BROOKS v. HUMPHREY et al
ORDER granting in part and denying in part 14 Motion for Reconsideration (Exceptions to the Magistrate's Order) ; finding as moot 16 Motion for Reconsideration. Plaintiff is hereby DIRECTED to file an Amended Complaint in accordance with this Order within TWENTYONE (21) DAYS of the date of this Order.Ordered by Judge C. Ashley Royal on 11/19/12 (lap)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
FRED DALTON BROOKS,
No. 5:12‐CV‐281 (CAR)
CARL HUMPHREY, et al.,
42 U.S.C. § 1983
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF=S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
Presently before the Court is pro se Plaintiff Fred Dalton Brooks’s “Exceptions to
the Magistrate’s Order of September 27, 2012” [Doc. 14], in which Plaintiff requests
reconsideration of the United States Magistrate Judge’s previous Order [Doc. 10]
denying Plaintiff’s Motion to Amend Complaint [Doc. 9]. The Court construes
Plaintiff’s “Exceptions” as a Motion for Reconsideration and considers his allegations
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
In his initial Complaint, Plaintiff Fred Dalton Brooks alleges that Warden
Humphrey, Deputy Warden Powell, and Deputy Warden Bishop placed Plaintiff in the
Plaintiff filed an untimely Motion for Reconsideration [Doc. 16] on November 9, 2012. Because the
Court construes Plaintiff’s “Exceptions” [Doc. 14] as a timely Motion for Reconsideration, and because
Plaintiff’s two filings are virtually identical, the Court finds Plaintiff’s untimely Motion for
Reconsideration [Doc. 16] MOOT.
“Super‐Maximum Security Unit” (“SMU”) at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification
Prison on February 7, 2012. Plaintiff states that there are 192 cells in the SMU, and that
the facility lacks an inmate classification system. According to Plaintiff, violent inmates
and sexual predators are indiscriminately housed with the general population in the
SMU, resulting in frequent violent attacks and sexual assaults.
Plaintiff alleges that on February 29, 2012, a mass riot occurred in the SMU when
a maintenance worker simultaneously opened thirty‐two cell doors in Plaintiff’s
dormitory. During the ensuing riot, Plaintiff asserts that fellow inmate Tremayne
Watson viciously attacked him, causing severe physical injuries. In addition, Watson
allegedly forced Plaintiff into an adjoining room and compelled him to perform a sexual
act against his will. Plaintiff was hospitalized for three days in the Spalding County
Hospital to receive treatment for his injuries.
Plaintiff claims that during this hospitalization, Defendant Powell, along with
three unnamed correctional officers, refused to temporarily lower Plaintiff’s waist‐
chains at his request to use the restroom. As a result, Plaintiff was forced to urinate and
defecate in his jumpsuit. Deputy Warden Powell also required Plaintiff to wear his
handcuffs during meals, compelling Plaintiff “to lick [his] food off [the] tray like a
On July 16, 2012, Plaintiff filed his initial Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
alleging constitutional violations by Defendants Humphrey, Powell, Bishop, and John
and Jane Does. John and Jane Does have been dismissed from this action because
Plaintiff has failed to adequately identify these individuals for service.
On September 25, 2012, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Amend Complaint wherein
Plaintiff sought to (1) correct formatting errors; (2) add Defendant SMU Unit Manager
McMillan; (3) submit additional factual allegations; and (4) add another claim arising
from Plaintiff’s unwilling placement near Watson’s cell after his return from the
Spaulding County Hospital. The Magistrate Judge denied Plaintiff’s motion in full,
addressing only Plaintiff’s proposed additional claim, which he characterized as an
Eighth Amendment “failure to protect” claim. Based on his determination, the
Magistrate Judge dismissed the proposed claim for failure to state a claim. The
Magistrate Judge later granted Plaintiff an additional fourteen days to file the present
Motion for Reconsideration.
In the instant Motion, Plaintiff asserts that the Magistrate Judge erred in two
ways: first, by construing Plaintiff’s proposed cause of action as a “failure to protect”
claim rather than a “deliberate indifference” claim; and second, by failing to rule on
[Doc. 1 at 5].
Plaintiff’s other proposed amendments. Specifically, Plaintiff states that the Magistrate
Judge did not address his proposals to (1) correct formatting errors in the original
Complaint; (2) add Defendant SMU Unit Manager McMillan; and (3) submit additional
factual allegations, including his communications to Defendants prior to the February
29th assault and his later placement in a cell near Watson, his attacker. The Court
addresses these allegations below.
