United States District Court, D. Nebraska
DWIGHT E. REDDICK, Plaintiff,
MARY PAINE, Ph. D., and NICHOLAS GILES, Psy. D., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge
plaintiff, Dwight E. Reddick, filed this case on December 21,
2016, and he has since been granted leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. The court now conducts an initial review of
Reddick’s complaint to determine whether summary
dismissal is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
For the reasons stated below, the court determines that
action should be dismissed without prejudice.
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
alleges he is a civilly committed detainee at the Norfolk
Regional Center in Norfolk, Nebraska. The defendants, who are
sued in both their individual and official capacities, are
identified in the complaint as two psychologists who are
employed by Counseling Affiliates of Nebraska, LLC, a company
which allegedly has a contract with the Nebraska Department
of Health and Human Services “whereby all sex offenders
having inpatient treatment at the Lincoln Regional Center, in
Lincoln, Nebraska, and staying in Lancaster County, Nebraska,
are required to agree to participate in the Sexual
Trauma Offense Prevention Program facilitated by
defendants” (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 4 (underlining
in original)). Reddick further alleges:
In order to be accepted by the Sexual Trauma Offense
Prevention (STOP) Program, the client is required to agree to
submit to polygraph testing at the whim of the defendants.
Refusal to submit to polygraph testing results in termination
from the STOP Program or failure to be recommended for
outpatient treatment by DHHS. This constitutes compulsion!
Plaintiff was compelled to agree to polygraph
testing on October 13, 2015 and was compelled to
submit to said test on October 19, 2015!
(Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 4 (underlining in original)).
claims the defendants deprived him of his Fifth Amendment
right against self-incrimination (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p.
During manditory [sic] polygraph testing, I was
required to make potentially self-incriminating disclosures.
During pre-test discussion with the test administrator, it
was alleged that I made statements I did not make, which were
then used to have me brought back before the Lancaster County
Mental Health Board and which resulted in my recommittal to
(Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 5). Reddick seeks an
“immediate discharge from all commitment status”
and “$1,000,000.00 in punitive damages” (Filing
No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 5).
STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW
court is required to review in forma pauperis complaints to
determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). 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. §
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).
Reddick has pleaded this case as an action brought under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, he is seeking immediate discharge from
the Norfolk Regional Center by claiming that his
re-commitment to inpatient treatment was based on a false
report regarding statements he allegedly made to a polygraph
examiner. In other words, Reddick is claiming that the civil
commitment order entered by the Lancaster County Mental
Health Board is invalid. Under applicable law, however, such