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Johnson v. Frakes

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

August 4, 2016

BRANDON R. JOHNSON, Plaintiff
v.
SCOTT FRAKES, Director, and his individual capacity, DIANE SABATKA-RINE, Deputy Director, and her individual capacity, MARIO PEART, Warden, and his individual capacity, HARGREAVES, Unite Administrator, and his individual capacity, KARA SIMPSON, Unit Administrator, and her individual capacity, and JOHN DOES-1-15, and their individual capacities, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge

         This matter is before the court on initial review of Plaintiff Brandon Johnson’s Complaint. (Filing No. 1.) For the reasons that follow, the court finds Plaintiff’s pleadings do not state any claims on which relief may be granted. However, the court will allow Plaintiff to file an amended complaint.

         I. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at the Lincoln Correctional Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. Plaintiff instituted this action on April 11, 2016, naming the following defendants: (1) Nebraska Department of Corrections Director Scott Frakes; (2) Nebraska Department of Corrections Deputy Director Diane Sabatka-Rine; (3)Warden of Lincoln Correctional Center Mario Peart; (4) Nebraska Department of Corrections Unit Administrator Hargreaves; (5) Nebraska Department of Corrections Unit Manager Kara Simpson; and (6) John Does employed at Lincoln Correctional Center. (Filing No. 1.)

         Plaintiff sets forth several unrelated allegations in his Complaint.

         First, Plaintiff alleges that in 2001, while he was incarcerated at the Diagnostics and Evaluation Center, he was diagnosed with “HEP C.” Recently, he became aware of a cure for HEP C are requested treatment. His request was denied. Defendant Peart informed Plaintiff that he would be reevaluated for treatment in November, 2016.

         Second, Plaintiff alleges that in 2005, he was attacked by a prison group known as the “Sorenos.” Plaintiff maintains that between 2005 and 2008 he was continually targeted, threatened, and attacked by the group. Plaintiff asserts that he has told prison staff that he feared for his safety, but that they did not take action to protect him.

         Finally, Plaintiff claims that mail addressed to the court was handled improperly by prison staff.

         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 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).

         III. ...


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