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Wright v. Bowen

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

November 15, 2019

SHAVIS WRIGHT, Plaintiff,
v.
WARDEN BOWEN, WARDEN HATCH, GREG MORRIS WARDEN, MAJOR MONTOYA, SEC. GREG McCENTILE, FIRE & SAFETY MS. EARPP, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), and Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) and on the Complaint for Violation of Civil Rights filed by Plaintiff, Shavis Wright. (Doc. 1). The Court will dismiss Plaintiff Wright's Complaint for failure to state a claim, but will grant Wright leave to file an amended complaint.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         Plaintiff Shavis Wright filed his Complaint for Violation of Civil Rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1 at 3). Plaintiff Wright alleges he is bringing suit against “Federal officials (a Bivens claim)” and “State or local officials (a § 1983 claim).” (Doc. 1 at 3). Wright names, as Defendants, Wardens Bowen, Hatch, and Morris, corrections officer Major Morris, fire and safety director Ms. Earpp, and Secretary of Corrections Greg McCentile (sic).[1] Wright claims:

“Each & Every individual is employed by GEO, DOC as administrators and officers and in their individual capacity challenges confindment or conditions or matters other than sentence or order of confindment . . .Cruel & unusual punishment, dibliberant indifference American Disability Act, CD, DOC, ACA, Handicap Access, State & Fed Law, civil rights violations Equal protection of the law 28 USC 1981.97.”

(Doc. 1 at 5) (errors in the original). His Complaint identifies three counts: 1) “Subject to Cruel & unusual punishment”; 2) “Violation of Disability, Americans Disability Acts, Handicap Acts”; and 3) “Deliberant Indifferences, civil rights Race, Creed, Color.” (Doc. 1 at 6-7).

         For the nature of his case, Wright states:

“I was housed here at NENMDF Contracted through NMDOC on or about 6-26-16. I had medical episode AKA (stroke) that was diagnosed with DOC Medical & GEO Medical providers & UNMH as a result; was clearly an in accordance with State & Fed law also American Disability Act DDC, CO, ACA, policies as definded in all definitions pretaining too Handicap individuals. Most notiably i was physicially, mentally, impaired with limited access ability, impairlization on whole right side my equalibrium was affected causing DOC, GEO to issue me a Medical device aka (Walking Cane) Due to all the above mentions Diagnoses and appearances yet when it came to policies & rights DOC, GEO subject me to the all above mentions Civil rights violations I filed grievances notifying Fire & Safety Sanitation, Filed informal Complaints about mishandling of Security Issues this has nothing to do with any GEO, Medical providers only mistreatment by security.”

(Doc. 1 at 5) (errors in the original). Wright attaches a “Summary of Facts” to his Complaint, detailing an incident involving a leaky roof in his cell. (Doc. 1 at 11). In his Summary of Facts, Wright identifies two individual officers, C.O. Ms Story and Lt Griffin, who were notified of, investigated, and photographed the damage. (Doc. 1 at 11). The references to non-parties, C.O. Story and Lt Griffin, are the only allegations in the Complaint regarding acts or omissions by any specified individual. Plaintiff Wright seeks both damages and injunctive relief:

“Defendant would ask this Honorable Court for a judgement in the amount to be determine by the Courts in monetary, compensatory punitive damages and DOC be ordered to come into compliance with DDC, CD, ACA, American Disability Act State & Fed guidelines pertaing to treatment, access abitity related to any and all physically impaired individuals and that each individual be provided with any Med device such as Wheel Chairs, Canes, prostelic devices, and any other to be included Handicap rooms and all fashion and manner to comply with American Disability Act and any other relief this court deems just & appropriate.”

(Doc. 1 at 8) (errors in the original).

         1. Standards for Failure to State a Claim

         Plaintiff Wright is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis on civil rights claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), and the Americans With Disabilities Act. 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 ...


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