United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
BOBBY FRANKLIN HUNTER, JR. PLAINTIFF
DR. DANIELS DEFENDANTS
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
BARRY A. BRYANT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
a civil rights action provisionally filed pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1) and (3)(2011), the Honorable Susan O.
Hickey, United States District Judge, referred this case to
the undersigned for the purpose of making a Report and
case is before the Court for preservice screening under the
provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA).
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court has the
obligation to screen any complaint in which a prisoner seeks
redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of
a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
filed his Complaint on October 26, 2018. (ECF No. 1). He
alleges his federal constitutional rights were violated by
Defendant Daniels during his incarceration in the Arkansas
Department of Correction (“ADC”) Ouachita River
Unit. (Id. at 2). Plaintiff alleges Defendant
Daniels committed medical malpractice when he removed a
from Plaintiff's back but failed to remove the
“sack” containing the cyst. Plaintiff alleges the
failure to remove the sack will permit the cyst to regrow,
therefore Defendant Daniels “left him with a very nasty
scar for nothing.” (Id. at 4). Plaintiff
alleges he will now have to have another doctor remove the
sack, and he will be left with another “nasty
scar.” (Id. at 5).
proceeds against Defendant Daniels in his official and
personal capacity. (Id. at 4). He seeks compensatory
damages. (Id. 6).
the PLRA, the Court is obligated to screen the case prior to
service of process being issued. The Court must dismiss a
complaint, or any portion of it, if it contains claims that:
(1) are frivolous, malicious, or fail to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted; or, (2) seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C.
is frivolous if “it lacks an arguable basis either in
law or fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 325 (1989). A claim fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted if it does not allege “enough
facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “In evaluating whether a pro
se plaintiff has asserted sufficient facts to state a
claim, we hold ‘a pro se complaint, however
inartfully pleaded ... to less stringent standards than
formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'” Jackson
v. Nixon, 747 F.3d 537, 541 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)). Even a
pro se Plaintiff must allege specific facts
sufficient to support a claim. Martin v. Sargent,
780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985).
failed to state of plausible claim of deliberate indifference
to his medical needs. The Eighth Amendment's prohibition
against cruel and unusual punishment establishes the
"government's obligation to provide medical care for
those whom it is punishing by incarceration. An inmate must
rely on prison authorities to treat his medical needs; if the
authorities fail to do so, those needs will not be met.
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 103 (1976) (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted). "For this reason,
the Eighth Amendment proscribes deliberate indifference to
the serious medical needs of prisoners." Robinson v.
Hager, 292 F.3d 560, 563 (8th Cir. 2002) (citing
Estelle, 429 U.S. at 104).
order to succeed on a denial of medical care claim, an inmate
must show both that he had an objectively serious medical
need and that the defendant was deliberately indifferent to
that need. Coleman v. Rahija, 114 F.3d 778, 784 (8th
Cir. 1997) (citations omitted). "A medical need is
serious when it has been diagnosed by a physician as
requiring treatment or, is so obvious that even a layperson
would easily recognize the necessity for a doctor's
attention." Phillips v. Jasper County Jail, 437
F.3d 791, 795 (8th Cir. 2006) (citation omitted).
"Deliberate indifference may be demonstrated by prison
guards who intentionally deny or delay access to medical care
or intentionally interfere with prescribed treatment, or by
prison doctors who fail to respond to prisoner's serious
medical needs. Mere negligence or medical malpractice,
however, are insufficient to rise to a constitutional
violation." Dulany v. Carnahan, 132 F.3d 1234,
1239 (8th Cir. 1997) (citation omitted). "[A]
prisoner's mere difference of opinion over matters of
expert medical judgment or a course of medical treatment
fail[s] to rise to the level of a constitutional
violation." Taylor v. Bowers, 966 F.2d 417, 421
(8th Cir. 1992).
Plaintiff does not allege he was denied medical care.
Instead, he alleges only that Defendant Daniels committed
medical malpractice by not removing the cyst sack. As mere
negligence or medical malpractice are insufficient to rise to
the level of a constitutional violation, Plaintiff failed to
state a plausible claim.