Winch v. Centurion of Florida, LLC et al
ORDER directing Plaintiff to submit a second amended complaint with service copies by June 10, 2022; directions to the Clerk. Signed by Magistrate Judge Joel B. Toomey on 5/10/2022. (KLC)
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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
Case No. 3:22-cv-215-BJD-JBT
CENTURION OF FLORIDA, LLC, et al.,
Plaintiff, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis (Doc. 6), initiated this action on
February 25, 2022, by filing a Civil Rights Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Doc. 1;
Compl.). Plaintiff subsequently filed an Amended Complaint (Doc. 2; Am. Compl.), which
is before the Court for screening.
Plaintiff is an inmate of the Florida penal system, who alleges medical providers at
both Putnam Correctional Institution and the Reception and Medical Center (RMC) have
ineffectively or improperly treated a skin condition that causes “intense itching, rash-like
bumps, excoriated lesions, painful skin infections,” and other issues. Am. Compl. at 4-5,
16, 27-30. He alleges that, after five years of complaining and seeing medical
professionals, his “chronic and unstable serious skin disease is still inaccurately
diagnosed and inadequately medicated.” Id. at 14. Plaintiff names the following
Defendants: Centurion of Florida, LLC; Jackie Westfall, Medical Director/Physician; Max
Solano, Medical Director/Dermatologist; Loretta Dawson, Advanced Registered Nurse
Practitioner; Jane Doe #1, Registered Nurse; Jane Doe #2, Registered Nurse; and Anand
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A. Gupta, Medical Doctor/Surgeon. Id. at 2-3, 12. As relief, Plaintiff seeks monetary
damages, a declaration that his rights have been violated, and an injunction ordering
Centurion to provide him with proper medical care. Id. at 47-48.
Upon review of the Amended Complaint, the Court opines that Plaintiff has failed
to set forth his claims sufficiently. Thus, the Court will direct him to file a second amended
complaint in compliance with federal pleading standards, as set forth below.
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require a plaintiff to provide “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that [he] is entitled to relief.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2)
(emphasis added). All averments of the claim should be made “in numbered paragraphs,
each limited as far as practicable to a single set of circumstances.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(b).
To survive dismissal, a complaint must allege facts that, accepted as true, state a claim
“that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The standard
asks for less than a probability but “more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has
acted unlawfully.” Id. Though a plaintiff is not required to provide “detailed factual
allegations,” he must offer more than “naked assertion[s] devoid of further factual
enhancement.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).
Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint is deficient because the allegations are not short
and plain but rather include unnecessary and extraneous information, and the complaint
is replete with vague, conclusory statements. In this regard, the Amended Complaint
constitutes a “shotgun pleading.” A “shotgun pleading” is one that fails to give the named
defendants “adequate notice of the claims against them and the grounds upon which
each claim rests.” Weiland v. Palm Bch. Cnty. Sheriff’s Off., 792 F.3d 1313, 1323 (11th
Cir. 2015). Plaintiff generally asserts that Defendants violated the Eighth Amendment,
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see Am. Compl. at 3, but he does not plainly allege what facts are intended to support
the separate claims against each Defendant. Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint would require
the Court to expend scarce judicial resources to sift through the one hundred forty-four
paragraphs of allegations to separate potentially plausible claims from frivolous ones. See
Barmapov v. Amuial, 986 F.3d 1321, 1328 (11th Cir. 2021) (Tjoflat, J., concurring)
(“[D]istrict courts are flatly forbidden from scouring shotgun complaints to craft a
potentially viable claim for a plaintiff.”).
If Plaintiff chooses to amend his complaint, he should adhere to the following
The amended complaint must be marked, “Second Amended Complaint.”
The second amended complaint must name as defendants only those who
had been acting under color of state law and are responsible for the alleged
The second amended complaint must state the full names of each
defendant (to the extent Plaintiff knows them) in the style of the case on the
first page and in section I.B.
The list of defendants named on the first page must match the list of named
defendants in section I.B.
The second amended complaint (or a separate filing) must include current
addresses for each defendant.
In section IV, “Statement of Claim,” there must be a clear description of how
each defendant was involved in the alleged violation(s). The allegations
should be stated in numbered paragraphs, each limited to a single set of
circumstances. Plaintiff should separately explain the facts giving rise to his
individual claims for relief, and he should clearly state how each defendant
is responsible for each alleged violation.1
In section V, “Injuries,” there must be a statement concerning how each
defendant’s action or omission injured Plaintiff.
Plaintiff may attach additional pages if necessary, but he should continue to number the
paragraphs for a clear presentation of his factual allegations supporting each claim.
