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Mathis v. Core Civic of America

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

May 24, 2019

LENNIE DARTEZ MATHIS, Plaintiff,
v.
CORE CIVIC OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          SHON T. ERWIN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Lennie Dartez Mathis, appearing pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1). The Court dismissed the Complaint and Mr. Mathis has now filed an Amended Complaint. (ECF Nos. 19 & 21). United States District Judge Charles B. Goodwin has referred the Amended Complaint to the undersigned magistrate judge for initial proceedings consistent with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B)-(C). A review of the Amended Complaint has been conducted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a) and 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Based on that review, it is recommended that the Court DISMISS the Complaint in its entirety.

         I. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

         The Court must review each complaint in which a prisoner seeks redress against a governmental entity, officer, or employee and each case in which a plaintiff proceeds in forma pauperis. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). The Court is required to dismiss the complaint or any portion of the complaint that is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915A(b); 1915(e)(2)(B).

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The Court must accept Mr. Mathis' allegations as true and construe them, and any reasonable inferences to be drawn from them, in the light most favorable to Plaintiff. See Kay v. Bemis, 500 F.3d 1214, 1217 (10th Cir. 2007). Since Mr. Mathis is proceeding pro se, his complaint must be construed liberally. See id. at 1218. The Court “review[s] the complaint for plausibility; that is, to determine whether the complaint includes enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Young v. Davis, 554 F.3d 1254, 1256 (10th Cir. 2009) (quotations and citation omitted). “Plausible” in this context does not mean “likely to be true, ” but rather refers “to the scope of the allegations in a complaint: if they are so general that they encompass a wide swath of conduct, ” then the plaintiff has not “nudged (his) claims across the line from conceivable to plausible.” Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The plausibility requirement “serves not only to weed out claims that do not (in the absence of additional allegations) have a reasonable prospect of success, but also to inform the defendants of the actual grounds of the claim against them.” Robbins v. Oklahoma, 519 F.3d 1242, 1248 (10th Cir. 2008).

         A complaint fails to state such a claim when it lacks factual allegations sufficient “to raise a right to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact).” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (footnote and citation omitted). Bare legal conclusions in a complaint are not assumed to be true; legal conclusions “must be supported by factual allegations” to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).

         “[A] pro se plaintiff requires no special legal training to recount the facts surrounding his alleged injury, and he must provide such facts if the court is to determine whether he makes out a claim on which relief can be granted.” Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). “[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.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. As a result, courts “look to the specific allegations in the complaint to determine whether they plausibly support a legal claim for relief.” Kay, 500 F.3d at 1218 (quotation marks and citations omitted).

         Whether a complaint contains sufficient facts to avoid dismissal is context-specific and is determined through a court's application of “judicial experience and common sense.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679; see also Gee v. Pacheco, 627 F.3d 1178, 1184-85 (10th Cir. 2010) (discussing Iqbal).

         III. PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS/NAMED DEFENDANTS

         The basis of Plaintiff's Amended Complaint concerns his incarceration at Cimarron Correctional Facility (CCF). (ECF No. 21:7). As Defendants, Plaintiff has named: (1) Damon Piminger, CEO of Core Civic of America (CCA), the company which operates CCF[1]and (2) CCA. (ECF No. 21:1, 4). Plaintiff sues Defendant Piminger in both his official and individual capacities. (ECF No. 21:4).

         Mr. Mathis seeks liability against the Defendants because he had been improperly classified as an “active” gang member, which led to him being physically assaulted and fearful for his safety. (ECF No. 21:7). Plaintiff argues violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments and seeks monetary relief. (ECF No. 21:6, 7).

         IV. DISMISSAL ...


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