Local Rule 7.6 cautions that “[m]otions for reconsideration shall not be filed as a
matter of routine practice.”3 Instead, the “purpose of a motion for reconsideration is to
correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence.”4 Thus,
federal courts may grant a motion for reconsideration when there is “(1) an intervening
change in controlling law, (2) the availability of new evidence, and (3) the need to
correct clear error or manifest injustice.”5 In the instant Motion, Plaintiff appears to
allege clear error, both for the Magistrate Judge’s denial of Plaintiff’s proposed
amendments “which were not specifically addressed,” and for the Magistrate Judge’s
purported mischaracterization of his proposed claim.6
M.D. Ga., L.R. 7.6.
Arthur v. King, 500 F.3d 1335, 1343 (11th Cir. 2007).
6 [Doc. 14 at 2].
Plaintiff correctly notes that the Magistrate Judge did not address each of his
proposed amendments. Having now considered these amendments, the Court hereby
GRANTS Plaintiff’s request to amend his Complaint by (1) correcting formatting
errors; (2) adding Defendant SMU Unit Manager McMillan; and (3) submitting
additional factual allegations. Specifically, the Court accepts all facts preceding and
related to the February 29th assault, including threats by inmate Tremayne Watson and
Plaintiff’s communications to Defendants, including Defendant McMillan. However, as
explained immediately below, the Court will not allow Plaintiff’s Complaint to include
information related to his purported Eighth Amendment “deliberate indifference” claim
against Defendants for placing him near Watson’s cell upon Plaintiff’s return from the
Spalding County Hospital.
Plaintiff’s request that this Court reconsider the Magistrate Judge’s denial of his
proposed Eighth Amendment claim is DENIED. As explained by the Magistrate Judge
in his original Order, Plaintiff’s proposed claim fails to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted. Plaintiff’s argument that the Magistrate Judge erred by characterizing
Plaintiff’s allegations as a “failure to protect” claim rather than a “deliberate
indifference” claim is without merit. “Deliberate indifference” is merely one element of
an Eighth Amendment “failure to protect” claim; it is not a separate cause of action.
Rather, Plaintiff “must produce sufficient evidence of (1) a substantial risk of serious
harm; (2) the defendants’ deliberate indifference to that risk; and (3) causation.”7 Thus,
the Court finds that the Magistrate Judge correctly characterized and dismissed
Plaintiff’s proposed claim as an Eighth Amendment “failure to protect” claim.
In the same vein, Plaintiff’s contention that the Magistrate Judge erred by
requiring a “second assault … in order for constitutional violations to be present” is a
misinterpretation of the original Order.8 Plaintiff is correct that the Eighth Amendment
does not require an inmate to wait for a “tragic event” to occur before obtaining relief
from the Court.9 However, because Plaintiff was not physically harmed after his return
to prison, in order to state an Eighth Amendment “failure to protect” claim, Plaintiff
must demonstrate that that he is presently “incarcerated under conditions posing a
substantial risk of serious [imminent] harm.”10 Now, and for the foreseeable future,
Plaintiff has been removed from the only alleged threat to his safety, Tremayne Watson.
Accordingly, Plaintiff’s request for reconsideration of his proposed Eighth Amendment
Purcell ex rel. Estate of Morgan v. Toombs Cnty., Ga., 400 F.3d 1313, 1319 (11th Cir. 2005) (quotation
[Doc. 14 at 5].
Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 845 (1994).
See Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 33, 35‐36 (1993) (finding no Eighth Amendment claim where
inmate is not presently exposed to actual danger, but only speculates as to potential danger he might be
exposed to in the future).
claim is hereby DENIED.11
In accordance with the foregoing, Plaintiff=s “Exceptions to the Magistrate’s
Order of September 27, 2012,” which the Court has construed as a Motion for
Reconsideration [Doc. 14], is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Plaintiff’s
motion to amend his Complaint by (1) correcting formatting errors; (2) adding
Defendant SMU Unit Manager McMillan; and (3) submitting additional allegations
preceding and related to the February 29th assault is GRANTED. However, Plaintiff’s
request that the Court reconsider the Magistrate Judge’s Order [Doc. 10] and allow him
to add his proposed “deliberate indifference” claim is DENIED. Plaintiff is hereby
DIRECTED to file an Amended Complaint in accordance with this Order within
TWENTY‐ONE (21) DAYS of the date of this Order.
SO ORDERED this 19th day of November, 2012.
S/ C. Ashley Royal
C. ASHLEY ROYAL, CHIEF JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Moreover, Plaintiff could not recover compensatory or punitive damages for the “mental, emotional,
and psychological” harm caused by his placement within range of Watson’s “daily and constant barrage
of death threats.” [Doc. 14 at 5]. An inmate in prison who files a federal civil action cannot recover
damages on the basis of mental or emotional injury suffered while in custody without demonstrating a
related physical injury. 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(e); Perkins v. Kan. Dept. of Corrs., 165 F.3d 803, 807 (10th Cir.
1999). Plaintiff does not contend, and it does not appear, that he suffered from any physical
manifestation of his mental, emotional, and psychological distress.
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