United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
WILLIAM A. BRADFORD, JR. PLAINTIFF
SHERIFF JAMES A. SINGLETON; CHIEF DEPUTY T.P. MICKEY ATKINSON; JAIL ADMINISTRATOR JOHNNY GODBOLT; ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR HEATH ROSS; SERGEANT SUSAN HANSON; JAILER ERIC GARNER; JAILER VERMILLION; and JAILER KYLE SHELBY DEFENDANTS
O. Hickey, United States District Judge
the Court is the Report and Recommendation filed April 27,
2017, by the Honorable Barry A. Bryant, United States
Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Arkansas. (ECF
No. 6). Plaintiff William A. Bradford has filed objections to
the Report and Recommendation. (ECF No. 12). Also before the
Court is Plaintiff William A. Bradford, Jr.'s Motion to
Amend Complaint. (ECF No. 11). The Court finds the matters
ripe for consideration.
case arises from allegedly inadequate medical care provided
to Plaintiff by staff at the Hempstead County Detention
Center (“HCDC”). Plaintiff alleges that on March
17, 2017, he went to receive an insulin injection for his
diabetes and noticed that a new bottle of insulin was broken.
Plaintiff alleges that he pointed out this fact to the HCDC
staff, and that Defendant Susan Hanson drew insulin from the
broken bottle into four syringes and placed them in the
refrigerator, saying that she would try to save them for
Plaintiff to use.
alleges that on the following day, he received an insulin
injection from one of the four syringes, which caused a big,
red knot to form at the injection site. Plaintiff states
that, on March 18, 2017, he went to receive an insulin
injection, and Defendant Hanson used the same syringe,
causing another swollen knot to form. Plaintiff alleges that,
on March 19, 2017, Defendant Hanson presented the same
syringe for his use, and that he told Defendant Hanson he did
not want to take the insulin injection because his side was
swollen from the previous injections and because he did not
feel safe. Plaintiff alleges further that Defendant Hanson
threatened to tell another HCDC staff member if Plaintiff did
not take the shot.
April 5, 2017, Plaintiff filed this action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983, seeking monetary damages. Plaintiff did
not state the specific claims he asserted against the various
Defendants. However, Plaintiff's complaint did state that
Defendant Singleton should give his officers more training.
Plaintiff also stated in his complaint that he submitted two
grievance forms related to the insulin injections, but that
he received no response to them.
April 27, 2017, Judge Bryant issued the instant Report and
Recommendation pursuant to the pre-service screening
provisions of the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”), under which the Court must screen any
civil complaint in which a prisoner seeks redress from a
governmental entity or an employee of a governmental entity.
See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and
1915A(a). Plaintiff's complaint did not assert any claims
against Defendants and did not specify whether Defendants
were being sued in their official or individual capacity.
Judge Bryant's Report and Recommendation identified the
possible claims that could be brought against each Defendant
based on the facts asserted in the complaint, and construed
the claims as being brought against Defendants in both their
official and individual capacities. Judge Bryant concluded
that all of Plaintiff's official-capacity and
individual-capacity claims failed to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted, and recommended that all claims be
24, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Amend, requesting the
Court's leave to amend his complaint under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 15 to clarify the claims he seeks to
assert in this matter. (ECF No. 11). Specifically, Plaintiff
states that he wishes to allege that HCDC staff knowingly
gave him contaminated insulin, and to assert claims of
medical neglect, cruel and unusual punishment, and medical
malpractice, all in violation of the Eighth Amendment,
against all Defendants in both their official and individual
capacities. Also on May 24, 2017, Plaintiff filed an
objection to the Report and Recommendation, stating only that
he has filed a motion to amend his complaint.
Court will first address Plaintiff's motion for leave to
amend. Then the Court will take up the Report and
Motion for Leave to Amend
seeks the Court's leave to amend his complaint pursuant
to Rule 15, in order to clarify the claims he seeks to assert
in this case.
a party seeks to amend as a matter of course, the party
“may amend its pleading only with the opposing
party's written consent or the court's leave.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). When a party seeks the court's
permission to amend, leave to amend “shall be freely
given when justice so requires.” Doe v.
Cassel, 403 F.3d 986, 990 (8th Cir. 2005).
“[A]bsent a good reason for denial-such as undue delay,
bad faith or dilatory motive, repeated failure to cure
deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, undue
prejudice to the non-moving party, or futility of
amendment-leave to amend should be granted.”
Thompson-El v. Jones, 876 F.2d 66, 67 (8th Cir.
1989); see also Plymouth Cnty., Iowa v. Merscorp,
Inc., 774 F.3d 1155, 1160 (8th Cir. 2014) (“[A]
party is not entitled to amend a complaint without making a
showing that such an amendment would be able to save an
otherwise meritless claim.”). An amendment is futile
when it would allege a claim “that is legally
insufficient on its face.” Williams v. Little Rock
Mun. Water Works, 21 F.3d 218, 225 (8th Cir. 1994).
“Duplicative and frivolous claims are futile.”
Reuter v. Jax Ltd., 711 F.3d 918, 922 (8th Cir.
2013) (citations omitted).
seeks to amend his complaint-which primarily consists of
factual allegations and does not state any specific claims
being asserted-by specifying the three claims he is bringing
against Defendants, as well as clarifying that he is suing
Defendants in both their official and individual capacities.
Judge Bryant's Report and Recommendation identified the
possible claims that could be brought, based on the facts
asserted in the complaint, and construed the claims as being
brought against Defendants in both their official and
individual capacities. In doing so, Judge Bryant examined
each of the potential claims pursuant to the PLRA's
pre-service screening provisions, ultimately recommending
that they all should be dismissed because Plaintiff failed to
state claims upon ...