United States District Court, D. New Mexico
EARL R. MAYFIELD, Plaintiff,
MAIN WARDEN JOHN DOE and ASSC WARDEN MR. LYLE, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Court evaluates the second Amended Complaint filed by
Plaintiff Earl R. Mayfield on July 10, 2017 (Doc. 22)
(“Amended Complaint”) under 28 U.S.C. §
1915A. The Court determines that some of the claims in the
Amended Complaint are barred under the doctrine of res
judicata and the remaining claims fail to state a valid
claim for relief. As a result, the Court will dismiss the
entire case with prejudice.
Earl R. Mayfield is proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis. He asserts civil rights claims under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 and claims under the Americans With Disabilities
Act. Mayfield is a prisoner in state custody. He has been
convicted at least seventeen times in New Mexico for crimes
including promoting prostitution, trafficking, possession of
a controlled substance, burglary, aggravated assault, battery
on a peace officer, and child abuse. See Mayfield v.
Torres, No. CV 08-00413 RB/KBM, Doc. 75 at 3-4
(Recommended Resolution). Mayfield has filed a total of
thirteen cases in this Court.
filed this proceeding as a petition for writ of habeas
corpus. (Doc. 1). His initial pleading alleged a laundry list
of complaints relating to conditions of incarceration at
Central New Mexico Correctional Facility
(“CNMCF”), ranging from lack of access to the
prison grievance system to medical malpractice to the service
of “cold” meals. (Doc. 1 at 1-4). He named, as
Defendants, “Main Warden John Doe or Assc Warden Mr.
Lyle, ect” (Doc. 1 at 1). Because he did not seek
relief that is available in a habeas corpus proceeding, the
Court construed his filing as a civil rights complaint under
42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411
U.S. 475, 499-500 (1973); Rael v. Williams, 223 F.3d
1153, 1154 (10th Cir. 2000).
submitted a first amended complaint (Doc. 6) and sought to
consolidate this case with Earl R. Mayfield v. Craig
Cole, et al., No. CV 17-00332 WJ/KK. Mayfield argued
that the two cases involved the same ongoing claims. Although
it is difficult to parse out Mayfield's claims due to his
tendency to submit overlapping contentions in his many cases,
the allegations in CV 17-00332 appeared to relate to a
different facility and different officials than the facility
and officials involved in this case. (See CV
17-00332 Doc. 1).
Court entered a Memorandum Opinion and Order (Doc. 18) on
June 5, 2017, denying Mayfield's request to consolidate
and dismissing this case for failure to state a claim on
which relief can be granted under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) and
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The Court also granted
Mayfield leave to file another amended complaint, which
Mayfield then filed on July 10, 2017. (Doc. 22).
Amended Complaint, Mayfield still names, as Defendants,
“Main Warden John Doe & Ass Warden Mr. Lyle.”
(Doc. 22 at 1). However, he makes no claims against either
“Main Warden” or “Ass Warden Mr.
Lyle” in the body of the Amended Complaint. Instead,
Mayfield refers to “staff, ” “4B lady
sergant Jane Doe, ” “julie tick tack toe 9999,
” “caseworker Mr. Cole, ” “Sgt
Aragon, ” “nurse Stephanie Westerfield, “Lt
CJ Germoe, ” “Sgt Daniel Grant, ” and
“Ms J. Shane.” (Doc. 22 at 2-6). In his prayer
for relief Mayfield seeks damages against “D.O.C.,
” “Central NMCF Warden & staff, ”
“Lt Germoe, ” “Sgt Grant & Nurse
Stephanie Westefield.” (Doc. 22 at 7).
Standards for Failure to State a Claim
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.
§ 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 to 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
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 (10th Cir. 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.
deciding whether to dismiss a complaint, in whole or in part,
the Court is to consider whether to allow plaintiff an
opportunity to amend the complaint. Pro se plaintiffs should
be given a reasonable opportunity to remedy defects in their
pleadings. Reynoldson v. Shillinger, 907 F.2d 124,
126 (10th Cir. 1990). The opportunity to amend should be
granted unless amendment would be futile. Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d at 1109. An amendment is futile if the
amended claims would also be subject to immediate dismissal
under the Rule 12(b)(6) or § 1915(e)(2)(B) standards.
Bradley v. Val-Mejias, 379 F.3d 892, 901 (10th Cir.
Mayfield's Amended Complaint Fails to State a Claim for
Relief and Res Judicata Bars Some Claims
Section 1983 Civil Rights Claims
Mayfield seeks relief for civil rights violations. (Doc. 22
at 1, 7). The exclusive vehicle for vindication of
substantive constitutional rights is under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. See Bakerv. McCollan,443 U.S. 137,
144 n. 3 (1979); Albright v. Oliver,510 U.S. 266,
271 (1994) (Section 1983 creates no substantive rights;
rather it is the means through which a plaintiff may seek
redress for deprivations of rights ...