United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
JACKSON L. KISER SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Eugene Bowles, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, commenced
this civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff names various staff of the Virginia Department of
Corrections ("VDOC") and at the River North
Correctional Center ("RNCC") as defendants.
Plaintiff generally alleges that the medical care he has
received at RNCC violates the Eighth Amendment of the United
States Constitution. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss,
and Plaintiff responded, making this matter ripe for
disposition. After reviewing Plaintiffs submissions, I grant
Defendants' motion to dismiss.
presents three claims in the complaint. For the first claim,
Plaintiff complains that his medical files were not updated
until more than a month after arriving at RNCC although VDOC
policy requires the files to be updated "upon
arrival." For the second claim, Plaintiff cryptically
asserts that he has receipts for orthopedic boots and tennis
shoes that had been approved by VDOC staff and purchased from
an approved vendor. For the third claim, Plaintiff complains
that "they" refused to refer him to a foot doctor
to receive new insoles, "they" sold him a pair
"medical shoes" that were merely "tennis
shoes," "they" took away his shoes and
"never took the money out of [his] account," and
that these circumstances "caused [him] feet problems as
a diabetic." Plaintiff requests $100, 000, a referral to
a foot doctor, and staffing changes.
construed, Plaintiff also presents claims in a letter
enclosed with the complaint. Plaintiff complains that it took
him eighteen months to receive sealed distilled water by the
gallon for his CPAP machine and that CPAP machine parts that
are supposed to be changed frequently. Plaintiff also
complains that he has been told he will not receive a
diabetic snack bag unless he consumes a diabetic meal tray.
Plaintiff further complains he has trouble getting
"denture tablets" and "adhesive things"
for his dry skin.
dismiss an action or claim filed by an inmate if I determine
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 plaintiff s 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 "[fj actual allegations ... to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level. . . ." Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 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). I grant
Defendants' motion to dismiss because Plaintiffs
submissions fail to present a plausible violation of a
federal right committed by a defendant. To state a claim
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must show direct
personal involvement by each particular defendant.
Trulock v. Freeh. 275 F.3d 391, 402 (4th Cir. 2001).
Plaintiff has not specifically identified a defendant's
alleged unlawful misconduct. Plaintiffs submissions present
no more than a "sheer possibility" that a defendant
acted unlawfully, and they fail to give "fair
notice" of claims "and the grounds upon which
[they] rest[ ]." See, e.g., Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555. Moreover, Defendants cannot be liable via
respondeat superior for any alleged act or omission by a
subordinate. See, e.g., Monell v. Dep't of
Soc. Servs.. 436 U.S. 658, 663 n.7, 691-94 (1978).
Because the barebones allegations do not contain sufficient
facts to draw a reasonable inference that a defendant is
liable for any misconduct, the Plaintiff has not stated a
plausible claim to relief. See Pena v. Garder, 976
F.2d 469, 471 (9th Cir. 1992) ("Vague and conclusory
allegations of official participation in civil rights
violations are not sufficient to withstand a motion to
dismiss."). Accordingly, Defendants' motion to
dismiss is granted.
foregoing reasons, I grant Defendants' motion to dismiss.
 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 I liberally construe pro se complaints,
Haines v. Kerner.404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972), I do
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