McClain v. Sammual, Jr et al
ORDER Directing Plaintiff to File Amended Complaint, by Magistrate Judge Boyd N. Boland on 9/23/14. (morti, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No. 14-cv-02415-BNB
CLAUDE GRAYWOLF McCLAIN,
DIRECTOR MR. CHARLES SAMMUAL, JR.,
WARDEN MS. D. DENHAM,
ASST. WARDEN MS. NANNCY McKINNEY,
MEDICAL-MD MR. KRAUSS,
MEDICAL EYE DOCTOR UNKNOWN,
UNIT MANAGER MRS. R. HUFAGLE,
CASE MANAGER MRS. L. ASAY, and
COUNSELOR MR. P. CAMPANELL,
ORDER DIRECTING PLAINTIFF TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT
Plaintiff, Claude Graywolf McClain, is a prisoner in the custody of the Federal
Bureau of Prisons at the Federal Correctional Institution at Englewood, Colorado. Mr.
McClain has filed pro se a Prisoner Complaint (ECF No. 1) claiming his rights under the
United States Constitution have been violated. He seeks damages as relief.
The court must construe the Prisoner Complaint liberally because Mr. McClain is
not represented by an attorney. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972);
Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). However, the court should not be
an advocate for a pro se litigant. See Hall, 935 F.2d at 1110. For the reasons stated
below, Mr. McClain will be ordered to file an amended complaint if he wishes to pursue
his claims in this action.
The Prisoner Complaint is deficient. First, Mr. McClain fails to provide an
address for each Defendant. Mr. McClain must provide a complete address so that
each Defendant may be served properly.
The Prisoner Complaint also is deficient because it does not comply with the
pleading requirements of Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The twin
purposes of a complaint are to give the opposing parties fair notice of the basis for the
claims against them so that they may respond and to allow the court to conclude that
the allegations, if proven, show that the plaintiff is entitled to relief. See Monument
Builders of Greater Kansas City, Inc. v. American Cemetery Ass’n of Kansas, 891 F.2d
1473, 1480 (10th Cir. 1989). The requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 8 are designed to meet
these purposes. See TV Communications Network, Inc. v. ESPN, Inc., 767 F. Supp.
1062, 1069 (D. Colo. 1991), aff’d, 964 F.2d 1022 (10th Cir. 1992). Specifically, Rule 8(a)
provides that a complaint “must contain (1) a short and plain statement of the grounds
for the court’s jurisdiction, . . . (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief; and (3) a demand for the relief sought.” The philosophy
of Rule 8(a) is reinforced by Rule 8(d)(1), which provides that “[e]ach allegation must be
simple, concise, and direct.” Taken together, Rules 8(a) and (d)(1) underscore the
emphasis placed on clarity and brevity by the federal pleading rules. Prolix, vague, or
unintelligible pleadings violate Rule 8.
Mr. McClain fails to provide a short and plain statement of his claims showing
that he is entitled to relief because he fails to allege clearly and concisely how each
Defendant personally participated in the asserted constitutional violations. Because Mr.
McClain is asserting his claims against Defendants in their individual capacities,
allegations of “personal participation in the specific constitutional violation complained of
[are] essential.” Henry v. Storey, 658 F.3d 1235, 1241 (10th Cir. 2011). Mr. McClain’s
vague assertions that he has been denied proper medical treatment by “medical staff”
do not demonstrate what each named Defendant did that allegedly violated his
For these reasons, Mr. McClain will be ordered to file an amended complaint.
For each claim he asserts in the amended complaint, Mr. McClain “must explain what
each defendant did to him or her; when the defendant did it; how the defendant’s action
harmed him or her; and, what specific legal right the plaintiff believes the defendant
violated.” Nasious v. Two Unknown B.I.C.E. Agents, 492 F.3d 1158, 1163 (10th Cir.
2007). The general rule that pro se pleadings must be construed liberally has limits and
“the court cannot take on the responsibility of serving as the litigant’s attorney in
constructing arguments and searching the record.” Garrett v. Selby Connor Maddux &
Janer, 425 F.3d 836, 840 (10th Cir. 2005). Accordingly, it is
ORDERED that Mr. McClain file, within thirty (30) days from the date of this
order, an amended complaint as directed in this order. It is
FURTHER ORDERED that Mr. McClain shall obtain the court-approved Prisoner
Complaint form (with the assistance of his case manager or the facility’s legal assistant),
along with the applicable instructions, at www.cod.uscourts.gov. It is
FURTHER ORDERED that, if Mr. McClain fails to file an amended complaint that
complies with this order within the time allowed, the action will be dismissed without
DATED September 23, 2014, at Denver, Colorado.
BY THE COURT:
s/ Boyd N. Boland
United States Magistrate Judge
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