Johnson v. St Clair Correctional Facility
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER For the reasons noted within, the court DISMISSES all claims in the amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1915A(b) for failing to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, except the plaintiff's claim that de fendants Thomas, Davenport and Corizen were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs from May 15, 2010, until September 2012; the court FINDS the plaintiff's request for injunctive relief to be MOOT, and REJECTS the magistrate judge 's report to the extent that it denies the plaintiff's request for emotional damages; The court also DENIES the plaintiff's Motion requesting permission to amend the complaint (doc. 23, at 19-20) and DENIES his Motion for Reconsideration of Appointment of Counsel (doc. 27). Signed by Chief Judge Karon O Bowdre on 3/31/15. (SAC )
2015 Mar-31 AM 11:09
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
AARON LAMONT JOHNSON,
) Case no.: 4:12-cv-1899-KOB-JEO
KIM THOMAS, et. al.,
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
The magistrate judge filed a report and recommendation on December 26,
2012, recommending that this action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ' 1983 be
dismissed under 28 U.S.C. ' 1915A(b) for failing to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted.
The plaintiff filed objections to the report and
recommendation on January 15, 2013. (Doc. 23).
For the reasons stated in this Memorandum Opinion and Order, the court
ADOPTS IN PART and REJECTS IN PART the magistrate judge’s report.
More specifically, the court DISMISSES all claims in the amended complaint
except the plaintiff’s claim that defendants Thomas, Davenport and Corizen were
deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs from May 15, 2010 until
Further, the court FINDS the plaintiff’s request for injunctive
relief to be MOOT, and REJECTS the magistrate judge’s report to the extent that it
denies the plaintiff’s request for emotional damages. The court also DENIES the
plaintiff’s Motion requesting permission to amend the complaint (doc. 23, at 19-20)
and DENIES his Motion for Reconsideration of Appointment of Counsel (doc. 27).
I. Pertinent Procedural History
On May 15, 2012,1 the plaintiff filed his civil rights complaint. (Doc. 1).
On July 16, 2012, he filed a AMotion to Clarify Claims and Defendants.@ (Doc. 13).
On July 26, 2012, the court ordered the plaintiff to amend his complaint in
accordance with the following instructions:
Plaintiff must amend his complaint by completing a new '
1983 complaint form. The new complaint must be labeled AAmended
Complaint@ and A4:12-CV-1899-KOB-JEO@ must be written on the first
page. In the amended complaint, plaintiff should name as defendants
only those persons who violated his constitutional rights. Plaintiff
must identify those persons as defendants both in the heading and in
Part III of the complaint. Plaintiff should also state clearly how each
named defendant violated his constitutional rights, the date(s) on which
the incident(s) occurred, and where the incident(s) occurred.
PLAINTIFF MUST CLEARLY SET FORTH THE FACTS
Because prisoners proceeding pro se have virtually no control over the
mailing of their pleadings, their pleadings are deemed to be filed at the time the
prisoner delivers the pleading to prison or jail officials to be mailed. See Houston v.
Lack, 487 U.S. 266, 270-72 (1988). The record contains no information regarding
the date the plaintiff gave his complaint to jail officials to mail, and he did not date
his complaint. The U.S. Postal Service stamped the envelope containing the
plaintiff=s complaint on May 15, 2012. Therefore, the court will deem the complaint
to have been filed on May 15, 2012. (The complaint was not received by this court
until May 16, 2012).
CONCERNING ANY INCIDENT ABOUT WHICH HE
COMPLAINS. Plaintiff is ADVISED that conclusory and general
assertions are not sufficient to state a claim upon which relief under '
1983 can be granted. See Fullman v. Graddick, 739 F.2d 553, 556-57
(11th Cir. 1984). The amended complaint must include all of
plaintiff=s claims in this action; IT SHOULD NOT REFER BACK TO
THE ORIGINAL COMPLAINT. Plaintiff is ADVISED that the
Court will consider only the claims set forth in the amended complaint.
After completing the new complaint form, plaintiff should mail it to the
Clerk of the Court.
(Doc. 15 at 1-2).
