Hopson v. Glenn et al
ORDER directing the Clerk to mail the Section 1983 complaint form to Plaintiff; directing Plaintiff, if he wishes to amend his original Complaint, to complete the new complaint form in its entirety, mark it as "Amended Complaint, and file within 30 days of the date of this Order; finding portions of Plaintiff's Complaint, as it now stands, are deficient and may be dismissed after 30 days of the date of this Order; and finding service is not appropriate at this time. Signed by Magistrate Judge Joe J. Volpe on 6/15/2012. (srw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
DWIGHT C. HOPSON
PRESTON GLENN, Sheriff,
Pike County ; et al.
Plaintiff, Dwight Hopson, a state inmate proceeding pro se, seeks relief in a civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Doc. No. 2).
The PLRA requires federal courts to screen prisoner complaints seeking relief against a
governmental entity, officer, or employee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must dismiss a
complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that: (a) are legally frivolous or
malicious; (b) fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (c) seek monetary relief from
a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
An action is frivolous if “it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted if it does not plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
In reviewing a pro se complaint under § 1915(e)(2)(B), the court must give the complaint
the benefit of a liberal construction. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). The court must
also weigh all factual allegations in favor of the plaintiff, unless the facts alleged are clearly
baseless. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32 (1992). But regardless whether a plaintiff is
represented or appearing pro se, the complaint must allege specific facts sufficient to state a claim.
See Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985).
Additionally, to survive a court's 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(1)
screening, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to “state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009), citing Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556. The plausibility standard is not akin
to a “probability requirement,” but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully. Where a complaint pleads facts that are “merely consistent with” a defendant's liability,
it “stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.” Id. at 556-7.
In his Complaint, Plaintiff claims Defendants acted with deliberate indifference to his health
and safety and required him to work beyond his capabilities. He names four individuals as
Defendants in the style of his Complaint, but he also refers to several other individuals in the body
of his Complaint (Page, Guy, Gana, Ramsey, Cowell, Burst, Hobbs, Hutchinson) (Doc. No. 2 at 15).
While he includes specific allegations against Defendants Glenn and Nance, he does not include
specific allegations against Defendants Kelly and Maples, or against some of the named individuals.
It is unclear to the Court whether Plaintiff intends these other individuals to be listed as Defendants,
and what his allegations are against them.
Therefore, if Plaintiff chooses, he may clarify these issues within thirty days of the date of
this Order by submitting a superseding Amended Complaint which contains all of his claims against
all Defendants he is suing in a single document. Plaintiff is cautioned that an Amended Complaint
renders his original Complaint without legal effect. Only claims properly set out in the Amended
Complaint will be allowed to proceed. Therefore, Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint should include:
(1) the name of each individual personally involved in the actions at issue in the complaint; (2)
how each individual was personally involved in those actions; (3) how each individual violated
the Plaintiff's constitutional rights; and (4) how Plaintiff was harmed. Plaintiff must set forth
specific facts concerning the allegations he has set forth including, where applicable, dates,
times and places. If Plaintiff wishes to name additional Defendants concerning the allegations set
forth, Plaintiff shall set forth specific facts concerning their involvement as well.
The Court is sensitive to the fact that pro se litigants like Plaintiff are not trained in the law
and will give deference to a pro se plaintiff where the law requires. However, all parties, including
pro se litigants, must comply with substantive and procedural law. Brown v. Frey, 806 F.2d 801,
804 (8th Cir. 1986). Accordingly, the Court will only consider claims properly pled in a Complaint
or in a superseding Amended Complaint. Additionally, the Court will not consider claims stated in
notices or other pleadings not filed in compliance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure..
Plaintiff must also comply with the Local Rules of the Court. Of particular note to pro se
plaintiffs is Rule 5.5(C)(2), which states:
Parties appearing pro se. It is the duty of any party not represented by counsel to
promptly notify the Clerk and the other parties to the proceedings of any change in
his or her address, to monitor the progress of the case, and to prosecute or defend the
action diligently. A party appearing for himself/herself shall sign his/her pleadings
and state his/her address, zip code, and telephone number. If any communication
from the Court to a pro se plaintiff is not responded to within thirty (30) days, the
case may be dismissed without prejudice. Any party proceeding pro se shall be
expected to be familiar with and follow the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Loc. R. 5.5(C)(2).
IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that:
The Clerk shall mail the 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint form to Plaintiff with this Order.
If Plaintiff wishes to amend his original Complaint, he may complete the new complaint form in its
entirety in accordance with this Order, mark it as “Amended Complaint,” and file within thirty days
of the date of this Order.
Portions of Plaintiff's Complaint, as it now stands, are deficient and may be dismissed
after thirty days of the date of this Order.
Service is not appropriate at this time.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 15th day of June, 2012.
JOE J. VOLPE
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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