United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge
This matter is before the court on initial review of Plaintiff Iman Muhammad’s Complaint (Filing No. 1). See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A. For the reasons discussed below, the court finds Muhammad seeks monetary relief from defendants who are immune from suit. On the court’s own motion, Muhammad will have 30 days in which to file an amended complaint.
I. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
Muhammad is incarcerated at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln, Nebraska. His claims are based on incidents that occurred while he was incarcerated at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution in Tecumseh, Nebraska (“TSCI”). He has sued the TSCI, the TSCI’s medical department, and the TSCI’s associate warden, Scott Busboom. Liberally construed, Muhammad asserts Eighth Amendment claims brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Muhammad alleged that on July 17, 2015, prison officials discovered he was involved in a sexual relationship with two female prison guards. Upon this discovery, prison officials questioned Muhammad “for at least 10 hours.” In addition, Busboom terminated Muhammad from his prison job as a CNA on August 10, 2015.
Muhammad alleged both female prison guards had been counseled and reprimanded previously for “inappropriate contact” with inmates. (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 5.)
Muhammad claims prison officials were “negligent/indifferent” to his safety. (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 5.) For relief, he asks for $2.5 million in damages. (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 6.)
II. STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW
The court is required to review prisoner and in forma pauperis complaints seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or employee of a governmental entity to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e) and 1915A. The court must dismiss a complaint or any portion of it that states a frivolous or malicious claim, that fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
Pro se plaintiffs must set forth enough factual allegations to “nudge their claims across the line from conceivable to plausible, ” or “their complaint must be dismissed.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 569-70 (2007); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”).
“The essential function of a complaint under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is to give the opposing party ‘fair notice of the nature and basis or grounds for a claim, and a general indication of the type of litigation involved.’” Topchian v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 760 F.3d 843, 848 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting Hopkins v. Saunders, 199 F.3d 968, 973 (8th Cir. 1999)). However, “[a] pro se complaint must be liberally construed, and pro se litigants are held to a lesser pleading standard than other parties.” Topchian, 760 F.3d at 849 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).
Liberally construed, Plaintiff here alleges federal constitutional claims. To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege a violation of rights protected by the United States Constitution or created by federal statute and also must show that the alleged deprivation was caused by conduct of a person acting under color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Buckley v. Barlow, 997 F.2d 494, 495 (8th Cir. 1993).
A. Sovereign Immunity