On August 8, 2012, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint (doc. 17), which
is the operative complaint. (Doc. 17). The plaintiff claims that as a St. Clair
Correctional Facility (SCCF) inmate, the defendants discriminated against him on
the basis of his race, indigent status, politics, and because the Alabama Constitution
does not have an Equal Protection Clause. (Id. at 5-7).2 The plaintiff alleges he
was charged an excessive phone service charge because of his race and the
defendants discriminated in the enforcement of rules; he was denied adequate
The court phrases the plaintiff=s allegations in the past tense because he was
transferred from SCCF almost five months after filing the complaint. The plaintiff
filed his original complaint on May 15, 2012. (Doc. 1). On September 27, 2012,
the plaintiff notified the court he had been transferred to W.E. Donaldson
Correctional Facility, but did not reveal the day he was transferred. (Doc. 18).
Since that time, he has also been housed at Jefferson County Jail. (Doc. 26
ANotice,@ dated April 24, 2013). The plaintiff’s July 3, 2014, motion for
reconsideration of appointment of counsel displays the address of W.E. Donaldson
Correctional Facility. The Alabama Department of Corrections= website shows he
is currently being housed at that facility. See www.doc.state.al.us.
medical care, food, clothing, shelter, reasonable safety, sanitation, and exercise
because the Alabama Prison System is admittedly violent, dangerous,
unconstitutionally overcrowded, understaffed and underfunded; he was subjected to
abusive language by officers, hazardous living conditions, inadequate sanitation,
and inadequate exercise; he was charged a service charge for money orders and
officers took store goods that belonged to him for no reason; the defendants violated
his constitutional rights by strip searching him, searching his cell with dogs,
requiring him to give a urine sample and then gave him a false disciplinary where he
was not allowed to question the witnesses he requested. (Id. at 6-12).
The magistrate judge explained in detail his recommendations as to why each
of the plaintiff=s claims did not rise to the level of a constitutional violation and cited
legal authority to support his explanations. (Doc. 20). True to the instructions in
the order to amend, the report and recommendation considers only the claims and
allegations in the amended complaint. (Id. at 2-3). The report instructed the
plaintiff that while he could object to the magistrate judge’s factual and legal
recommendations, “the filing of objections [was] not a proper vehicle to make new
allegations or present additional evidence. Objections not meeting the specificity
requirement set out above will not be considered by a district judge.” (Id. at 21-22).
On January 15, 2013, the plaintiff filed his objections. (Doc. 23). He
reviews each paragraph of the report and recommendation, and for the most part,
restates the same allegations in his amended complaint or cites the amended
(Id.). The plaintiff argues the amended complaint does show he
suffered various constitutional violations, and the magistrate judge did not consider
Athe unrefuted and undisputed claims.@ (Id. at 7). As will be set out further in this
Memorandum Opinion and Order, the plaintiff does make some additional
allegations in his objections. He also cites repeatedly to a motion for temporary
restraining order (TRO) and motion for reconsideration of the denial of that motion
(Amotion for reconsideration@) to support his objections. (Id. at 3-5, 7-9, 12-14,
16-18) (citing Docs. 9 and 12, respectively). These documents were filed prior to
the operative amended complaint and contain factual allegations that were not pled
in the operative amended complaint. The court denied the TRO motion on July 10,
2012. (Doc. 11). Although the plaintiff declares the motion for reconsideration is
pending, that motion was denied on January 9, 2013. (Doc. 21).3
The plaintiff further contends the magistrate judge Adid not consider the facts
in the record[,]@ and cites to documents 1 through 6, and 10-11 as support for his
objections, i.e., virtually every document in the record up until that point. (Doc. 23
The plaintiff signed his objections on January 10, 2013, so he was unaware
the motion for reconsideration had been denied. (Doc. 23 at 21).
at 4, 5, 12-13). 4 With the exception of the motions pertaining to the request for
preliminary injunctive relief, none of the documents sets out any factual allegations
pertinent to the questions presently before the court that are substantially different
from the amended complaint.
