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Blazer v. Dooley

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division

January 17, 2018

ROBERT A. BLAZER, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT DOOLEY, Warden, in his individual and official capacity; DIRECTOR OF PRISON INDUSTRIES, Director of Prison Industries at Mike Durfee State Prison, individual and official capacity; DENNY KAEMINGK, Secretary of Corrections, in his individual and official capacity; and VERNON ISHMAEL, Supervisor at Housing Project at Mike Durfee State Prison, in his individual and official capacity; Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND DENYING MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL OR AMEND COMPLAINT

          KAREN E. SCHREIER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff, Robert A. Blazer, was formerly an inmate at the Mike Durfee State Prison (MDSP) in Springfield, South Dakota. While still incarcerated at MDSP, he filed a pro se civil rights lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Docket 1) and moved to appoint counsel or amend his complaint (Docket 19). The court has now screened Mr. Blazer's complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and dismisses Mr. Blazer's complaint.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Blazer's complaint generally concerns alleged violations of his federal constitutional and statutory rights at the MDSP. The facts as Blazer alleged are as follows:

         Blazer worked at the Housing Project at MDSP. Docket 1 at 4. He fell off a faulty, non-OSHA approved ladder and was injured. Id. The fall re-aggravated a previous shoulder and back injury and caused neck pain, headaches, and dizzy spells. Id.

         A doctor and nurse prescribed different, conflicting treatment regarding a cane. Id. at 5. A nurse yelled at Blazer in front of other inmates. A nurse also carried out the doctor's duties. A nurse wrote Blazer up. As a result of this treatment, Blazer suffered emotional trauma and distress. Id.

         Unit Coordinator Archambeau and Unit Manager Laine Schryvers disregarded, lost, or handed back Blazer's kites and complaints about the unprofessionalism of the doctor and nurse at MDSP. Id. at 6. Unit Coordinator Archambeau's wife is a nurse at the MDSP and this relationship created a conflict of interest. Id. Blazer was not allowed to complete the full grievance process and the process extended past thirty days. Id. Blazer's grievances were not advanced to the warden. Blazer kited Warden Dooley and Secretary Kaemingk. As a result of this treatment, Blazer suffered emotional trauma and distress. Id.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         The court must accept the well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Schriener v. Quicken Loans, Inc., 774 F.3d 442, 444 (8th Cir. 2014). Civil rights and pro se complaints must be liberally construed. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citation omitted); Bediako v. Stein Mart, Inc., 354 F.3d 835, 839 (8th Cir. 2004). Even with this construction, “a pro se complaint must contain specific facts supporting its conclusions.” Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985); Ellis v. City of Minneapolis, 518 Fed.Appx. 502, 504 (8th Cir. 2013). Civil rights complaints cannot be merely conclusory. Davis v. Hall, 992 F.2d 151, 152 (8th Cir. 1993); Parker v. Porter, 221 Fed.Appx. 481, 482 (8th Cir. 2007).

         A complaint “does not need detailed factual allegations . . . [but] requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). “If a plaintiff cannot make the requisite showing, dismissal is appropriate.” Abdullah v. Minnesota, 261 F. App'x 926, 927 (8th Cir. 2008); Beavers v. Lockhart, 755 F.2d 657, 663 (8th Cir. 1985).

         28 U.S.C. § 1915A requires the court to screen prisoner complaints and dismiss them if they are “(1) frivolous, malicious, or fail[] to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seek[] monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.” § 1915A(b).

         DISCUSSION

         I. ...


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