United States District Court, D. Nebraska
JOSHUA M. NICKMAN, Plaintiff,
JUAN M. ZARRAGA, official capacity, SHELBY L. RAWLINGS, official capacity, ANDREW L. MCLEAN, official capacity, COLTON J. GUERRERO, official capacity, MICHAEL TUBBS, official capacity, JESUS J. RAMIREZ, official capacity, JAIME LYN CRAFT, official capacity, JESSICA M. STROUP, official capacity, SCOTT B. ANDREALA, official capacity, ERIC JON LITTLE, official capacity, JONATHAN R. TRIPP, official capacity, AARON CRAY, official capacity, TODD BAHENSKY, official capacity, LACY, official capacity, HALL COUNTY CORRECTIONS, official capacity, and J. JONES, official capacity, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge.
who is currently incarcerated at the Lincoln Diagnostic
Center, filed his Complaint on June 13, 2016. (Filing No.
1.) Plaintiff was given leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. (Filing No. 6.) At this time, the court
conducts an initial review of Plaintiff's claims to
determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
alleges he was assaulted by jail staff while incarcerated at
Hall County Corrections. (Filing No. 1.) Plaintiff
further contends that he did not receive proper medical
treatment for the injuries he sustained in the assault.
has named multiple corrections officers and officials at Hall
County Corrections as defendants. Defendants are sued in
their official capacities only. Plaintiff seeks monetary
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).
has sued Hall County employees acting in their official
capacities. A claim against an individual in his official
capacity is, in reality, a claim against the entity that
employs the official, in this case, Hall County. See
Parrish v. Luckie, 963 F.2d 201, 203 n.1 (8th Cir.
1992). As a municipality, Hall County can only be liable
under § 1983 if a municipal policy or custom caused his
injury. See Monell v. New York Department of Social
Services, 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978). Plaintiff has failed
to plausibly suggest that an official Hall County policy or
custom caused a violation of his constitutional rights.
Therefore, Plaintiff's claims against the employees in
their official capacities fail to state a claim.
Complaint also fails to state cognizable Eighth Amendment
claims for deprivation of medical care because he has not
sufficiently alleged that any defendant was deliberately
indifferent to his medical needs. To establish a § 1983
claim for deliberate indifference, Plaintiff must demonstrate
that he suffered objectively serious medical needs, and that
officials actually knew of but deliberately disregarded those
needs. Johnson v. Hamilton, 452 F.3d 967, 972-73
(8th Cir. 2006). “Deliberate indifference is equivalent
to criminal-law recklessness, which is more blameworthy than
negligence, yet less blameworthy than purposefully causing or
knowingly bringing about a substantial risk of serious harm
to the inmate.” Schaub v. VonWald, 638 F.3d
905, 914-15 (8th Cir. 2011) (citation omitted).
alleges he sustained torn skin, bruising, and a leg injury
during the assault. The court doubts that Plaintiff's
injuries could be classified as serious medical needs.
Moreover, Plaintiff alleges that he was given pain
medication, ice, and antibiotic creme to treat his injuries.
(Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF 6.) It does not ...