Finally, the plaintiff demands an opportunity to amend his complaint to allege
that his transfer to W.E. Donaldson Correctional Facility was in retaliation for filing
this lawsuit, that he is continuing to be denied medical care by defendants Corizen
and Prison Commissioner Thomas, that he is denied access to a law library, and that
he is subjected to the same unconstitutional conditions of confinement he alleges
were in existence at St. Clair Correctional Facility. (Id. at 20).
On July 3, 2014, the plaintiff filed a Motion for Reconsideration of
Appointment of Counsel. (Doc. 27). That motion is currently pending and will be
addressed in this Memorandum Opinion and Order.
II. Standard of Review
This court has a duty to Amake a de novo determination of those portions of
These documents are, in chronological order: the complaint, a motion to
amend or correct the complaint, an application to proceed in forma pauperis, a
motion to appoint counsel, an order granting the application to proceed in forma
pauperis, a motion to clarify the in forma pauperis declaration requirements, a
notice of deficient pleading and an order denying plaintiff=s motion for temporary
restraining order. Elsewhere, the plaintiff cites wholesale to documents 1-18,
which is every document filed in the case up until October 2, 2012.
the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is
made.@ 28 U.S.C. ' 636(b). AA [district] judge . . . may accept, reject, or modify,
in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.@
Id. Where an objecting A >party makes only conclusory or general objections, or
simply reiterates his original arguments, the court reviews the Report and
Recommendation only for clear error.= @ Farid v. Bouey, 554 F. Supp. 2d 301, 307
(N.D.N.Y. May 20, 2008) (quoting McAllan v. Von Essen, 517 F. Supp. 2d 672, 679
(S.D.N.Y. Sept. 26, 2007)) (citations and quotations omitted). 5
Having carefully reviewed and considered de novo all the materials in the
court file, including the report and recommendation and the objections to them, the
court is of the opinion that the magistrate judge=s report is due to be and is
ADOPTED IN PART and REJECTED IN PART as described below.
Equal Protection (Claims I & VII)
The plaintiff argues the magistrate judge=s recommendation that his equal
protection claims be dismissed Ashould not be adopted . . . because it supports and
This court notes at the outset that the plaintiff was informed that the only
claims and allegations that would be considered by the court were those that he was
to present in what is now the operative amended complaint. Therefore, for
purposes of §1915A screening, this court will not take into consideration each and
every allegation made in the numerous other documents he refers to or cites from in
promotes racial discrimination and denial of equal protection of the law.@ (Doc. 23
at 1). His basis for this contention is that Alabama=s Constitution does not contain
an equal protection clause.
The court OVERRULES the plaintiff’s
The applicable law for purposes of 42 U.S.C. ' 1983 cases is federal, not state
Federal constitutional law derives from the United States
Constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is the source of
the Equal Protection Clause and the instrument that expressly applies that Clause to
the states. See Korab v. Fink, 748 F.3d 875 (9th Cir. 2014) (citing U.S. Const.
Amnd. XIV, '' 1, 5) (Athe Equal Protection Clause is found in the Fourteenth
Amendment, which by its terms applies to the states and grants Congress the power
to enforce it.@).
To state a Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection claim, the plaintiff must
allege specific facts showing that similarly situated inmates received more favorable
treatment than he did, and the defendants intentionally treated him differently on the
basis of his race, indigent status, religion, or other constitutionally protected basis.
Sweet v. Secretary, Dept. of Corrections, 467 F.3d 1311, 1318-1319 (11th Cir.
The plaintiff cannot meet this standard by arguing that Alabama=s
The plaintiff contends he also has been discriminated against based on
constitution contains no equal protection clause.
The plaintiff also asserts that the defendants= actions are criminal and in
violation of 28 U.S.C. '' 241-248.
(Doc. 23 at 2). He did not make this
allegation in his amended complaint, but even if he had, this court has no authority to
act as a prosecutorial entity. See United States v. Smith, 231 F.3d 800, 807 (11th
Cir. 2000) (AThe decision as to which crimes and criminals to prosecute is entrusted
by the Constitution not to the judiciary, but to the executive who is charged with
seeing that laws are enforced.@)
The magistrate judge=s findings regarding the plaintiff=s equal protection
claims are supported by the record and applicable law. In short, the claims are
conclusory and factually unsupported.
