Mendiola v. Koberlein et al
ORDER directing plaintiff to file an amended complaint by April 13, 2012. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 3/14/12. (kpr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
JOSE ENRIQUE MENDIOLA
ADC # 130653
MIKE KOBERLEIN, Deputy
Marshal, United States Marshal
Service; DOE, Pine Bluff Police
Officer, U.S. Marshal Trainee
Jose Mendiola is a state inmate incarcerated at the Pine Bluff Unit of the
Arkansas Department of Correction. The Court recently granted him in forma
pauperis status to proceed in this Bivens action against the defendants.
The Prison Litigation Reform Act 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 part
of one, if the prisoner: (a) raises claims that are legally frivolous or malicious;
(b) fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (c) seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U .S.C.
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). And to survive the Court's
screening, a complaint must also contain sufficient factual matter, accepted
as true, to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (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 requires
more than a mere possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Ibid.
Where a plaintiff pleads facts that are merely consistent with" a defendant's
liability, it "stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of
'entitle[ment] to relief.'" Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556-57 (citing FED. R. CIV. P.
In reviewing a pro se complaint, the Court must liberally construe the
pleading. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (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, 32-33 (1992).
regardless of whether a plaintiff is represented or appearing pro se, the
complaint must contain specific facts supporting its conclusions." Martin v.
Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985).
Mendiola claims that he was injured while being transported to an ADC
Unit by the defendants. He alleges that defendant Koberlein's excessive
speed and sudden braking caused him to fly off his seat and into the security
cage which separates prisoners from transporting officers. Mendiola further
alleges he suffered an injury to his right eye in the incident, caused by
defendant Koberlein's failure to properly fasten him in a seatbelt. Mendiola
asks for monetary relief to compensate him for his injuries and later
headaches, blurred vision, and other body pain.
Mendiola's complaint is deficient. Although Mendiola names two
individuals as defendants, he does not include any specific allegations of
unconstitutional conduct by defendant Doe.
In addition, Mendiola's
allegations against defendant Koberlein sound in negligence, which is not
sufficient to support an Eighth Amendment claim for relief.
u.s. 825, 837 (1994); Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.s. 97, 106 (1976).
Mendiola's complaint is thus too vague and conc1usory to enable the Court
to screen it.
The Court grants Mendiola permission to file an amended complaint by
13 April 2012. The Court cautions Mendiola that an amended complaint
renders his original complaint without legal effect. Only claims properly set
out in the amended complaint will be considered.
Mendiola's amended complaint should include: (1) the name of each
individual involved in the actions at issue in the complaint; (2) how each
individual was involved in those actions; and (3) how each individual
violated Mendiola's constitutional rights. Mendiola must set forth specific
facts concerning his allegations, including, for example, dates, times, and
In sum, Mendiola's current complaint is deficient. Mendiola has until
13 April 2012 to file an amended complaint. If he fails to do so, the Court will
dismiss his case. Local Rule 5.5(c)(2).
D.P. Marshall Jr.
United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?