United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Jackson L. Kiser Senior United States District Judge
Farley, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, commenced this
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against more than 20
officials and employees of the Virginia Department of
Corrections. The court conditionally filed Farley's
complaint, advised him that the complaint did not "state
[any] claim upon which relief may be granted because . . .
[it] FAILS TO CONNECT ANY DEFENDANT TO THE CONDUCT OF WHICH
HE COMPLAINS." (Order ¶ 2, [ECF No. 17]).
Accordingly, the court directed Farley to file a new pleading
that would support his claims "with specific acts
committed by specific defendants." Id. The
court notified Farley that the amended complaint
must be a new pleading that stands by itself without
reference to a complaint, attachments, or amendments already
filed. Plaintiff's filings to date will not be considered
by the court and should not be referenced by plaintiff in the
proposed amened complaint. The court requires
plaintiffs proposed amendment to conform to the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure 8 and 10. A key component of a civil
complaint is "a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) (emphasis added). This
provision requires that a civil plaintiff must state not only
the legal conclusion that he believes he can prove against
the defendant, but also must state facts "showing"
what the defendant did that allegedly violates plaintiffs
rights. The court will review the proposed amended complaint
upon its filing to determine whether the court shall accept
it under Rule 15 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
FAILURE TO AMEND THE COMPLAINT WITHIN FOURTEEN (14)
DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS ORDER, TO CORRECT THE NOTED
DEFICIENCIES, SHALL RESULT IN DISMISSAL OF THE
Id. at 2-3. The court's order provided lengthy
quotations from Rules 8 and 10 and described the requirements
a plaintiff must follow to comply with these rules.
response to the court's order, Farley has filed an
amended complaint, again naming 18 prison officials as
defendants. He states that he is an LGBTQ inmate with mental
health problems. He claims that: (a) all the defendants
retaliated against him for standing up for LGBTQ rights by
failing to protect him from being sexually assaulted by
another inmate on November 16, 2018; (b) all the defendants
"fail[ed] to administer an adequate remedy to meet
standard minimum constitutional standards"; (c) all the
defendants "failed to adhere to their own grievance
procedure"; (d) all the defendants deprived Farley of
his "fast acting asthma inhaler" for forty days and
denied him showers for eight days, in retaliation for his
reporting of "alleged sexual abuse"; (e) Agent
Wagner threatened Farley with charges if he continued to
stand up for LGBTQ rights and against prison rape; (f) the
defendants allowed Farley to become a victim under the
"Gender Motivated Crimes Act"; and (g) the
defendants failed "to adhere with the Prison Rape
Elimination Act policy and federal mandate of a zero
tolerance procedure to be adopted." Am. Compl. 3-4, ECF
1983 permits an aggrieved party to file a civil action
against a person for actions taken under color of state law
that violated his constitutional rights. Cooper v.
Sheehan, 735 F.3d 153, 158 (4th Cir. 2013). Thus, a
viable § 1983 claim requires factual detail in the
complaint about each defendant's personal
actions that violated the plaintiffs constitutional rights.
See, e.g., Vinnedge v. Gibbs. 550 F.2d 926,
928 (4th Cir. 1977) (finding that under § 1983,
"liability will only lie where it is affirmatively shown
that the official charged acted personally in the deprivation
of the plaintiff['s] rights"). Under the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, enough facts in support of a
plaintiffs claims must be included in the complaint itself.
See Fed.R.Civ.P. 8, 10. The complaint must plead
facts sufficient to "state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly. 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). "[A] pleading
that offers labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation
of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Nor does a
complaint suffice if it tenders naked assertions devoid of
further factual enhancement." Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal citations and
quotation marks omitted).
amended complaint fails to meet the requirements of Rules 8
and 10 and thus does not state a plausible claim under §
1983 against any defendant. He does not describe with any
particularity any action involving him that any individual
defendant took or failed to take on any particular date or
dates. He does not show how defendants' actions
or policies caused him harm. He does not state how or when he
stood up for LGBTQ rights, or how or when Agent Wagner
allegedly "threatened" him with charges over that
conduct. Rather, the amended complaint makes merely
conclusory assertions and legal conclusions. Thus, Farley has
not provided sufficient details about his claims to allow any
defendant to respond, despite the court's express
direction to provide such details. See Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555 (noting that complaint must give defendants
"fair notice of what [plaintiffs] claim[s are] and the
grounds upon which [they] rest[ ]") (citation omitted).
stated reasons, Farley has not complied with the court's
order to connect the defendants to the conduct about which he
complains. I will summarily dismiss this case accordingly.
Because it is possible for Farley to cure the pleading's
deficiencies and continue the litigation in a future,
separate action, the dismissal will be without prejudice.
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