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Walton v. Garland County Detention Center

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division

February 24, 2015

ROBERT J. WALTON, III, Plaintiff,
v.
GARLAND COUNTY DETENTION CENTER; DEPUTY JOHN SCHRODER; CAPTAIN RONNIE BRANSTETTER; and DEPUTY C. DELAHUNT, Defendants.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE

BARRY A. BRYANT, Magistrate Judge.

This is a civil rights case filed by the Plaintiff pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and (3)(2014), the Honorable Robert T. Dawson, United States District Judge, referred this case to the undersigned for the purpose of making a report and recommendation.

Plaintiff is not currently incarcerated. The events at issue in this case occurred while the Plaintiff was incarcerated in the Garland County Detention Center (GCDC). Plaintiff maintains his constitutional rights were violated when the Defendants failed to protect his from an attack by fellow inmates.

Defendants have filed a Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 7). Plaintiff has not responded to the Motion. The Motion is now ready for decision.

1. Background

According to the allegations of the Complaint, the Plaintiff was being held in protective custody. Protective custody inmates were on one side of the cell block while general population inmates were on the other side. The two sets of inmates were not supposed to be allowed out at the same time.

On December 11, 2013, at approximately 9:15 p.m., Plaintiff alleges Deputies Schroder and Delahunt were passing out medication to the cell block. Plaintiff's cell was left unlocked.

After the deputies left, two inmates, identified as Malcolm and Randell, entered Plaintiff's cell and instructed him to go to cell #11. Plaintiff alleges there were numerous inmates in that cell waiting to hurt him. Plaintiff states he was jumped on by all the inmates for approximately twenty minutes during which time his clothing was ripped off and his face "broken."

Plaintiff was thrown out into the day-room and was able to make it back to his cell. Plaintiff was found when the officers came to lock down the other inmates. Plaintiff was transported by ambulance to the hospital.

Plaintiff alleges this was not the first time an inmate in protective custody had been attacked that way. He alleges it has happened several times to similarly situated inmates.

Plaintiff also alleges that he submitted several grievances regarding this event and received no responses. As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

2. Applicable Standard

Rule 8(a) contains the general pleading rules and requires a complaint to present "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). "In order to meet this standard, and survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.'" Braden v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009)( quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)).

"The plausibility standard requires a plaintiff to show at the pleading stage that success on the merits is more than a sheer possibility.'" Braden, 588 F.3d at 594 ( quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). The standard does "not impose a probability requirement at the pleading stage; it simply calls for enough fact to raise a reasonable expectation, " or reasonable inference, that the "defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; see also Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, ...


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