Therefore, the court ADOPTS the
magistrate judge=s report and ACCEPTS the recommendation that this claim be
dismissed for failure to state a claim.
Cruel and Unusual Conditions of Confinement (Claim II )
Cruel and Unusual Punishment (Claim VI)
In his amended complaint, the plaintiff claims
politics, but this statement, standing alone, does not reveal a constitutionally
Although the plaintiff cites to Title 28, it is clear he intended to cite to the
criminal civil rights statutes found at 18 U.S.C. '' 241-248.
because defendants Thomas, Davenport and Headly have admitted in
the media and to the public that the overall Alabama prison system as
well as the St. Clair institution is violent and dangerous
unconstitutional [sic] overcrowded, understaffed, and underfunded,
these admissions of facts are the direct cause of the denial of his rights
to adequate medical care, food, clothing, shelter, reasonable safety,
sanitation, and exercise.
(Doc. 17 at 7). The plaintiff also alleges that, during a four day period in May 2012,
he was questioned without a lawyer about another inmate’s death, and when he
could provide no information, he was unreasonably searched, placed in an
excessively hot and inadequately ventilated cell, and denied mail privileges, access
to a shower, and the law library. (Id. at 12). In his objections, the plaintiff alleges
for the first time “he was physically abused, . . . denied clean and sanitary cloth[e]s[,]
sheets, and blankets, . . . food, and an attorney once he requested one.” (Doc. 23 at
The magistrate judge=s report addressed each of these conditions in the
context of the factual allegations made in support of particular condition in the
amended complaint, if any.
(Doc. 20 at 7-14).
The plaintiff objects to the
dismissal of his Eighth Amendment conditions of confinement claims on the
grounds that the State of Alabama does not have an Equal Protection Clause. The
court OVERRULES this objection for the same reasons set out in Section III.A.
supra. Only a few of the plaintiff=s other objections to the magistrate judge=s report
merit some discussion.
Deliberate indifference to a serious medical need
The plaintiff objects to the recommended dismissal of his Eighth Amendment
claim that defendants Thomas, Davenport and Corizen refused to have him
examined and treated by an outside physician for continual rashes and itchy boils all
over his body while at SCCF. (Doc. 23 at 5). In his amended complaint, the
plaintiff alleges the condition was perpetual and so painful it prevented him from
sleeping or exercising on occasion. (Doc. 17 at 7). In his motion for temporary
restraining order, the plaintiff alleged: “[o]ne of the first Doctors to examine and
treat me told me the overcrowded conditions at St. Clair caused me to develop the
skin disorder.” (Doc. 9 at 2). In his motion for reconsideration, the plaintiff
alleges the condition was Aembarrassing@ because he had to scratch in public, caused
Ahim to be incoherent at times,@ and caused Ahis skin to peel, bleed, and ooze pus
from simply wearing cloth[e]s or showering.@ (Doc. 12 at 1). He declares he
would wake up at night feeling as though his Askin [was] on fire and someone [was]
sticking him with a needle.@ (Id. at 2).8
While this allegation was not alleged in the earlier pleadings, the court finds
that the previous allegations in the amended complaint are sufficient to state a claim
at this juncture regarding a serious medical need that was not being addressed at the
The plaintiff contends Aonsite treatment failed.@ (Doc. 23 at 5). He sent a
grievance to the three defendants asking for treatment from an outside physician, but
was denied. (Doc. 17 at 3).9 Construing the allegations in a light most favorable
to the plaintiff, the defendants= refusal to allow outside examination, diagnosis and
efficacious treatment they could not provide for a condition that qualifies as a
serious medical need sufficiently states an Eighth Amendment claim.
Therefore, the court REJECTS the magistrate judge=s recommendation as to
this claim, and will order defendants Thomas, Davenport and Corizen to respond to
the plaintiff=s Eighth Amendment medical care claim.
