United States District Court, D. Montana, Helena Division
ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF UNITED
STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Johnston United States Magistrate Judge
Robert Lawrence, a prisoner proceeding without counsel, has
filed a Motion Seeking Immediate Injunction (Doc. 6) and a
Motion to Amend Defendant List (Doc. 7). As currently plead,
the Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. As such, Mr. Lawrence has not satisfied the
requirements for injunctive relief and that motion should be
denied. The Motion to Amend Defendant List will be denied for
failure to comply with Local Rule 15.1 but Mr. Lawrence will
be given an opportunity to file an amended complaint.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
Lawrence is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel. He
is proceeding in forma pauperis. Mr. Lawrence is incarcerated
at Montana State Prison (“MSP”).
Lawrence names the following Defendants: Jim Salmonson
(Warden), Tom Wood (Associate Warden), Roxanne Wigert, Alvin
Fode, Gary Reed, and Ben Shupert. (Complaint, Doc. 2 at 1.)
In his motion to amend, Mr. Lawrence seeks to add Case
Manager Amber Graham as a Defendant but he provided no
allegations against Ms. Graham. (Doc. 7.)
Lawrence alleges he was transferred from North Dakota State
Prison to MSP on August 5, 2015 and he has been trying to get
a single cell due to mental disorders and some childhood
traumas since that transfer. He initially contacted Roxanne
Wigert and was told to contact classification. After waiting
6-8 months for a reply he contacted Ms. Wigert again and was
told to get something in writing from North Dakota Department
of Corrections to show why he should be in a single cell. Mr.
Lawrence claims he obtained these documents for Ms. Wigert.
Lawrence alleges he also spoke with and provided his
paperwork to Security Tech Ben Shupert and CM Gary Reed about
the single cell issue. Mr. Reed recommended a meeting with
the prison therapist, Lisa Choquette. Mr. Lawrence alleges
Mr. Reed e-mailed Ms. Choquette but got no result.
Lawrence claims he then started sending mental health request
forms every week for approximately one month with no results.
He was eventually scheduled for an appointment with Lisa
Pesant. He alleges Ms. Pesant met with him and suggested that
he start taking medication or intentionally violate DOC rules
and policies. (Complaint, Doc. 2 at 2-5.)
Lawrence alleges he has been diagnosed with: aggressive
behavior, sleepwalking (which can and sometimes does turn
violent), and schizoaffective disorder. He also claims he was
a victim of child abuse and as a result he cannot sleep while
there is someone else locked in the cell with him.
(Complaint, Doc. 2-1 at 1-2.)
Lawrence claims Defendants are violating his rights under the
Eighth Amendment cruel and unusual punishment clause, the
Fourteenth Amendment due process clause, and the Americans
with Disabilities Act by: (1) failing to protect him from
harm; (2) failing to house him according to his due process
rights; (3) failing to consider his mental health disability
and putting others at risk; (4) neglecting his mental health;
(5) showing callous disregard by implying that he should get
into trouble to get what he wants; and (6) acted with
deliberate indifference. (Complaint, Doc. 2 at 1-2.)
SCREENING PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915,
Lawrence is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis so the
Court must review his Complaint under 28 U.S.C. §§
1915, 1915A. Sections 1915A(b) and 1915(e)(2)(B) require the
Court to dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis and/or
by a prisoner against a governmental defendant before it is
served if it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.
complaint is frivolous if it “lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). “A case is
malicious if it was filed with the intention or desire to
harm another.” Andrews v. King, 398 F.3d 1113,
1121 (9th Cir. 2005). A complaint fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted if a plaintiff fails to allege
the “grounds” of his “entitlement to
relief.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quotation omitted). Rule 8(a)(2)
requires a complaint to “contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quotations omitted).
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a
complaint “that states a claim for relief must contain
. . . a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the [plaintiff] is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2). In order to satisfy the requirements in Rule 8 a
complaint's allegations must cross “the line from
conceivable to plausible.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 680 (2009).
is a two-step procedure to determine whether a
complaint's allegations cross that line. See
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556; Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662.
First, the Court must identify “the allegations in the
complaint that are not entitled to the assumption of
truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679, 680. Factual
allegations are not entitled to the assumption of truth if
they are “merely consistent with liability, ” or
“amount to nothing more than a ‘formulaic
recitation of the elements' of a constitutional”
claim. Id. at 679, 681. A complaint stops short of
the line between probability and the possibility of relief
where the facts pled are merely consistent with a
defendant's liability. Id. at 678.
the Court must determine whether the complaint states a
“plausible” claim for relief. Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 679. A claim is “plausible” if the
factual allegations, which are accepted as true,
“allow[ ] the court to draw the reasonable inference
that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Id. at 678. This inquiry is “a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to
draw on its judicial experience and common sense.”
Id. at 679 (citation omitted). If the factual
allegations, which are accepted as true, “do not permit
the court to infer more than the mere possibility of
misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not
“show[n]”-“that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Id. (citing Fed.R.Civ.P.
document filed pro se is ‘to be liberally
construed,' and ‘a pro se complaint,
however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'
“ Erickson v. Pardu, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007);
cf. Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 8(e) (“Pleadings must
be construed so as to do justice”).
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