Dees v. Lamar et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION- Having carefully reviewed and considered de novo all the materials in the court file, including the report and recommendation and the plaintiff's objections, the court finds the plaintiff's objections are due to be OVERR ULED. The Magistrate Judge's report is due to be ADOPTED and the recommendation is ACCEPTED. Therefore, this action shall be DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A for failing to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Signed by Judge L Scott Coogler on 4/28/2021. (KEK)
2021 Apr-28 AM 10:49
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
CLARENCE DENNIS DEES,
LAMAR, et al.,
Case No. 2:20-cv-1326-LSC-GMB
On March 4, 2021, the Magistrate Judge recommended the dismissal of this
action without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A for failing to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted. Doc. 10. The Magistrate Judge advised Plaintiff
Clarence Dennis Dees of his right to file specific written objections within 14 days.
Doc. 10 at 35–36. After the Magistrate Judge granted Dees’ motion for an extension
of this deadline, he filed timely objections. Docs. 11–13.
In objecting to the recommendation, Dees asserts that his claims are not
frivolous or malicious, notes that stress is the leading cause of death for individuals
with human immunodeficiency virus (“HIV”), and alleges that the incidents
described in his amended complaint have been stressful. Doc. 13 at 1. Dees also
recounts the factual basis for his claims against each of the defendants. Doc. 13 at
4–13. For the reasons set forth below, the court finds no merit in Dees’ objections.
First, in his amended complaint, Dees did not allege any defendant provided
him improper medical care for HIV. Rather, his only medical allegations related to
his failure to receive one dose of medication, his treatment when he became dizzy
due to fluctuations in blood pressure, and his care after using heroin. Doc. 9 at 10,
16 & 17. On this record, Dees’ complaint does not include facts supporting a claim
for deliberate indifference to medical needs.
Moreover, while Dees restates the factual basis for his claims against each of
the defendants, he does not claim that the Magistrate Judge misunderstood or
misconstrued his factual allegations. Instead, he asserts only that his amended
complaint sets forth sufficient facts to raise his claims above the speculative level.
Doc. 13 at 2. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the district court must review a prisoner’s
§ 1983 complaint, identify cognizable claims, and dismiss any portion of the
complaint that fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Dollar v.
Coweta County Sheriff, 446 F. App’x 248, 250 (11th Cir. 2011) (citing 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A). This review requires the court to consider whether the facts stated in the
plaintiff’s complaint, taken as true and construed in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff, state a cause of action upon which relief may be granted. McKissick v.
Comm’r, Ga. Dep’t of Corrs., 587 F. App’x 567, 573 (11th Cir. 2014) (citing Timson
v. Sampson, 518 F.3d 870, 872 (11th Cir. 2008)). But Dees still must allege conduct
taken under color of state law that violated his rights under the Constitution or laws
of the United States. See, e.g., Griffin v. City of Opa-Locka, 261 F.3d 1295, 1303
(11th Cir. 2001); Pounds v. Dieguez, 2021 WL 1292286, *1 (11th Cir. Apr. 7, 2021)
(“[C]onclusory allegations, unwarranted deductions of facts or legal conclusions
masquerading as facts will not prevent dismissal.”). Here, although Dees describes
conduct by the defendants that he may perceive to be unfair, the Magistrate Judge
considered the entirety of Dees’ allegations and found that he did not allege conduct
that would amount to a constitutional violation if proven.
Nothing in Dees’
objections calls this conclusion into question. The recommendation is due to be
Dees has filed two additional motions since the Magistrate Judge issued his
report and recommendation. The first is a Motion to Add Defendants and Reliefs
(Doc. 14), which seeks leave to add claims against (1) the prison officials involved
in Dees’ transfer from Bibb Correctional Facility to Donaldson Correctional Facility
for four days in June 2020, and (2) the prison official who completed Dees’ in forma
pauperis paperwork for a previous claim he filed against Elmore Correctional
Facility. Doc. 14 at 1–3. The operative complaint alleges facts relating to Dees’
transfer to Donaldson in June 2020, see Doc. 9 at 13, and the Magistrate Judge
assumed the veracity of these allegations for purposes of his § 1915A review. Any
claims relating to the transfer to Donaldson are due for dismissal, and therefore the
addition of other defendants who played some role in this transfer would be futile.
Moreover, Dees’ attempt to state additional claims arising from his incarceration at
Elmore Correctional Facility has no connection to the instant action and must be
pursued as a separate action. For those reasons, it is ORDERED that the plaintiff’s
Motion to Add Defendants and Reliefs (Doc. 14) is DENIED.
The second pending motion seeks the appointment of counsel to assist Dees
in prosecuting this action. Doc 15. Because Dees’ claims are due to be dismissed
for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, it is ORDERED that
his motion for appointment of counsel (Doc. 15) is MOOT.
Having carefully reviewed and considered de novo all the materials in the
court file, including the report and recommendation and the plaintiff’s objections,
the court finds the plaintiff’s objections are due to be OVERRULED.
Magistrate Judge’s report is due to be ADOPTED and the recommendation is
ACCEPTED. Therefore, this action shall be DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A for failing to state a claim upon which relief may be
A Final Judgment will be entered.
DONE and ORDERED on April 28, 2021.
L. Scott Coogler
United States District Judge
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