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Gottke v. Winn Correctional Center

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division

November 26, 2018

BENJAMIN GOTTKE, Plaintiff
v.
WINN CORRECTIONAL CENTER, ET AL., Defendants

          DEE D. DRELL JUDGE

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          Joseph H. L. Perez-Montes United States Magistrate Judge

         Before the Court is a civil rights complaint (42 U.S.C. § 1983) filed by pro se Plaintiff Benjamin Gottke (#328995) (“Gottke”). Gottke is an inmate in the custody of the Louisiana Department of Corrections (“DOC”), incarcerated at the Dixon Correctional Center (“DCC”) in Jackson, Louisiana.

         I. Background

         Gottke alleges he engaged in a fight with another inmate while incarcerated at Winn Correctional Center (“WCC”). Gottke was seriously injured and rendered unconscious in the altercation. When Gottke woke up, he was in the hospital with a broken ankle and hip. (Doc. 1-2, p. 1). A few days later, Gottke's leg was amputated. Gottke claims he suffers from pain constantly. Gottke alleges a failure to protect by the DOC.

         II. Instructions to Amend

         Pursuant to Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a pleading must contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” The Rule 8 pleading standard does not require “detailed factual allegations, ” but demands more than an “unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citations omitted). A pleading that offers “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).

         Gottke only names WCC and Inmate Green as defendants. (Doc. 1, p. 3). However, neither of those Defendants can be sued under § 1983. Inmate Green is not a state actor, so he cannot be held liable for a civil rights violation. WCC is not a juridical person subject to suit. See La. Civ. Code art. 24; Fed.R.Civ.P. 17 (capacity to sue or be sued is determined by state law).

         Therefore, Gottke shall amend his complaint and provide:

         (1) the name(s) of EACH person who allegedly violated Gottke's constitutional rights;

         (2) a description of what actually occurred AND what EACH defendant specifically did to violate Gottke's rights;

         (3) the place and date(s) that EACH event occurred; and

         (4) a description of the injury sustained as a result of EACH alleged violation.

         Additionally, although prison officials have a constitutional duty to protect prisoners from violence at the hands of fellow inmates, prison officials are not expected to prevent all inmate-on-inmate violence. See Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832-33, 834 (1994). Prison officials can be held liable for their failure to protect an inmate only when they are deliberately indifferent to a substantial risk of serious harm. See id. A prison official is deliberately indifferent if he knows of an “excessive risk to inmate health or safety” and disregards that risk. Id. at 837. A prison official “knows of” an excessive risk only if: (1) he is aware of facts from which he could infer “that a substantial risk of serious ...


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