Montgomery v. Classification et al
ORDER DISMISSING CASE without prejudice. This case stands closed. Signed by Judge Dudley H. Bowen on 8/1/2022. (pts)
u.s.c;:"i. ::t court
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COXmT
_[ p O
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
!. ,_.r UA.
CLASSIFICATION and CHATHAM
COUNTY DETENTION CENTER,^
County Detention Center.
(Compl., Doc. No. 1, at 3.)
is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis ("IFP") in this case
he is proceeding IFP,
must be screened to protect potential defendants.
Mashburn, 746 F.2d 782, 785 (11th Cir. 1984) (per curiam); Al-Amin
V. Donald, 165 F. App'x 733, 736 (11th Cir. 2006) (per curiam); 28
U.S.C. § 1915A.
A pro se litigant's pleadings are held to a more
lenient standard than those drafted by an attorney, Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007), but the Court may dismiss the
Complaint or any portion thereof if it is frivolous, malicious.
^ The Clerk's Office erroneously docketed this case listing two defendants even
though the Complaint clearly indicates he is suing one defendant - "Chatham
County Detention Center-Classification."
thoroughness, the Court will discuss "both" defendants herein.
fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or if it
seeks monetary relief from
28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b).
who is immune to
(Doc. No. 1, at 5.)
explanation for the removal.
He complains that he was given no
Plaintiff later reported that
several doors in his new dorm could be opened by the inmates, and
he suspects that the other inmates found out he made that report.
Plaintiff sent a grievance stating that he felt unsafe, but when
inmate, the wrong person was removed from his dorm.
suspects the inmate in question has ^'deep ties" in the city of
Savannah and, after evading prison officials, spread rumors within
their dorm that Plaintiff is a snitch.
(Id. at 6.)
continued to notice looks and overhear words that made him feel
He complained again on November 17, 2021, but he
individuals' room numbers, and the officials "put separations on
Plaintiff additionally complains about the conditions of his
current dorm, including criticisms of the commissary, food, clean
vaguely describes incidents of others being assaulted.
notes that he
has been denied
profiled for due to arthritis.
his cane, which
He suspects that someone is
complains that even though there is room in another "'bubble,'' the
classification officials refuse to place him there.
On March 21, 2022, Plaintiff drafted a letter informing the
Court that he had been released from jail.
letter on April 1, 2022.
April 26, 2022.
The Clerk docketed the
(Doc. No. 7.) Plaintiff followed up on
(Doc. No. 8.)
A complaint or any portion thereof may be dismissed if it is
frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune to such relief.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
A claim is
frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact."
Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 325 (1989).
"Failure to state a claim under §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is governed by the same standard as dismissal for
failure to state a claim under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6)."
V. H & S, Inc., 366 F. App'x 49, 51 (11th Cir. 2010) (citing Mitchell
V. Farcass, 112 F.Sd 1483, 1490 (11th Cir. 1997)).
To avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted, the allegations in the complaint must ''state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face."
Bell Atl. Corp.
plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows
the court to draw
liable for the misconduct alleged."
662, 678 (2009).
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
That is, "[f]actual allegations must be enough to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level."
U.S. at 555.
While Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
does not require detailed factual allegations, "it demands more than
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
A complaint is insufficient if it "offers
'labels and conclusions' or 'a formulaic recitation of the elements
of a cause of action,'" or if it "tenders 'naked assertions' devoid
of 'further factual enhancement.'"
at 555, 557).
Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S.
In short, the complaint must provide a "'plain
statement' possess[ing] enough heft to 'sho[w] that the pleader is
entitled to relief.'"
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557 (quoting Fed. R.
Civ. P. 8(a)(2)).
Finally, courts afford a liberal construction to a pro se
litigant's pleadings, holding them to a more lenient standard than
those drafted by an attorney.
Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94; Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). However, this liberal construction
does not mean that courts have a duty to re-write the complaint.
Snow V. DirecTV, Inc., 450 F.3d 1314, 1320 (11th Cir. 2006).
construed this as two individual defendants, but in any event,
neither are appropriately named.
The Chatham County Detention
Center is not an entity subject to suit.
