United States District Court, E.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
H. PAYNE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a state prisoner who is incarcerated at Cimarron Correctional
Facility in Cushing, Oklahoma, has filed a civil rights
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Dkt. 1). He
alleges he suffered constitutional violations while
incarcerated at numerous Oklahoma prisons and names five
defendants: Oklahoma Department of Corrections, FNU Sparks,
Warden Braggs, Nurse Billie, and Case Manager Gray. He states
the individual defendants are located in Lexington, Oklahoma,
but does not set forth the facilities where they are
employed. As discussed below, Plaintiff must file a proper
amended complaint before this case may proceed.
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. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The Court must identify any cognizable
claims and dismiss any claims which are frivolous, malicious,
fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or
seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); 28 U.S.C. §
pleading standard for all civil actions was articulated in
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007).
See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 684 (2009). 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.” Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555. The complaint also 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 555-56. “So, when the allegations in a
complaint, however true, could not raise a claim of
entitlement to relief, ” the cause of action should be
dismissed. Id. at 558. 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).
se plaintiff's complaint must be broadly construed under
this standard. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972).
The generous construction to be given to the pro se
litigant's allegations, however, “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 . . . .”
reviewing court, however, need not accept “mere
conclusions characterizing pleaded facts.” Bryson
v. City of Edmond, 905 F.2d 1386, 1390 (10th Cir. 1990).
“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.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555 (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).
Oklahoma Department of Corrections
has named the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) as a
defendant. This agency, however, is entitled to dismissal
under the Eleventh Amendment. The Eleventh Amendment bars
suits in federal court against a state. When a state agency
is named as a defendant, the Eleventh Amendment continues to
bar the action “if the state is the real, substantial
party in interest.” An exception exists when the state
waives Eleventh Amendment immunity or it is abrogated by
case, the State of Oklahoma has not waived its Eleventh
Amendment immunity. Furthermore, Congress did not abrogate
the states' Eleventh Amendment immunity through the
enactment of Section 1983. Because the DOC is a state agency,
the Eleventh Amendment applies regardless of the relief
sought. Therefore, if Plaintiff names the DOC as a defendant
in his amended complaint, the agency will be dismissed
without prejudice by the Court.
alleges in his Statement of Claim in the complaint that the
“Tulsa County Police Dept. has harass [sic] and
threatened me before, during, and after my arrest.”
(Dkt. 1 at 4). He also asserts he was threatened at Lexington
Assessment and Reception Center, Dick Conner Correctional
Center, and Lawton Correctional Facility. Id.
Further, he allegedly was beaten and sexually assaulted by
other inmates. Id. He, however, makes no specific
allegations about any of the named defendants.
twenty-one (21) days of the entry of this Order, Plaintiff
must file an amended complaint on the Court's form. The
amended complaint must set forth the full name of each person
he is suing under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Sutton v.
Utah State Sch. for the Deaf & Blind, 173 F.3d 1226,
1237 (10th Cir. 1999) (holding that “a cause of action
under § 1983 requires a deprivation of a civil right by
a ‘person' acting under color of state law”).