allow to comply with PLGRA cause of him Head classification officer C. Cole was and still is responsible for the running of CNMCF on a day to day basec yet he chose to not do his job, by turning a blind eye to lt, sgt, Def action to be inclosed grivs and displney action process, all these dept hes responsible for. yet he stood by noing my USC/NMC right kept being violated. Def C. Cole even order Sgt. Aragon to write me a misconduct report even those I had a Id. Its wasnt from CNMDF but my Risk Ban ID show my ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.