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Dewalt v. Brauner

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

July 9, 2019

PATRICK BRAUNER, et al., Defendants.



         This matter is before the Court upon review of plaintiff Roderick Dewalt's amended complaint. For the reasons explained below, plaintiff will be given the opportunity to file a second amended complaint.


          Plaintiff is a prisoner who is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis. At present, he is incarcerated at the Jefferson City Correctional Center (“JCCC”). He initiated this action on January 11, 2019 by filing a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against 17 defendants. The events giving rise to plaintiff's claims occurred at different prison facilities from December of 2016 through, apparently, the date plaintiff filed the complaint. The complaint was unnecessarily long and contained a great deal of extraneous information, and it was often illegible. Plaintiff set forth a myriad of unrelated claims against the defendants, including excessive force, claims involving his use of the prison grievance procedure, and denial of medical care. Plaintiff also alleged that the defendants engaged in various misconduct towards other inmates, and he often set forth claims in a conclusory manner and failed to allege facts showing how the named defendants were directly involved in or personally responsible for specific violations of his rights.

         Upon initial review, the Court determined that the complaint was defective and subject to dismissal, and gave plaintiff the opportunity to file an amended complaint. Plaintiff has now filed an amended complaint, which the Court reviews pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).

         The Amended Complaint

          Unfortunately, plaintiff prepared the amended complaint in much the same manner as the original. He again names 17 defendants (albeit not exactly the same 17 defendants as in the original) and he alleges they committed various forms of misconduct at two different prisons from December of 2016 through the date of the amended complaint. Condensed and summarized, plaintiff alleges as follows.

         On December 27, 2016 at Potosi Correctional Center (“PCC”), defendant Randazzo used pepper spray on plaintiff, then turned off his cell's water and ventilation. Randazzo was also part of what was apparently a cell extraction team that included numerous “Doe” defendants. Plaintiff states that the Doe defendants used excessive force against him, including breaking one of his fingers, and that Randazzo failed to intervene.

         In January of 2017, plaintiff used the prison grievance procedure. On January 28, 2017 under Eckhoff's supervision, defendants Brauner and Batiste beat plaintiff. “One of the defendants” grabbed his genitals, which plaintiff characterizes as a sexual assault. Plaintiff states that while this happened, Eckhoff remained outside the cell and did not intervene. Plaintiff also alleges that Brauner and Batiste repeatedly used excessive force against other inmates.

         In February of 2017, plaintiff requested grievance forms from Nickelson, and wrote letters to Griffith and Crews. On March 21, 2017, Brauner, Evans, Cain and Knapp threatened plaintiff, then entered his cell and beat him. He writes: “Plaintiff was denied any medical treatment, ” and he states that Brauner, Cain and Knapp have repeatedly used excessive force against other inmates. Plaintiff states he filed a grievance “In March of 2007.”[1] He also requested grievance forms, and wrote to Griffith. He states that “John Doe Superintendent 6” has been placed on notice of Brauner, Cain and Knapp's conduct. Plaintiff received no response to his grievances, and he requested grievance forms that he never received.

         At an unspecified time, plaintiff was taken to the prison infirmary to consult with a hand specialist. The specialist discussed performing surgery. “The very next day” plaintiff told McKinney and Larkin he wanted the surgery, and he “was told that if he dropped three (3) complaints” he would get it. Plaintiff filed grievances.

         In August of 2017, Nickelson approached plaintiff's cell and told him he was not wanted at PCC, and would be transferred. “On or about August 17, 2017, plaintiff received a retaliatory transfer” to JCCC. Upon arrival, he complained about the pain in his finger, and was taken to the infirmary. He told the doctor he wanted surgery, and “that was when he became aware that his medical records had been falsified by the medical staff at PCC to say plaintiff never requested surgery.” Plaintiff alleges that, “due to the policies and customs of Defendant Corizon, Inc., various contracted medical practitioners have subjected him to deliberate indifference to his medical needs.” Plaintiff alleges he is being denied surgery as of the date of the amended complaint, and states he has difficulties performing activities of daily living.


          Plaintiff did not follow the instructions set forth in the Court's February 19, 2019 Memorandum and Order. First, plaintiff has persisted in improperly joining in this one lawsuit 17 defendants and his numerous claims against them. As the Court previously explained, plaintiff cannot assert, in a single lawsuit, claims against different defendants that are related to events arising out of different occurrences ...

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