United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Maurice Nicholson, Jr., Pro Se Plaintiff.
P. JONES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff, Bobby Maurice Nicholson, Jr., a Virginia inmate
proceeding pro se, has filed a civil action under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 alleging that a prison doctor provided him
inadequate medical care. After review of the Complaint, I
conclude that the lawsuit must be summarily dismissed without
Complaint and a separately submitted document with
attachments that I construe as a Motion to Amend, Nicholson
alleges that while at Red Onion State Prison (“Red
Onion”), he complained of bleeding from his rectum,
mouth, nose and ears, chest pain, headaches, and other body
pain. Nicholson also reported his fear that he had developed
kidney cancer. Dr. Boakye ordered lab tests and multiple
blood tests, and Nicholson was told the test results were
normal. Dr. Boakye also ordered chest X rays that reflected
no evidence of fracture, dislocation, emphysema, or acute
cardiopulmonary findings. The doctor ordered various
medications and ear drops for Nicholson's symptoms.
summer of 2017, Nicholson was transferred to Marion
Correctional Treatment Center (“Marion”), another
facility operated by the Virginia Department of Corrections
(“VDOC”). He alleges that his symptoms have
continued, and doctors at Marion have ordered new tests.
sues Dr. Boakye for not sending him to an outside hospital to
determine the cause of his symptoms and rule out
cancer. Nicholson also alleges that Dr. Boakye
“[n]egligently alter[ed Nicholson's] records to
make it look as if nothing is wrong [and] allow [his] health
to only get worster [sic] over time to the point w[h]ere it
hurt every day all day.” Pl.'s Mot. Amend 1, ECF
No. 12. Nicholson states that the alleged denial of medical
care was intended to “cover up the R.F.I.D. micro chips
tags inside” him. Compl. 2, ECF No. 1. According to
Nicholson, the director of the VDOC ordered staff to place
these “digestible” devices inside Nicholson
without his consent. As relief, Nicholson seeks monetary
damages and injunctive relief ordering that he “be seen
by a[n] outside hos[pit]al for a full examination.”
court must dismiss any action or claim filed by a prisoner
against a governmental entity or officer if the court
determines the action or claim is “frivolous,
malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. . . .” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). A claim
may be summarily dismissed as “frivolous” when it
“lacks an arguable basis either in law or in
fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325,
327 (1989) (interpreting “frivolous” in former
version of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d)). A complaint that does
not allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face” may be summarily
dismissed for failure to state a claim. Giarratano v.
Johnson, 521 F.3d 298, 302 (4th Cir. 2008) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
initial matter, Nicholson cannot seek injunctive relief in
this case against Dr. Boakye. A prisoner's transfer or
release from a particular prison generally moots his claims
for injunctive and declaratory relief with respect to his
conditions of confinement there. See Incumaa v.
Ozmint, 507 F.3d 281, 286-87 (4th Cir. 2007); see
also Williams v. Griffin, 952 F.2d 820, 823 (4th Cir.
1991) (holding that transfer rendered moot a prisoner's
claims for injunctive and declaratory relief, but not claims
for damages). Because Nicholson is no longer under Dr.
Boakye's care since he has been transferred to Marion, I
must dismiss his claims for injunctive relief against this
defendant as moot. Nicholson's claims against the doctor
for monetary damages, while not moot, must be dismissed for
indifference to an inmate's serious medical needs
constitutes cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth
Amendment.” Jackson v. Lightsey, 775 F.3d 170,
178 (4th Cir. 2014) (citing Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 104 (1976)). To prove deliberate indifference, the
inmate must show that the defendant had “actual . . .
knowledge of both the inmate's serious medical condition
and the excessive risk posed by the official's [own]
action or inaction” and responded unreasonably to that
risk. Jackson, 775 F.3d at 178 (citing Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837-39 (1994)). This component
requires proof of intent beyond mere negligence, errors in
judgment, inadvertent oversights, or disagreements about the
prisoner's treatment plan. Id.
sympathize with Nicholson's pain and symptoms and his
frustration over not knowing their cause, I cannot find that
he has stated any actionable claim against Dr. Boakye.
Nicholson's submissions do not show that the doctor or
anyone else at Red Onion ignored his medical complaints or
prevented or delayed his access to medical evaluation and
treatment at the facility. Dr. Boakye ordered multiple
diagnostic measures in an attempt to diagnose Nicholson's
condition and prescribed multiple medications to address his
symptoms. Nicholson disagrees with the doctor's decision
not to refer him to an outside hospital for evaluation. Such
disagreements between doctor and patient do not support a
finding of deliberate indifference, however. At the most,
Nicholson alleges that Dr. Boakye negligently diagnosed,
treated, and recorded his symptoms. Mere negligence is not
actionable under § 1983. Id.
fanciful claim that the doctor's actions were an attempt
to cover up a VDOC plot to put identification microchips
inside Nicholson's body I must summarily dismiss as
frivolous. My statutory authority under § 1915A(b)(1)
includes “the unusual power to pierce the veil of the
complaint's factual allegations and dismiss those claims
whose factual contentions are clearly baseless” or
which describe “fantastic or delusional
scenarios.” Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327-28.
Nicholson's microchip claim falls squarely in this class,
and accordingly, I will summarily dismiss it under §
1915A(b)(1) as frivolous.
conclusion, I must summarily dismiss this § 1983 action
under § 1915A(b)(1). Nicholson's claim for
injunctive relief against Dr. Boakye is moot, his complaints
about his medical care do not state a claim of constitutional
proportions, and his ...