See Johnson v. Benton,
2021 WL 6750967, at *2 (S.D. Ga. Dec. 20, 2021) (citing Jamelson
V. Unnamed Defendant, 2017 WL 6503630, at *2 (S.D. Ga. Dec. 19,
2017)); see also Brannon v. Thomas Cnty. Jail, 280 F. App'x 930,
934 n.l (11th Cir. 2008) (noting Thomas County Jail is not entity
capable of being sued under Georgia law).
Nor is "Classification"
(see doc. no. 1, at 4) an appropriate party.
for suit under Section 1983 include "persons" who participated in
the alleged violation.
See 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (subjecting only
"persons" to liability).
Moreover, amendment to state an appropriate defendant would
Cockrell v. Sparks, 510 F.3d 1307, 1310 (11th Cir.
2007) ("Leave to amend a complaint is futile when the complaint as
amended would still be properly dismissed . . . .").
To state a
Section 1983 claim, a plaintiff must at least allege some violation
of the Constitution.
42 U.S.C. § 1983 (making it unlawful for a
state actor to deprive persons of ^^any rights, privileges, or
immunities secured by the Constitution and laws").
compensation for the mental anguish which accompanied his prison
(Doc. No. 1, at 9.)
However, even if prison conditions are ''restrictive and even
harsh, they are part of the penalty that criminal offenders pay
for their offenses against society." Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S.
337, 347 (1981).
To state an Eighth Amendment claim of unlawful
prison conditions, a prisoner "must show that a condition of his
confinement pose[s] an unreasonable risk of serious damage to his
future health or safety." Chandler v. Crosby, 379 F.3d 1278, 1289
(11th Cir. 2004).
The prisoner must also show that the defendant
prison officials subjectively acted with "deliberate indifference"
regard to the conditions at issue.
objectively serious or extreme if they amount to deprivation of
measure of life's
necessities" or "the
human needs." Rhodes, 452 U.S. at 347.
unreasonable risk of harm.
He does not describe specific threats
or explicitly name incidents of specific risk, but rather suggests
unsubstantiated claims do not rise to the level of a constitutional
prisons." Rhodes, 452 U.S. at 349.
Generally speaking, prison
conditions rise to the level of an Eighth Amendment violation only
when they ""involve the wanton and unnecessary infliction of pain."
attempted to transfer problematic inmates out of the cell.
officials, this allegation does not state a claim against any state
Ultimately, an official may escape liability for known
risks ""if [he] responded reasonably to the risk, even if the harm
ultimately was not averted." Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 844
to the extent Plaintiff alleges that
failed to protect him from a serious risk of prisoner violence in
violation of the Eighth Amendment, this claim also fails.
factual allegations sufficient to support the inference that the
responsible prison official intended that he be harmed or was at
least consciously indifferent to the prisoner's safety.
511 U.S. at 834; Chandler, 379 F.3d at 1289.
Plaintiff does not
provide any facts suggesting such an inference should be made.
C.f. ^ Jones V. St. Lawrence, 2008 WL 5142396, at *5 (S.D. Ga. Dec.
5, 2008) (collecting failure to protect cases and holding that
where an official ""incited" inmates to harm plaintiff, ""knowing"
the action would harm him, the plaintiff stated an Eighth Amendment
particular custody classification.
liberty interest in
See Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S.
215, 223-25, (1976) (explaining that ""[c]onfinement in any of the
custody which the conviction has authorized the State to impose");
Moody V. Daggett, 429 U.S. 78, 88 n.9 (1976) (noting that Congress
has given prison officials full discretion to control conditions
of confinement, including prisoner classification). Consequently,
prison officials may assign inmates to any security classification
level they choose without necessarily violating any constitutional
right of the inmates.
See Olim v. Wakinekona, 461 U.S. 238 (1983);
Meachum, 427 U.S. at 224; Hewitt v. Helms, 459 U.S. 460 (1983)
modified on other grounds, Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 481
(1995); see also Slezak v. Evatt, 21 F.3d 590, 594 (4th Cir. 1994)
(in the context of a claim based on
a custody classification,
holding that the U.S. Constitution affords no liberty interest in
a prisoner's custody classification).
Given that Plaintiff failed
amendment of his Complaint would be futile.
His Complaint is
properly dismissed instead.
Upon the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this case is
DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
The Clerk is directed to CLOSE this
ORDER ENTERED at Augusta, Georgia, this
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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