United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division
WILLIE R. WHITE, Plaintiff,
SOUTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, SGT. MURPHY, SUPR. CORRECTION OFFICER, YANKTON COMM. WORK CENTER, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY; Defendants.
ORDER DISMISSING CASE
E. SCHREIER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Willie R. White, was an inmate at the Yankton Community Work
Center in Yankton, South Dakota. White filed a pro se civil
rights lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and paid his
initial partial filing fee. Docket 1; Docket 8. The court has
now screened White's complaint under 28 U.S.C. §
1915A. For the following reasons, the court dismisses
facts as White alleges are as follows:
Murphy told White he was chosen to cut down trees at the Mike
Durfee State Prison in Springfield, South Dakota. Docket 1 at
4. White informed Murphy that he had not been cleared by
medical and was not chain saw certified. Id. Murphy
replied that White could go cut down trees or go the Special
Housing Unit. Id. White then explained that he has
“screws and plates in [his] left femur all the way down
to [his] knees.” Id. Murphy ignored this
information and said he did not care. Id. Later, a
tree fell on White's leg and it knocked screws lose.
Id. White's leg will require surgery soon.
Id. White was placed on a walking cane permanently.
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); see also 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.
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 Fed.Appx. 926, 927 (8th
Cir. 2008); see also Beavers v. Lockhart, 755 F.2d
657, 663 (8th Cir. 1985). Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the
court must screen prisoner complaints and dismiss them if
they “(1) [are] 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.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
Supreme Court has explained that Congress, in passing 42
U.S.C. § 1983, did not abrogate states' Eleventh
Amendment immunity from suit in federal court. Will v.
Mich. Dept. of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 65 (1989)
(citations omitted). “Eleventh Amendment immunity
extends to states and arms of the state[.]” Thomas
v. St. Louis Bd. of Police Comm'rs, 447 F.3d 1082,
1084 (8th Cir. 2006) (internal quotation marks and citation
omitted). An action against a state official in his official
capacity is the same as a suit against the State itself.
See Will, 491 U.S. at 71. “[A]bsent waiver by
the State or valid congressional override, the Eleventh
Amendment bars a damages action against a State in federal
court.” Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 169
names the South Dakota Department of Corrections and Sargent
Murphy in his official capacity. Docket 1 at 2. White's
only requested relief is money damages. Id. Thus,
White's claims are barred by the Eleventh Amendment.
White failed to exhaust his administrative remedies before
filing his complaint. Id. “An inmate must
exhaust all available administrative remedies before bringing
a § 1983 suit.” Porter v. Sturm, 781 F.3d
448, 451 (8th Cir. 2015) (citing 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a);
Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 211 (2007); Burns
v. Eaton, 752 F.3d 1136, 1141 (8th Cir. 2014)). The
Prison Litigation Reform Act's “exhaustion
requirement applies to all inmate suits about prison life,
whether they involve general circumstances or particular
episodes, and whether they allege excessive force or some
other wrong.” Porter v. Nussle, 534 U.S. 516,
532 (2002). The inmates' subjective belief that there is
no point in pursuing the process is immaterial.
Porter, 781 F.3d at 451 (citing Lyon v. Vande
Krol, 305 F.3d 806, 809 (8th Cir. 2002)). Thus, White
fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, and
his claims are dismissed without ...