Winstead v. Williams et al

Filing 10

ORDER granting Defendant's 5 Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint. This case stands closed. Signed by Chief Judge J. Randal Hall on 01/09/2018. (jlh)

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IN THE UNITED FOR THE STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA STATESBORO DIVISION CAROL WINSTEAD, * * Plaintiff, * v. * CV 617-049 * WARDEN STANLEY WILLIAMS, VALDERINE JACKSON, and WARDEN MARTY ALLEN, * * * Defendants. * ORDER Plaintiff action and against Marty Before Carol Defendants Allen the Winstead Court for brought Stanley deliberate is Defendants' this 42 Williams, Valderine indifference motion to U.S.C. and and Defendants Accordingly, filed the motion has a reply in 1983 Jackson, retaliation. dismiss. (Doc. Plaintiff filed a response and sur reply in opposition 9), § (docs. support. (Doc. been fully briefed and is 5.) 6, 8.) ripe for Prison in review. I. Plaintiff Reidsville, was a Georgia. BACKGROUND prisoner at Georgia (Compl., Doc. 1, II 1. ) State On April 27, 2016, Plaintiff filed a grievance with Defendant Jackson asking to be moved to a different cell "citing problems with his sexually violent and threatening roommate." (Compl. SI 7.) Plaintiff's grievance was denied and on June 8, 2016, Plaintiff was sexually assaulted by his cellmate. The assault Corrections ("PREA"), was (Id.) investigated by ("GDOC") June 34 U.S.C. 9, Prison, sexual 2016, § 30302. (IdJ of Plaintiff (Doc. was 6, at 2; transferred to Doc. 9, at Telfair 3) State which Plaintiff claims was punishment for reporting the assault. (Compl. On April 13, Defendants. 2017, Plaintiff Jackson's failure demonstrated a Additionally, transfer for Department Plaintiff allegedly filed S[ 9.) Plaintiff protesting his transfer on November 23, to Georgia pursuant to the Prison Rape Elimination Act grievances concerning the attack. On the to Plaintiff Plaintiff's to 2016. claims that transfer indifference asserts that Telfair grievances, to and a Prison therefore 5-4, at 2.) Williams different to Defendant State grievance action against Defendants him a (Doc. Plaintiff initiated this deliberate Plaintiff filed his in cell safety. Allen's was and decision retaliation violated his ("PLRA"), 42 First Amendment rights. II. STANDARD i A. Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies Under the § 1997e, a Prison Litigation Reform Act prisoner must exhaust all administrative U.S.C. remedies before filing an action challenging confinement. 42 U.S.C. a prisoner to comply with the procedural grievance process. a prisoner remedies, F.3d 1152, to properly (11th Cir. rules 548 U.S. exhaust claim will be dismissed. 1159 conditions of his Proper exhaustion requires Woodford v. Ngo, fails his § 1997e(a). the of 81, his 93 his prison's (2006). If administrative Johnson v. Meadows, 418 2005). While a motion to dismiss is normally confined to the four corners of ensure that exhausted F.3d a complaint, motion as to true court dispute. the 42 U.S.C. remedies. 2008). Burnside, must the 541 court takes if § Bryant This F.3d those decides Id. 1997e v. have Rich, involves 1077, If make the the a 1082 facts plaintiff's specific plaintiff's 530 two-step (11th Cir. findings has exhausted inquiry, plaintiff administrative his to has remedies. failed Id. survives resolve bears to proper step any one, factual under those findings, administrative the defendant allegations demonstrate claim The court then decides whether, plaintiff a Cir. under if the defendant alleges conflicting facts in his and During this that v. dismiss, exhaustion. the (11th Turner First, suing administrative 1374 process. 2008). plaintiffs their 1368, the court may decide factual matters to remedies. the burden of exhaust his Id. proving available B. Motion to Dismiss Federal Rule plaintiff's of complaint Civil Procedure contain "a 8(a) short and requires a statement plain that of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). To survive a motion to to state a claim upon which relief can be must include enough "factual allegations dismiss granted, to for Fed. failure a complaint raise a right to relief above the speculative level," and those facts must "state a claim to Corp. v. relief Twombly, complaint formulaic not by than at an accusation." plausible U.S. a detailed 544, Rule of than the 555. The unadorned, Ashcroft (quoting Twombly, v. 550 U.S. on 545, its 570 12(b)(6) factual more recitation Id. is by "requires do." more 550 attacked buttressed pleading that face." (2007). elements Rule 8 and of a need the not pleading of however, "unless plaintiff can prove no be and action standard a will "demands the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) at 555). A complaint should not be dismissed for failure to claim, a plaintiff's conclusions, cause Atl. Although motion allegations, labels Bell it appears beyond set of circumstances a doubt