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Moore v. Goodman

United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma

September 14, 2017

DAVID LEE MOORE, Plaintiff,
v.
MITCH GOODMAN, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          CLAIRE V, EAGAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         On April 11, 2017, Plaintiff, a prisoner in custody at the Mayes County Jail (MCJ), filed a pro se 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights complaint (Dkt. # 1) and a motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Dkt. # 2). By Order filed April 14, 2017 (Dkt. # 4), the Court dismissed defendant MCJ, granted the motion to proceed in forma pauperis and directed Plaintiff to pay an initial partial filing fee. On May 18, 2017, Plaintiff paid the partial filing fee as directed by the Court. See Dkt. # 6. On June 19, 2017, Plaintiff requested that he be allowed to file an amended complaint. See Dkt. # 8. By Order filed July 19, 2017 (Dkt. # 9), the Court afforded Plaintiff the opportunity to file an amended complaint by August 18, 2017. Plaintiff's deadline passed and he failed to file an amended complaint. For the reasons discussed below, the complaint is dismissed with prejudice for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

         A. Complaint shall be dismissed with prejudice

         1. Screening/Dismissal standards

         Federal courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must identify any cognizable claim and dismiss any claim which is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). To avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a complaint must present factual allegations, assumed to be true, that “raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). The complaint must contain “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 570. A court must accept all the well-pleaded allegations of the complaint as true, even if doubtful in fact, and must construe the allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Id. at 555. However, “when the allegations in a complaint, however true, could not raise a [plausible] claim of entitlement to relief, ” the cause of action should be dismissed. Id. at 558. Twombly articulated the pleading standard for all civil actions. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 684 (2009). The Court applies the same standard of review for dismissals under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) that is employed for Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Kay v. Bemis, 500 F.3d 1214, 1217-18 (10th Cir. 2007).

         A pro se plaintiff's complaint must be broadly construed. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). The generous construction to be given the pro se litigant's allegations “does not relieve the plaintiff of the burden of alleging sufficient facts on which a recognized legal claim could be based.” Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). Notwithstanding a pro se plaintiff's various mistakes or misunderstandings of legal doctrines or procedural requirements, “if a court can reasonably read the pleadings to state a valid claim on which the plaintiff could prevail, it should do so . . . .” Id. A reviewing court need not accept “mere conclusions characterizing pleaded facts.” Bryson v. City of Edmond, 905 F.2d 1386, 1390 (10th Cir. 1990); see also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (“While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” (quotations and citations omitted)). The court “will not supply additional factual allegations to round out a plaintiff's complaint or construct a legal theory on a plaintiff's behalf.” Whitney v. New Mexico, 113 F.3d 1170, 1173-74 (10th Cir. 1997).

         Applying these standards, the Court finds that, for the reasons identified below, the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Under the facts of this case, and because the Court has already provided an opportunity for Plaintiff to file an amended complaint and he failed to do so, the Court finds that further opportunity to amend is futile. For that reason, the complaint shall be dismissed with prejudice.

         2. Claims fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted

         Plaintiff identifies the “Nature of Case” as follows: “[b]ooked into the Mayes County Jail on felony charges, administrator Mitch Goodman denied me my right to due process by denying my right to access the law library.” See Dkt. # 1 at 2. Plaintiff raises two causes of action:

Count I: Due process is being violated by denying my right to access the law library to prepare a defense to prove my innoncence [sic]. Mayes County Jail has confined me for 18 months now and only granted my preliminary hearing which is not over. Mitch Goodman is denying me my right to access law library.
Count II: Right to proper medical service violated. Malpractice. Mayes County Medical Services dispensed someone else's medication causing an allergic reaction in my body, eyes swollen shut and labored breathing. They didn't take me to emergency room, just put me in observation.

Id. at 2-3. After the Court's dismissal of defendant MCJ, the only remaining defendant in this action is Mitch Goodman, MCJ Administrator. Id. at 1-2. In his request for relief, Plaintiff asks for “1.5 million U.S. Currency, access to law library, all current and future inmates at the Mayes County Jail have access to law library in Pryor Okla. 74361-2433, and proper medical services.” Id. at 3.

         a. Lack of personal participation

         Plaintiff identifies Mitch Goodman, MCJ Administrator, as a defendant and claims that “Mitch Goodman is denying me my right to access law library.” Id. at 2. Plaintiff fails to allege that Defendant ...


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