Remaining conditions of confinement and punishment claims
The court OVERRULES plaintiff=s objections regarding his Eighth
Amendment food, clothing, shelter, reasonable safety, sanitation, and exercise
conditions claims, and ACCEPTS the magistrate judge=s recommendation. The
fact that a prison is overcrowded does not establish an extreme deprivation
Specifically, he alleges in his objections that defendant Corizen=s refusal
was done as a matter of custom and policy because the entity Areceive[s] a kick back
fee for saving the Department of Corrections money on medical care for inmates.@
(Doc. 23 at 11-12). He further asserts the defendants= refusal was Ato cover up the
fact [he] is not the only inmate with these medical conditions.@ (Id. at 12). The
Report and Recommendation states at the end that objections are not the proper
vehicle to make additional allegations. These allegations are untimely; however,
the court again finds that the other allegations in the record are sufficient to allow the
matter to proceed.
prohibited by the Eighth Amendment unless it leads to unconstitutional conditions in
the facility. See Parrish v. Alabama Department of Corrections, 156 F.3d 1128,
1129 n. 1 (11th Cir. 1998) (citing Rhodes v. Chapman, 425 U.S. 337, 347-48
The same reasoning should apply when understaffing and underfunding
allegations are added to the mix. The plaintiff does little in the way of setting out
specific allegations to support the numerous infirm conditions he contends were
present at SCCF as a result of overcrowding, understaffing and underfunding. The
pleadings, whether pertaining to conditions or the questioning, searches and
four-day punishment in May 2012 consist of conclusions, labels and naked
assertions without further factual detail. The plaintiff=s protests that the pleadings
are sufficiently specific are unavailing and without merit.
Only one condition merits any further discussion, and that is the plaintiff=s
contention that he was housed in a dangerous and violent facility. Other than to cite
to newspaper articles and an email newsletter attached to his motion for
reconsideration (doc. 12-1), the plaintiff’s amended complaint contains no
allegations to support his conditions claim based on violence at SCCF. Many of
these exhibits either pertain to the American approach to criminal justice as a whole,
the Alabama prison system as a whole, or to a particular Alabama prison that is not
St. Clair Correctional Facility. (Id.). Only one, undated, article pertains solely to
St. Clair Correctional Facility. (Id.). It describes an incident where two inmates
(neither was the plaintiff) were burned with gasoline by other inmates, and a
separate incident in which a corrections officer was caught bringing four bags of
marijuana into the facility. (Id. at 18-19).
Another newspaper article, which appears to have been written in 2012,
concerns overcrowding, underfunding, understaffing and the amount of violence in
Alabama prisons. The article reports defendant Prison Commissioner Kim Thomas
as pleading with the Alabama legislature for additional funding and sentencing
reform to help alleviate the problems. (Id. at 5-7). The article also reports a 40%
increase in inmate-on-inmate violence in the 2010-11 fiscal year (while explaining
the reporting methods lacked certainty), and refers to officer versus inmate violence.
(Id. at 5-6). To the extent the article addresses SCCF, it lists that facility as number
9 out of the top ten violent prisons in Alabama in 2011. (Id. at 6) (4.48 incidents per
100 inmates). It also reports two inmates at St. Clair were murdered that year.
Neither the reported incidents of violence nor statistics pertaining to them in
the articles, as purportedly caused by lack of funding and staffing and
overpopulation, are sufficient to state the plaintiff=s Eighth Amendment conditions
claim against the named defendants.
The exhibits are no substitute for the
plaintiff=s own, first-hand description of his experience of violence at St. Clair
Correctional Facility. The plaintiff does not provide such a description. The
plaintiff only expresses that he felt fear at St. Clair Correctional Facility, but does
not describe the particular conditions that precipitated it or his reactions to them, and
does not allege he was ever attacked or physically harmed by either an inmate or an
officer while at the facility. While the plaintiff does state that officers were
verbally abusive, that fact, standing alone, is not an actionable constitutional claim.