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In section VI, “Relief,” there must be a statement of what Plaintiff seeks
through this action.2
Plaintiff also should keep in mind the following legal principles. First, “fictitiousparty pleading is not permitted in federal court” unless the plaintiff describes a “John Doe”
individual with such particularity that he or she can be identified and served. See
Richardson v. Johnson, 598 F.3d 734, 738 (11th Cir. 2010). Second, liability under § 1983
may not be premised on a theory of vicarious liability. To proceed against a supervisor or
municipality, a plaintiff must identify a policy or custom that was the moving force behind
a constitutional violation. Hartley v. Parnell, 193 F.3d 1263, 1269 (11th Cir. 1999); Craig
v. Floyd Cnty., 643 F.3d 1306, 1310 (11th Cir. 2011). Mere conclusory allegations of a
policy or custom will not suffice. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (“While legal conclusions can
provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations.”).
Third, a prison official’s failure to follow state law or internal prison regulations
does not give rise to a federal constitutional claim under § 1983. Taylor v. Adams, 221
F.3d 1254, 1259 (11th Cir. 2000). To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege
the conduct complained of was committed by a person acting under color of state law,
and the conduct deprived the plaintiff of rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States.
Fourth, to state a deliberate indifference claim, a plaintiff must allege he had a
serious medical need of which defendants were aware. Brown v. Johnson, 387 F.3d 1344,
1351 (11th Cir. 2004). A plaintiff also must “allege that the prison official, at a minimum,
Plaintiff is advised that “[t]he [Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA)] places substantial
restrictions on the judicial relief that prisoners can seek . . . .” Brooks v. Warden, 800 F.3d
1295, 1307 (11th Cir. 2015) (quoting Al-Amin v. Smith, 637 F.3d 1192, 1195 (11th Cir.
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acted with a state of mind that constituted deliberate indifference” to that serious medical
need. Richardson, 598 F.3d at 737. When prison physicians provide medical care for
prisoners, “federal courts are generally reluctant to second guess [their] medical
judgments.” Hamm v. DeKalb Cnty., 774 F.2d 1567, 1575 (11th Cir. 1985). As such,
allegations of medical negligence do not satisfy the stringent deliberate indifference
standard. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). “Medical treatment violates the
[E]ighth [A]mendment only when it is ‘so grossly incompetent, inadequate, or excessive
as to shock the conscience or to be intolerable to fundamental fairness.’” Harris v.
Thigpen, 941 F.2d 1495, 1505 (11th Cir. 1991). A plaintiff must do more than allege the
care provided was “subpar or different from what the inmate want[ed].” Keohane v. Fla.
Dep’t of Corr. Sec’y, 952 F.3d 1257, 1266 (11th Cir. 2020). This is so because “a simple
difference in medical opinion between the prison’s medical staff and the inmate as to the
latter’s diagnosis or course of treatment [fails to] support a claim of cruel and unusual
punishment.” Id. (alteration in original).
Finally, an amended complaint supersedes the filing of the initial complaint and
becomes the operative pleading. Krinsk v. SunTrust Banks, Inc., 654 F.3d 1194, 1202
(11th Cir. 2011). Thus, Plaintiff’s second amended complaint must be complete, including
all related claims he wishes to raise, and must not refer to his original or amended
Plaintiff must sign and date the second amended complaint after the following
statement on the form:
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11, by signing below, I
certify to the best of my knowledge, information, and belief
that this complaint: (1) is not being presented for an improper
purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or
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needlessly increase the cost of litigation; (2) is supported by
existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for extending,
modifying, or reversing existing law; (3) the factual
contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so
identified, will likely have evidentiary support after a
reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery;
and (4) the complaint otherwise complies with the
requirements of Rule 11.
Before signing the second amended complaint, Plaintiff must ensure his assertions
are truthful and he has not knowingly made false material declarations. He must neither
exaggerate nor distort the facts but instead must truthfully state the facts underlying his
claims. Knowingly making a false material declaration in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1623 is
punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both.
Accordingly, it is now
The Clerk shall send Plaintiff a Civil Rights Complaint form.
By June 10, 2022, Plaintiff must mail a second amended complaint to the
Court for filing. The second amended complaint should comply with the instructions on
the form and those provided in this order.
Also by June 10, 2022, Plaintiff must mail to the Court one copy of the
second amended complaint (including exhibits)3 for each named defendant.
Plaintiff’s failure to comply with this order may result in the dismissal of this
Plaintiff may, but does not have to, include exhibits, such as grievances or medical
records. Plaintiff must individually number each exhibit in the lower right-hand corner of
each exhibit. If his first exhibit has multiple pages, he should number the pages 1-A, 1-B,
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DONE AND ORDERED at Jacksonville, Florida, this 10th day of May 2022.
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