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Nelson v. Higgins

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division

May 20, 2019

MICHAEL LEE NELSON #20060-18 PLAINTIFF
v.
HIGGINS, Sheriff, Pulaski County; et al. DEFENDANTS

          PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          JOE J. VOLPE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         INSTRUCTIONS

         The following recommended disposition has been sent to United States District Judge James M. Moody, Jr. Any party may serve and file written objections to this recommendation. Objections should be specific and should include the factual or legal basis for the objection. If the objection is to a factual finding, specifically identify that finding and the evidence that supports your objection. An original and one copy of your objections must be received in the office of the United States District Court Clerk no later than fourteen (14) days from the date of the findings and recommendations. The copy will be furnished to the opposing party. Failure to file timely objections may result in waiver of the right to appeal questions of fact.

         If you are objecting to the recommendation and also desire to submit new, different, or additional evidence, and to have a hearing for this purpose before the District Judge, you must, at the same time that you file your written objections, include the following:

         1. Why the record made before the Magistrate Judge is inadequate.

         2. Why the evidence proffered at the hearing (if such a hearing is granted) was not offered at the hearing before the Magistrate Judge.

         3. The details of any testimony desired to be introduced at the new hearing in the form of an offer of proof, and a copy, or the original, of any documentary or other non-testimonial evidence desired to be introduced at the new hearing.

         From this submission, the District Judge will determine the necessity for an additional evidentiary hearing. Mail your objections and “Statement of Necessity” to:

Clerk, United States District Court Eastern District of Arkansas 600 West Capitol Avenue, Suite A149 Little Rock, AR 72201-3325

         DISPOSITION

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Michael Lee Nelson (“Plaintiff”) is a pretrial detainee in the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility (“PCRDF”). He has filed a pro se Amended Complaint, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging Defendants Sheriff Higgins, Deputy Mitchem, Dr. Roberts, and Dr. Tilley violated his constitutional rights. (Doc. No. 5.) After careful review of Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, I find it should be dismissed without prejudice for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

         II. SCREENING

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) requires federal courts to screen prisoner complaints seeking relief against a governmental entity, officer, or employee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that (a) are legally frivolous or malicious; (b) fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (c) seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         An action is frivolous if “it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead “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). The factual allegations must be weighted in favor of Plaintiff. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32 (1992). “In other words, the § 1915(d) frivolousness determination, frequently made sua sponte before the defendant has even been asked to file an answer, cannot serve as a factfinding process for the resolution of disputed facts.” Id. But whether a plaintiff is represented by counsel or is appearing pro se, his complaint must allege specific facts sufficient to state a claim. See Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985).

         III. ANALYSIS

         Plaintiff alleges that on February 23, 2019, he slipped on water on the floor at the PCRDF and fell, sustaining a concussion and unspecified injuries to his head, neck, and back. (Doc. No. 5.) Defendant Mitchem called a “code-red” emergency and had Plaintiff transported to a local hospital where he received a prescription medication for pain and migraines. (Id.) Allegedly, Drs. Roberts and Tilley, who are the regularly treating physicians at the PCRDF, decreased the medications prescribed for ...


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