United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
CHARLES B. GOODWIN, United States District Judge.
before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants
Hector Rios and Jon Engle (collectively,
“Defendants”), in their individual and official
capacities (Doc. No. 32). Plaintiff Richard Dawson Jr., a
state prisoner appearing pro se, has responded in opposition
(Doc. No. 40), and Defendants have replied (Doc. No. 41).
Based on the parties’ arguments and the governing law,
Defendants’ Motion is granted.
of the Pleadings
claims arise from events alleged to have occurred in
September 2016 while he was incarcerated at the Lawton
Correctional Facility (“LCF”) in Lawton,
Oklahoma. Plaintiff alleges that, on the morning of September
18, 2016, a correctional officer named Ademola Aderagba threw
“hazardous chemicals . . . in his eyes.”
See Compl. (Doc. No. 1) at 7, 12. Shortly
thereafter, Plaintiff told another officer, Lt. James, that
he “needed to go to medical because [his] eyes [were]
burning.” Id. at 10. Lt. James “refused
[to procure] medical emergency treatment” for Plaintiff
and instead “put [Plaintiff] on property
restriction.” Id. at 7, 10; see also Id
. at 12.
that day, another officer, Sgt. Wolf, called a nurse to
inquire about Plaintiff’s eye injury. Id. at
10. The nurse told Sgt. Wolf that Plaintiff “needed to
go to medical.” Id. Sgt. Wolf relayed this
message to Defendant Engle, who responded that Plaintiff
“couldn’t go to medical because [he] was on
property restriction.” Id. The following day,
Plaintiff was evaluated “on housing” by a nurse,
who found “no indication that [Plaintiff] needed to see
the eye doctor.” Compl. Ex. 3 (Doc. No. 1-3) at 8, 9.
On September 29, 2016, Plaintiff submitted a Request for
Health Services form, reporting that he was “still
hav[ing] problem[s] with [his] vision” and requesting
to see an eye doctor. Id. at 8. That request was
summarily denied based on the nurse’s September 19,
2016 assessment. See id.
September 26, 2016, Plaintiff completed a Request to Staff
form, reporting that “on 9-18-16 at 5:20am c/o
Ader[a]gba threw some kind of chemicals in [his] eyes”
and that he was subsequently “refused medical
treatment.” Id. at 5. Defendant Rios
responded to the request on September 28, 2016, indicating
that he would “have the appropriate staff look into
[Plaintiff’s] complaint.” Id.
remained on “property restriction” for a period
of seven days, during which time he was “placed in a
cold cell, ” was “denied clothing, bed[d]ing
items[, ] [and] hygi[e]ne, ” was “made to eat
cheese out of a box, ” and was “denied and
refused medical treatment.” Compl. at 10, 12. This
treatment, according to Plaintiff, was “due to
Plaintiff being a[n] African American/Black prisoner.”
Id. at 12; see also Id . at 7.
filed the instant lawsuit on December 6, 2017, asserting
claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1983 for violation of his
constitutional rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth
motion under review, Defendants Engle and Rios seek dismissal
of Plaintiff’s claims against them pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Rule 12(b)(6) Standard
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires that “a
pleading . . . contain a ‘short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.’” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 677-78 (2009). While “detailed factual
allegations” are not required, to survive a Rule
12(b)(6) motion, the complaint must set forth enough facts to
“state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555, 570 (2007). A claim is facially plausible
“when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows
the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant
is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 678. “Where a complaint pleads facts that
are ‘merely consistent with’ a defendant’s
liability, it ‘stops short of the line between
possibility and plausibility of entitlement to
relief.’” Id. (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 557).
Plaintiff’s Official-Capacity Claims
Rios and Engle are employees of LCF, a private
prison. Private prison employees “are not
state actors, ” and, as such, “they do not have
an ‘official capacity’ as that term is used under
the Eleventh Amendment.” Jones v. Barry, 33
Fed.App’x 967, 972 n.5 (10th Cir. 2002). Accordingly,
Plaintiff’s official-capacity claims are subject to
dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted. See Smith v. Lawton Corr. Facility, ...