For the foregoing reasons, the court OVERRULES the plaintiff=s objections
and ACCEPTS the magistrate judge=s recommendation in connection with the
plaintiff=s Eighth Amendment conditions of confinement claims the overcrowding,
understaffing, and underfunding of SCCF led to and caused him to suffer injury in
connection with infirm conditions such as food, clothing, shelter, reasonable safety,
sanitation, and exercise. The court also OVERRULES the plaintiff=s objections and
ACCEPTS the magistrate judge=s recommendation in connection with what the
plaintiff has titled an Eighth Amendment punishment claim pertaining the
circumstances surrounding his four-day segregation in May 2012.
Fourteenth Amendment Due Process (Claim IV).
The court OVERRULES the plaintiff’s objections to the magistrate judge=s
recommendation that his Fourteenth Amendment Due Process claims in connection
with property loss, a false disciplinary and procedurally deficient disciplinary
The plaintiff utilizes the same faulty argument that Alabama lacks an
equal protection clause in its constitution to support his claim that he could not avail
himself of that state’s post-deprivation remedy in connection with seeking
recompense for the loss of his property. This objection is without merit. See
supra, Section III.A.
The plaintiff objects to the dismissal of the false disciplinary and procedurally
deficient disciplinary hearing on the basis that he alleged the disciplinary “was
issued out of retaliatory motive.” (Doc. 23 at 16). Specifically, he contends that
he alleged defendant Cornelison wrote the disciplinary “[b]ecause Plaintiff told the
defendant to stop calling him racial names the equal of n---a.” (Id.) (citing Doc.
12-1 at 32 “Motion for Reconsideration”). However, this contention is untrue. In
that document, the plaintiff alleged Cornelison gave him a disciplinary because of
his race and religion, in violation of his right to equal protection of the law. (Id.).
In his amended complaint, the plaintiff did not set out any retaliation claim, but
instead, claimed the defendants engaged in invidious discrimination in violation of
his right to equal protection by the manner in which “rules” were “enforce[d].”
(Doc. 17 at 7).
The court ADOPTS the magistrate judge’s report in connection with this
claim and ACCEPTS his recommendation.
Fourth Amendment Unreasonable Search (Claim V)
Finally, the plaintiff objects to the magistrate judge’s dismissal of his Fourth
Amendment claim pertaining to the defendants’ search of his person and property.
(Doc. 23 at 15). He contends that he can establish the “obduracy and wantonness”
the magistrate judge found lacking because he was twice subjected to unreasonable
searches. (Id.). On the first occasion, he was strip searched and dogs were used to
search his cell. (Id.). On the second occasion, he was directed to provide a urine
The plaintiff’s objections are without merit.
Contrary to his
contention, the searches do not “show a pattern of calculate[d] harassment unrelated
to prison needs.” (Id.). Instead, they show two unrelated instances in which the
defendants conducted searches that are more than reasonably related to the order and
security of the prison.
The court ADOPTS the magistrate judge’s report in connection with this
claim is and ACCEPTS his recommendation.
VI. Requests for Relief
The plaintiff objects to the magistrate judge’s recommendation that his
requests for damages for emotional injury be denied. (Doc. 23 at 18). He declares
the court failed to consider “he alleged that as a result of the defendants[’] actions he
has developed high blood pressure and a skin disorder.” (Id.). Under the Prison
Litigation Reform Act, the plaintiff cannot “request damages for emotional injury
without a prior showing of physical injury[.]” Douglas v. Yates, 535 F.3d 1316,
1321 (11th Cir. 2008) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii); 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(e)).
Moreover, the plaintiff alleges his high blood pressure was caused by the conditions
at SCCF, and he has failed to state an Eighth Amendment conditions of confinement
claim. However, the continual skin disorder, as portrayed by the plaintiff, is
sufficient at this time to surpass de minimis physical injury, and as such, his request
for emotional damages as to that claim remains viable for § 1915A screening
purposes. See Harris v. Garner, 190 F.3d 1279, 1286 (11th Cir. 1999), vacated in
part on other grounds, 216 F.3d 970 (11th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (holding that while
physical injury is not defined in § 1997e(e), it “must be more than de minimis, but
need not be significant.”)).
Accordingly, the court REJECTS the magistrate
judge’s report to the extent that it denies the plaintiff’s request for emotional
The court ADOPTS and ACCEPTS the magistrate judge’s assertion that the
plaintiff’s request for injunctive relief has been rendered MOOT by his transfer.
