United States District Court, D. New Mexico
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. BRACK, SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Plaintiff's Pro Se Tort Complaint
(Doc. 1-1). Also before the Court are various miscellaneous
motions filed by Plaintiff and Defendants (Docs. 7; 13; 30;
31; 33; 37; 40; 41; 44; 47.) Plaintiff contends prison
officials failed to protect him from assault and were
deliberately indifferent to his medical needs. Having
reviewed the matter sua sponte under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, the Court will dismiss the Complaint, grant
leave to amend, and deny all further relief.
2015, Plaintiff was incarcerated at the Lea County
Correctional Facility (LCCF). (Doc. 1-1 at 1.) On October 5,
2015, a fellow inmate (John Archibeque) attacked Plaintiff.
(Id.) Archibeque struck Plaintiff with a cane and
repeatedly punched and kicked his face. (Id.) A
friend helped Plaintiff return to his cell, where he
collapsed. (Id.) A correctional officer allegedly
passed by Plaintiff's door, looked in, and
“continued without noticing [Plaintiff].”
regained consciousness as he was transported to the medical
unit. (Id. at 2.) Thereafter, his blood pressure
dropped and prison officials sent him to the hospital.
(Id.) The doctor bandaged his head, prescribed pain
medication, and referred him to a facial reconstruction
specialist. (Id.) Plaintiff returned to LCCF's
medical unit, where providers refused to dispense the
prescription pain medication. (Id.) Plaintiff
reported that the pain prevented him from chewing, and the
doctor told him to “chew with smaller bites.”
(Id.) Over the next week, Plaintiff only received
Tylenol, and LCCF medical officials failed to change his
bandages or bedsheets. (Id. at 3.)
about October 13, 2015, Plaintiff underwent a facial
reconstruction surgery at St. Vincent Hospital.
(Id.) He then spent about 23 days in the recovery
unit of a prison hospital. (Id.) When he returned to
LCCF on November 5, 2015, Captain Shepherd informed Plaintiff
that he would be returning to the H4E-pod. (Id.)
Archibeque, the attacker, was still living in a cell three
doors down from Plaintiff. (Id.) Plaintiff spent the
next month petitioning various captains, wardens, and
caseworkers for a reassignment. (Id.) He eventually
enrolled in a residential drug recovery program so that he
could transfer to another pod. (Id.) According to
news reports, other inmates have been attacked in New Mexico
prisons due to understaffing. (Docs. 39; 56-58).
April 18, 2018, Plaintiff filed his Complaint in New
Mexico's First Judicial District Court, No.
D-101-CV-2018-01224. (Doc. 1-1.) The Complaint lists three
Defendants: (1) the New Mexico Department of Corrections
(NMDOC); (2) the GEO Group, Inc.; and (3) Corizon Health Care
(Corizon). (Id. at 9.) Plaintiff later filed two
motions to amend the complaint to remove GEO Group, Inc. as a
Defendant. (Docs. 40; 41.) The crux of Plaintiff's
Complaint is that Defendants failed to protect him from
attack and were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs
following the attack. (Doc. 1-1 at 10.) Plaintiff seeks $133,
333.30 cents in compensatory damages, plus $50, 000 dollars
for all future medical expenses. (Docs. 44 at 2; 63 at 2.)
Corizon removed the Complaint to Federal Court on May 22,
2018. (Doc. 1.) In response to Plaintiff's discovery
requests, the Court (Hon. Stephan Vidmar) entered two Orders
explaining: (1) prisoner petitions are exempt from initial
discovery; and (2) the complaint is subject to sua
sponte screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. (Docs.
16; 29.) The Court granted a protective order and stated:
“If any claim remains after the initial screening, the
Court will determine at that time whether to allow
Plaintiff ‘to engage in the formal discovery process
or to rely on the protection of a Martinez
report . . . .'” (Doc. 29 at 2.)
the parties filed various dispositive and miscellaneous
motions. Plaintiff moved to:
(a) Disqualify Hon. Robert Brack and Hon. Stephan Vidmar from
this case (Doc. 13);
(b) Remand the case to state court (Doc. 7);
(c) Appoint counsel (Doc. 45);
(d) Obtain a default judgment (Docs. 31; 44; ...