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Elbert Lee Vaught, Iv v. Kathleen Allison

May 11, 2011

ELBERT LEE VAUGHT, IV,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
KATHLEEN ALLISON, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT DISMISSED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 8) SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff Elbert Lee Vaught, IV ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff began this action on December 17, 2010 and consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction on January 24, 2011. (ECF Nos. 1 & 7.) Plaintiff then filed his First Amended Complaint on January 26, 2011. (ECF No. 8.) No other parties have appeared. This First Amended Complaint is now pending before the Court.

For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to state a cognizable claim upon which relief may be granted.

II. SCREENING REQUIREMENTS

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally "frivolous or malicious," that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). "Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

A complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . . ." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949.

III. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

Plaintiff brings this action for being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment and failure to protect, both in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Plaintiff names the following individuals as Defendants: Kathleen Allison, Warden; Akin, Lieutenant; K. Santoro, Associate Warden; P. Denny, Facility Captain; R. Hall, Appeals Coordinator; R. Gomez, Appeals Coordinator; and L. Ginani, AGPA Appeals Coordinator.

Plaintiff alleges as follows: On October 13, 2010 at 3:00 a.m., Plaintiff's mattress slipped off his top bunk bed, causing Plaintiff to fall to the floor, which injured his back, neck, and head. Plaintiff continues to be in pain from the injuries he received in the fall and has nightmares about the fall or falling again. Plaintiff requested a permanent lower bunk chrono. On an unspecified date, Plaintiff fell from the top bunk bed again, injuring himself.

Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages, and attorney fees and costs.

IV. ANALYSIS

The Civil Rights Act under which this action was filed provides:

Every person who, under color of [state law] . . . subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States . . . to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution . . . shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress. 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. "Section 1983 . . . creates a cause of action for violations of the federal ...


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