United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Michael F. Urbanski Chief United States District Judge
Sheppard Williams, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se,
commenced this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff names correctional official Gail Jones as the sole
defendant. Plaintiff alleges that Jones "negligente
[sic] my transfer right by violated DOC reentry program
transfer inmates like me go home next year, by transfer me to
Red Onion Prison that don't got no re-entry program for
me." Plaintiff feels he should have been transferred to
a different prison that has a re-entry program. Plaintiff
also faults Jones because Plaintiffs cellmate at Red Onion
State Prison "blooded [his] nose." Plaintiff wants
damages for being at. Red Onion State Prison between August
and November 2017.
court must dismiss an action or claim filed by an inmate if
the court determiries that the action or claim is frivolous
or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted.
See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A(b)(1);
42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c). The first standard includes claims
based upon "an indisputably meritless legal theory,
" "claims of infringement of a legal interest which
clearly does not exist, " or claims where the
"factual contentions are clearly baseless."
Neitzke v. Williams. 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989). The
second standard is the familiar standard for a motion to
dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6),
accepting a plaintiffs factual allegations as true. A
complaint needs "a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief and
sufficient "[f]actual allegations ... to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level" Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twomblv. 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal
quotation marks omitted). A plaintiffs basis for relief
"requires more than labels and
conclusions-----"Id. Therefore, a plaintiff
must "allege facts sufficient to state all the elements
of [the] claim." Bass v. E.I. Dupont de Nemours &
Co., 324 F.3d 761, 765 (4th Cir. 2003).
complaint is dismissed without prejudice for failing to state
a claim upon which relief may be granted, but Plaintiff is
granted leave to amend within ten days. See, e.g.,
Goode v. Cent. Va. Legal Aid Soc'v. Inc.. 807
F.3d 619, 623-24 (4th Cir. 2015); see also Ryan v.
Gonzales, 568 U.S. 57, 74 (2013) ("We do not
presume that district courts need unsolicited advice from us
on how to manage their dockets."). An inmate has no
constitutional right to be housed in any particular prison.
See, e.g., Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215
(1976). Also, an inmate does not have a constitutional right
to be placed in a specific security classification, custodial
classifications do not create a major disruption in a
prisoner's environment, and Plaintiff fails to describe
an atypical and significant hardship in relation to the
ordinary incidents 'of prison life. See, e.g.,
Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 486-87 (1995).
Plaintiff fails to establish Jones' culpable state of
mind for an alleged failure to protect Plaintiff from the
cellmate. See, e.g.. Farmer v. Brennan. 511
U.S. 825, 833-34 (1994). Although Plaintiff alleges that
Jones violated VDOC procedures by transferring him to Red
Onion State Prison, a claim that prison officials have not
followed their own independent policies or procedures also
does not state a constitutional claim. See, e.g..
United States v. Caceres. 440 U.S. 741, 752-55
(1979); Riccio v. Cnty. of Fairfax. 907 F.2d 1459,
1469 (4th Cir. 1990).
may find it preferable to take longer than ten days to
consult legal resources, think about his allegations, and
file a new complaint in a new and separate action. If
Plaintiff chooses not to file the motion to amend within ten
days, Plaintiff would not be prejudiced because he is free to
file a complaint in a new and separate action at the time of
his choice subject to the applicable limitations period.
See, e.g., Owens v. Okure. 488 U.S. 235,
249-50 (1989); Va. Code § 8.01-243(A). .
Plaintiff instead rushes and chooses to seek an amendment in
this case, he should know that the court may dismiss an
amended complaint with prejudice as frivolous or for
failing to .state a claim upon which relief may be granted,
which could constitute a "strike." Plaintiff should
understand that he is allowed only three "strikes"
from both complaints in district courts and appeals in courts
of appeals before he is no longer allowed to proceed in
forma pauperis without prepaying the $400 filing fee
absent certain conditions. Congress created this
"three-strikes" rule as an economic incentive for
prisoners to "stop and think" before pursuing a
lawsuit. See, e.g., Rogers v. Bluhm. No.
1:07cvl 177, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91646, 2007 WL 440187, at
*1 (W.D. Mich. Dec. 13, 2007).
 Determining whether a complaint states
a plausible claim for relief is "a context-specific task
that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense." Ashcroft v.
Iqbal. 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009). Thus, a court
screening a complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) can identify
pleadings that are not entitled to an assumption of truth
because they consist of no more than labels and conclusions.
Id. Although the court liberally construes pro se
complaints. Haines v. Kerner.404 U.S. 519, 520-21
(1972), the court does not act as an inmate's advocate,
sua sponte developing statutory and constitutional
claims not clearly raised in a complaint. See Brock v.
Carroll.107 F.3d 241, 243 (4th Cir. 1997) (Luttig, J.,
concurring); Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d
1274, 1278 ...