AThe general rule in our circuit is that a transfer or a release of a prisoner from prison
will moot that prisoner=s claims for injunctive and declaratory relief.@ Smith v.
Allen, 502 F.3d 1255, 1267 (11th Cir. 2007) (alteration supplied) (citing McKinnon
v. Talladega County, Ala., 745 F.2d 1360, 1363 (11th Cir. 1984); Zatler v.
Wainwright, 802 F.2d 397, 399 (11th Cir. 1986) (per curiam)). Once the plaintiff
was transferred from St. Clair Correctional Facility, his claims regarding the
conditions at that facility Ano longer presented a case or controversy.@ Spears v.
Thigpen, 846 F.2d 1327, 1328 (11th Cir. 1988) (citing Wahl v. McIver, 773 F.2d
1169, 1173 (11th Cir. 1985)).
VII. Objections pertaining to Discovery and
The Motion for Reconsideration of
Appointment of Counsel
The plaintiff objects to the dismissal of his claims on the grounds that the
magistrate judge denied his motion for appointment of counsel for the purpose of
conducting discovery. (Doc. 23 at 19). He contends he could have provided the
specific facts necessary to state a claim had counsel been appointed; namely, his
medical records, incident reports, cubicle logs, I&I reports, Jefferson County Health
Department records, Global Tel and telephone records, and disciplinary records.
(Id.). The court OVERRULES the plaintiff’s objections. The medical claim will
be referred to the magistrate judge for further proceedings; namely, an informal
special report procedure. Discovery will be allowed pursuant to the special report
The court DENIES the plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration of
Appointment of Counsel. (Doc. 27). He contends that he is unable to afford
counsel, has little access to the prison law library, and “is in desperate need of
counsel to conduct discovery in this case, due to the defendants[’] refusal to comply
with Jefferson [C]ounty Circuit Court Judge Tracie E. Todd’s order to provide him
copies of his medical records and her order granting Johnson’s motion to compel.”
(Id. at 1). He asserts that if counsel were appointed on his state court discovery
motion, he would be able to get the medical records to support his Eighth
Amendment medical care claim. (Id. at 2).
This court has no authority to appoint
counsel to assist the plaintiff with discovery matters in the litigation of a separate
state court case.
VIII. Motion to Amend the Complaint
In his objections, the plaintiff requests the opportunity to amend his complaint
to assert that all claims in his amended complaint will alleged in connection with the
present facility in which he is incarcerated, W.E. Donaldson Correctional Facility.
(Doc. 23 at 20). The court construes this request as a Motion to Amend the
Complaint, and DENIES it. Any claims pertaining to a retaliatory transfer from
SCCF to Donaldson Correctional Facility or claims pertaining to Donaldson in
general are separate from and unrelated to the plaintiff’s claims in the amended
complaint. The plaintiff will not be prejudiced because he has the ability to bring
the claims in a separate action. See Dickerson v. Donald, 252 F. App’x. 277, 279
(11th Cir. 2007); Schwartz v. City of Treasure Island, 544 F.3d 1201, 1229 (11th Cir.
2008); Nance v. Ricoh Electronics, Inc., 381 F. App’x. 919, 924 (11th Cir. 2010).
For all of the foregoing reasons, the court DISMISSES all claims in the
amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ' 1915A(b) for failing to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, except the plaintiff=s claim that defendants
Thomas, Davenport and Corizen were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical
needs from May 15, 2010, until September 2012. Further, the court FINDS the
plaintiff’s request for injunctive relief to be MOOT, and REJECTS the magistrate
judge’s report to the extent that it denies the plaintiff’s request for emotional
damages. The court also DENIES the plaintiff’s Motion requesting permission to
amend the complaint (doc. 23, at 19-20) and DENIES his Motion for
Reconsideration of Appointment of Counsel (doc. 27).
The court DIRECTS the Clerk to TERM documents 23 and 27.
DONE and ORDERED this March 31, 2015.
KARON OWEN BOWDRE
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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