United States District Court, D. Kansas
TIMOTHY L. WILLIAMS JR., Plaintiff,
KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CROW U.S. Senior District Judge
matter is a civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. By order of April 19, 2017, the undersigned
directed Plaintiff to show cause why this matter should not
be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted. In lieu of a response, Plaintiff filed an
amended complaint on May 30, 2017. Rule 15 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a party may amend its
pleading once as a matter of course within 21 days of service
of the original pleading. Because this is Plaintiff's
first amended complaint and because the original complaint
has not been served on Defendants, Plaintiff is in compliance
with Rule 15, and the Court will consider his amended
Screening of Prisoner Complaints
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or
employee of such entity to determine whether summary
dismissal is appropriate. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
Additionally, with any litigant, such as Plaintiff, who is
proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court has a duty
to screen the complaint to determine its sufficiency.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Upon completion of
this screening, the Court must dismiss any claim that is
frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or seeks monetary damages from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915A(b), 1915(e)(2)(B).
survive this review, the plaintiff must plead “enough
facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007). In applying the Twombly standard,
the Court must assume the truth of all well-pleaded factual
allegations in the complaint and construe them in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff. See Leverington v. City
of Colo. Springs, 643 F.3d 719, 723 (10thCir.
pro se plaintiff's complaint must be liberally construed,
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007), pro se
status does not relieve the plaintiff of “the burden of
alleging sufficient facts on which a recognized legal claim
could be based.” Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d
1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). The Court need not
accept “mere conclusions characterizing pleaded
facts.” Bryson v. City of Edmond, 905 F.2d
1386, 1390 (10th Cir. 1990). “[A]
plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his
entitlement to relief requires more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will not do.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555 (internal quotation marks omitted).
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege the
violation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of
the United States, and must show that the alleged deprivation
was committed by a person acting under color of state
law.” West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988);
Northington v. Jackson, 973 F.2d 1518, 1523 (10th
Cir. 1992). In addressing a claim brought under § 1983,
the analysis begins by identifying the specific
constitutional right allegedly infringed. Graham v.
Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989). The validity of the
claim then must be judged by reference to the specific
constitutional standard which governs that right.
amended complaint, Plaintiff names two defendants: Officer M.
Steen and Corizon Healthcare (“Corizon”).
Plaintiff alleges that on September 18, 2016, he was struck
in the chest by a sally port door as a result of the actions
of Defendant Steen. Plaintiff had been in the medication line
at the time, and Defendant Steen was operating the control
system for the door. He directed the prisoners in line to
proceed through the door. Plaintiff was walking through the
door when it began to close, striking Plaintiff in the center
of the chest. Plaintiff backed up into the housing unit to
avoid further contact with the door. When he brought the
incident to Defendant Steen's attention, Plaintiff
alleges Officer Steen became very aggressive, irate, and
defensive, yelling at him that he “should have waited
until the door was completely opened.” Plaintiff
complained to the shift sergeant, who was present, and later
filed a formal grievance.
being advised by the Court that negligent acts cannot form
the basis of a constitutional violation, Plaintiff now
alleges Defendant Steen intentionally caused the door to
close on him. Plaintiff did not otherwise change his
description of the event.
adds allegations that he was not properly assessed by Corizon
staff members after the incident. He complains that no x-rays
were taken of his chest.
alleges that he suffers from chronic chest and back pain,
post-traumatic stress disorder, and a phobia of sally port
doors as a result of the incident. He requests damages in the
amount of $133, 666.13.
Court has reviewed Plaintiff's amended complaint with the
standards set out above in mind. While Plaintiff has cured
some of the deficiencies noted in the order to show cause, ...