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Rohan v. Saline County Jail

United States District Court, D. Kansas

April 30, 2019

CHRISTOPHER SCOTT ROHAN, Plaintiff,
v.
SALINE COUNTY JAIL and JAMIE LNU, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Sam A. Crow, U.S. District Senior Judge.

         This case is before the court to screen plaintiff's pro se complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915 and 1915A.

         I. Pro se standards

         “A pro se litigant's pleadings are to be construed liberally and held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). A pro se litigant, however, is not relieved from following the same rules of procedure as any other litigant. See Green v. Dorrell, 969 F.2d 915, 917 (10th Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 507 U.S. 940 (1993). A district court should not “assume the role of advocate for the pro se litigant.” Hall, supra. Nor is the court to “supply additional factual allegations to round out a plaintiff's complaint.” Whitney v. State of New Mexico, 113 F.3d 1170, 1173-74 (10th Cir. 1997).

         II. Screening standards

         Title 28 United State Code Section 1915A requires the court to review cases filed by prisoners seeking redress from a governmental entity or employee to determine whether the complaint is frivolous, malicious or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. The court is authorized to make the same review in cases brought in forma pauperis. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Here plaintiff has pending a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Doc. No. 2.

         When deciding whether plaintiff's complaint “fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, ” the court must determine whether the complaint contains “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)(quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).

The plausibility standard is not akin to a probability requirement, but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Where a complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent with a defendant's liability, it stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.

Id. A plausibility analysis is a context-specific task depending on a host of considerations, including judicial experience, common sense and the strength of competing explanations for the defendant's conduct. See id. at 679; Twombly, 550 U.S. at 567.

         The court accepts the plaintiff's well-pled factual allegations as true and views them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. United States v. Smith, 561 F.3d 1090, 1098 (10th Cir. 2009). The court, however, is not required to accept legal conclusions alleged in the complaint as true. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. “Thus, mere ‘labels and conclusions' and ‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action' will not suffice” to state a claim. Khalik v. United Air Lines, 671 F.3d 1188, 1191 (10th Cir. 2012) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). A complaint alleging that several defendants violated § 1983 must plainly allege exactly who, among the many defendants named, did what to plaintiff, with enough detail to provide each individual with fair notice as to the basis of the claims against him or her. See Robbins v. Okla. ex rel. Dep't of Human Servs., 519 F.3d 1242, 1248-1250 (10th Cir. 2008).

         III. The complaint

         Plaintiff alleges that he suffered dog bites to his hand and leg during his arrest on March 7, 2019. He claims that the bites became infected and that, while incarcerated, he did not receive proper treatment or antibiotics for 8 days. He further claims that he has not received an x-ray for his hand, although it is still “messed up.”

         Plaintiff's complaint is written on a form for bringing an action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff describes his claims as “medical malpractice” and “unprofessional misconduct.” He names the Saline County Jail and “medical staff”/Jamie LNU, a nurse practitioner, as “defendants” (Doc. No. 1, pp. 1-2), although only the Saline County Jail and “medical personnel” are listed as defendants in the caption of the complaint. Partial names of other persons at the Saline County Jail are mentioned at page 3 of the complaint. But, these persons are not listed as “defendants” on pp. 1-2 of the form or in the caption of the complaint. Rule 10(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires ...


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