United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
M. Brinkema United States District Judge.
Atkins, a former Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, has filed
a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
alleging violations of his constitutional rights during his
incarceration. He specifically claims that he endured
defendants' use of excessive force and deliberate
indifference to his medical needs. Plaintiff further alleges
that defendants are responsible for the loss of his personal
belongings and that defendant Sheriff Baron is liable for all
other defendants' actions in his supervisory capacity.
Defendants Samboy, Glaser, Williams, Cleek, and Baron have
filed Motions to Dismiss, as well as memoranda in support
thereof. Dkt. Nos. 10-13. Plaintiff was provided the Notice
required by Local Rule 7(K) and the opportunity to file
responsive materials pursuant to Roseboro v.
Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975). He later filed a
Motion for Judgment. Dkt. No. 16. For the reasons that
follow, defendant Samboy's Motion to Dismiss will be
granted, defendants Glaser, Williams, Cleek, and Baron's
Motion to Dismiss will be granted in part and denied in part,
and plaintiffs Motion for Judgment will be denied without
prejudice, as premature. The denial of defendants Glaser,
Williams, Cleek, and Baron's Motion to Dismiss is without
prejudice to their ability to file a properly-supported
Motion for Summary Judgment.
following allegations are assumed true for the purpose of
ruling on defendants' Motions to Dismiss. While plaintiff
was incarcerated at Norfolk City Jail in 2014, defendant
Nurse Samboy concluded that plaintiff suffered from epilepsy
and added this information to his institutional medical
records. Compl. § IV, p. 1. Accordingly, Nurse Samboy
altered plaintiffs diet to address his apparent medical
condition. Id. Plaintiff suffered seizures,
headaches, and cold sweats in the time that followed.
Id. Three years later, on October 21, 2017,
plaintiff received a lunch tray which contained an insect.
Id. at 2. Plaintiff rejected his food, notified
Officer Turner, and later complied with an investigation of
the incident by Lieutenant Glaser. Id. The
lieutenant asked defendant Sergeant Williams to "take
[plaintiff] to Section 1 where no-one could see [him]"
Id. at 3. Plaintiff asked the sergeant why he was
being moved, and Williams responded by attempting to
"put [plaintiffs] face though [sic] the wall."
Id. at 3-4.
plaintiff was relocated, Lt. Glaser teased him regarding the
lunch tray incident, stating that plaintiff should have eaten
the bug and asked, "You wish you would have [eaten it]
now, don't you?" Id. at 4. Officer Cleek
then said, "Atkins I fucked that bug up, It [sic] was
good, you should have eaten it. But you refused it. That was
your meal." Id. at 5.
point during or after this encounter, plaintiff lost and then
regained consciousness due to a seizure, falling to the floor
in the process. Id. Doctors at Norfolk General
Hospital determined that, when plaintiff lost consciousness
and fell, he chipped a bone in his left arm. Id.
When plaintiff returned to Norfolk City Jail, he was denied
pain medication despite the fact that it was prescribed by
hospital staff Id. at 7. Additionally, plaintiff
directed a letter to Sheriff Baron in which he complained
about his diet at the institution and its effect on his
overall health. Id. at 6.
was transferred to Hampton Roads Regional Jail
("HRRJ") on October 25, 2017. Id. at 9-10.
During this process, plaintiff learned that Norfolk City Jail
staff had lost a chain belonging to plaintiff worth $ 1, 800.
Standard of Review
motion to dismiss tests whether a complaint states a cause of
action upon which relief can be granted. Whether a complaint
sufficiently states a claim is determined by "the
familiar standard... under Fed. R Civ. P. 12(b)(6)."
Sumner v. Tucker, 9 F.Supp.2d 641, 642 (E.D. Va.
1998). Accordingly, a plaintiffs alleged facts are presumed
true, and the complaint should be dismissed only when
"it is clear that no relief could be granted under any
set of facts that could be proved consistent with the
allegations." Hishon v. King & Spalding,
467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984).
survive a 12(b)(6) motion, "a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'"
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 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" Id. A plaintiffs
allegations must "raise a right to relief above the
speculative level," and "threadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice" to meet this standard.
complaint is filed by a litigant acting pro se, that
complaint must be construed liberally regardless of how
unskillfully it is pleaded. Haines v. Kerner, 404
U.S. 519 (1972). Such litigants are not held to the strict
pleading requirements demanded of attorneys. Estelle v.
Gamble. 429 U.S. 97, 106-07 (1976). Indeed, a
court's "power to summarily dismiss a prisoner's
pro se complaint is limited." Figgins v.
Hudspeth, 584 F.2d 1345, 1347 (4th Cir. 1979).
Defendant Samboy's Motion to Dismiss [Dkt No.
are entitled to reasonable medical care and may sue prison
officials under the Eighth Amendment if such care is
inadequate. Estelle. 429 U.S. at 104-05. To state a
claim, a plaintiff "must allege acts or omissions
sufficiently harmful to evidence deliberate indifference to
serious medical needs." Id. at 106. A plaintiff
must therefore satisfy two distinct elements: first, he must
allege the existence of a sufficiently serious medical need.
See, e.g.. Hall v. Holsmith, 340 Fed.Appx.
944, 947 & n.3 (4th Cir. 2009) (holding that flu-like
symptoms did not constitute a serious medical ...