state a that the that would entitle i him to relief." Conley v. see also Robinson v. Gibson, United States, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 484 F. App'x 421, (1957); 423 (11th Cir. 2012) (quoting Lopez v. First Union Nat'1 Bank of Fla., 129 F.3d 1186, accept all as 1189 (11th Cir. true all reasonable plaintiff. (11th facts 2009) F.3d 1250, 1262 At alleged in inferences Belanger Cir. 1997)). v. in the (11th Cir. the light Salvation (citing this Jackson courts must complaint most Army, v. stage, and construe favorable 556 F.3d BellSouth to 1153, the 1155 Telecomm., 372 2004)). III. DISCUSSION A. Proper Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies 1. Plaintiff's Plaintiff June 23, ("SOP") within claims 2016. filed While IIB05-0001 ten he days Sexual of the a GDOC's normally Assault sexual assault Standard sexual Additionally, grievance Operating requires jgrievances incident, not have a time limit.1 Grievance assault on Procedure to be filed grievances do the SOP provides that "[i]f an offender files a grievance involving sexual assault . . . such actions automatically end the grievance process." Plaintiff's grievance sexual ended assault the grievance grievance was process, timely and Plaintiff Since filing has the alleged proper exhaustion. However, for 1 the first Plaintiff's time in June his 23, 2016, sur-reply. grievance The was Complaint, raised on the Although this is not directly stated in the SOP, GDOC Policy Number 208.06 adopts the standards found at 28 C.F.R. § 115. Under 28 C.F.R. 115.52(b)(1), sexual assault grievances are not subject to a time limit. § other hand, 2016. only identifies filings not April 27 and June 9, Normally, a plaintiff may not make factual allegations in Hulls v. Llabona, a reply to a motion to dismiss. 830, on 832 n.5 objected considering Advanced (11th to Cir. these facts 1996); at 2011). Plaintiff's Estimating Cir. 339781, (11th *5 Royal (S.D. prejudice v. and cause Inc. v. Riney, York Jan. 26, sur reply, Defendants, Defendants there unfair New Ga. submitted new evidence on necessarily filing will Sys., Nevertheless, is no have sign that prejudice. 77 Life 437 F. App'x F.3d Ins. 2015) See 1322, Co., 1325 2015 (NX[T]hough WL Royal such new evidence does not as t;hey were free their intent to file an additional sur reply.") Court will consider the facts alleged in to notice Therefore, Plaintiff's the sur-reply. Since Defendants have not challenged the sufficiency of the June 23, that 2016 filing, Plaintiff remedies.2 Defendants did not Accordingly, have failed properly to exhaust Defendants' meet his motion their burden administrative to dismiss for improper exhaustion is denied. 2. Defendants P l a i n t i f f ' s Retaliation also argue that Grievance Plaintiff did not exhaust the administrative remedies available for his retaliation complaint. Plaintiff admits that although he was transferred on June 9, 2 The Court need not consider the sufficiency of Plaintiff's April 27 and June 9 sexual assault grievances with respect to proper exhaustion. 2016, he did not file a grievance protesting that transfer until November 23, 2016. (Winstead previously mentioned, have ten filed days well to Doc. 6, at 17.) As the SOP generally provides that prisoners file a grievance. this beyond offered no Decl., deadline. explanation for why his Plaintiff's grievance Additionally, grievance was was Plaintiff untimely. A ! plaintiff does not meet the proper exhaustion standard when he fails to offer good cause for an untimely complaint. Donald, 211 taking F. App'x. Plaintiff's properly exhaust Defendants' 861 allegations his motion 859, to (11th as true, administrative dismiss Cir. 2006). Isaac v. Thus, Plaintiff remedies. Plaintiff's even failed to Accordingly, retaliation claim is granted. By filing Plaintiff respect a properly to his Plaintiff s after he to properly was exhausted exhaust good the retaliation complaint. to cause his grievance claim Telfair for on June administrative indifference retaliation transferred offer assault deliberate hand, failed sexual his administrative was claim. not State filed Prison. 23, 2016, remedies On the until with other months Because he delay, Plaintiff did not remedies available for his B. Deliberate Indifference Plaintiff different cell, deliberate that failure infliction by Defendants indifference official's an claims of to Williams to act cruel failing to and Plaintiff's in certain and transfer Jackson safety. can punishment. to acted "[A] circumstances unusual him with prison amount An a to official's deliberate indifference to a known danger violates a prisoner's Eighth Amendment (11th Cir.1995) 97 S.Ct. rights." McCoy v. Webster, (citing Estelle v. Gamble, 285, 50 L.Ed.2d 251 47 429 U.S. (1976)). An risk of serious harm; deliberately indifferent to that risk; causes 1325, the plaintiff's 1332 The (11th Cir. first injury. 