United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge
who is currently incarcerated at the Nebraska State
Penitentiary, filed his Complaint on April 21, 2016. (Filing
No. 1.) Plaintiff was given leave to proceed in
forma pauperis. (Filing No. 8.) Therefore, at this
time, the court will conduct an initial review of
Plaintiff’s claims to determine whether summary
dismissal is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. §
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
construed, Plaintiff alleges that (1) he was denied
participation in rehabilitative programs because Defendants
refused to transfer him to the Nebraska State Penitentiary
due to his race and (2) the conditions of confinement at
Tecumseh State Prison violated his Eighth Amendment rights.
As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages,
as well as declaratory and injunctive relief. Plaintiff also
seeks class certification and requests that the court
“convene a three judge panel to alleviate overcrowding,
by releasing prisoners until a safe operating level can be
maintained.” (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 10.)
STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW
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).
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.”).
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).
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).
time Plaintiff filed his Complaint, he was residing at
Tecumseh State Prison. Since that time, Plaintiff has been
transferred to the Nebraska State Penitentiary. Therefore,
Plaintiff’s claims seeking injunctive relief are moot.
See Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir.
1985) (“[A] prisoner’s claim for injunctive
relief to improve prison conditions is moot if he or she is
no longer subject to those conditions”). Still,
Plaintiff retains standing to bring his claims for monetary
Rule of Civil Procedure 20 states that multiple defendants
may be joined in the same action only if “any right to
relief is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in the
alternative with respect to or arising out of the same
transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or
occurrences.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a)(2)(A). In
addition, there must be a “question of law or fact
common to all defendants” in the action. Fed. R.
Civ. P. 20(a)(2)(B). Under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 21, the proper remedy for improper joinder of
parties is for the court to ...