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Reddick v. Paine

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

January 30, 2017

DWIGHT E. REDDICK, Plaintiff,
v.
MARY PAINE, Ph. D., and NICHOLAS GILES, Psy. D., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge

         The 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.

         I. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

         Reddick 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)).

         Reddick claims the defendants deprived him of his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination[1] (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 3) because:

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 inpatient treatment!

(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).

         II. STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW

         The 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. § 1915(e)(2)(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).

         III. ANALYSIS

         Although 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 a ...


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