1014, element--a 1028 defendant's objective subjective 508 harm. Id. The Goodman v. Amendment defendant is that indifference Kimbrough, 718 2001). component. F.3d 611, 617 The second to that Rodriguez (11th Cir. a plaintiff must knowledge of objective serious Marsh v. Butler Cnty., indifference component, defendant had actual (3) 104-05, (1) there is a the substantial jrisk of Cir. subjective Dep't of Corr., the (11th deliberate and and 97, 407 F.3d 2013). employs an objective standard. F.3d (2) 404, Eighth violation for deliberate indifference occurs when substantial F.3d 8 Ala., asks risk—has v. 2007). Sec'y an for To satisfy demonstrate whether 268 element—the a substantial risk of component harm- that the serious the defendant disregarded the risk by reacting in an unreasonable manner. Id. The has third alleged a element—causation—asks link risk excessive between of a whether defendant's violence, and a act 50 F.3d 1579, 1585 (11th Cir. or link violence and the plaintiff's injury. a Jackson do not substantial harm. Cir. 1983) debate in the the risk of 1995). the the and Hale v. Tallapoosa Cnty., existence context of Defendants Williams of See McFadden v. Lucas, (noting omission between Given the violent assault on Plaintiff, and plaintiff a a serious threat 713 F.2d 143, § 1983 146 action of (5th that an allegation of an unjustified serious physical assault against a prisoner raises objective Williams an component and was that of Jackson Defendants Williams risk arguable faced the do not second Amendment element, contest, is their Furthermore, failure also to Defendants claim). which and Jackson had subjective Plaintiff, unreasonable. Eighth The Defendants satisfied. knowledge of minimize Williams that and If the risk Jackson do not dispute that if they had subjective knowledge of the risk Plaintiff faced, causation is satisfied. Nevertheless, the subjective Defendants component of Williams the and second Jackson element argue has not that been satisfied. Plaintiff claims he filed a grievance with Defendant Jackson April on 27, 2016, which "cit[ed] problems with his sexually violent and threatening However, the April 27 grievance, response to his Defendants' cellmate's motion sexually Plaintiff told Defendant I need to be roommate." (Compl. to dismiss, violent makes no warnings satisfy the of of proclivities.3 of Instead, Jackson: moved a to a one man prisoner's subjective action. (11th Cir. mention cell .... of to me I of 6, A.) General cause 7.) which Plaintiff attached to his I am always having problems with a lot people in the dorm period. I don't want go to the hole . . . . Please move A.S.A.P. before I get in trouble . . . . keep getting roommates that I have a lot trouble with. I want to go home. (Doc. Ex. 5 2006) component McBride v. problematic of a Rivers, nature deliberate 170 F. do not indifference App'x 648, 654-55 (finding that NMme and that dude had problems. Ifm in fear for my life. Don't put me in the cell with him' . . I . did not identify a specific defendant could infer that a Carter Like v. the Galloway, prisoner 352 in incident, from which substantial risk existed.") F.3d 1346, McBride, "always having problems with 3 prior 1349-50 Plaintiff's [his] (11th warning Cir. that roommate" did not the (citing 2003)). he was identify a A document attached to a response may be considered without conversion to summary judgment if the document is: (1) central to the plaintiff's claim; and (2) undisputed. Horsley v. Feldt, 304 F.3d 1125, 1134 (11th Cir. 2002) (citing Harris v. Ivax Corp., 182 F.3d 799, 802 n.2 (11th Cir. 1999)). Whether Plaintiff's grievance gave notice to Defendants Williams and Jackson is central to the deliberate indifference claim and neither party disputes its authenticity. Thus, the grievance conversion to summary judgment. 10 is properly considered without particular threat that would put Defendants on notice. Ex. A.) in Moreover, fear for Defendants risk of deliberate safety. Williams and harm, Thus, Jackson Plaintiff had and therefore failed to would Defendants Williams Williams to to allege knowledge state a of a claim for indifference. grievance knowledge failed subjective fails Plaintiff's that 6, Plaintiff failed to even indicate that he was his serious (Doc. show of and a risk of Jackson's serious motion to identify a particular risk and Jackson harm. dismiss had subjective Therefore, Defendants Plaintiff's deliberate indifference claim is granted. IV. Upon due foregoing, IT consideration IS HEREBY DIRECTED to CLOSE January, this ENTERED and (doc. in accordance that ORDERED dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint ORDER CONCLUSION Defendants' 5) is GRANTED. with motion the to The Clerk is case. at Augusta, Georgia, us this I / day 2018. J. RANDAL HALK, KHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT "3UUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA 11 of

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