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Mattison v. V. Johnson

United States District Court, N.D. New York

March 30, 2018

ERNEST MATTISON, Plaintiff,
v.
V. JOHNSON, et al., Defendants.

          ERNEST MATTISON Clinton Correctional Facility P.O.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          THOMAS J. McAVOY SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Ernest Mattison commenced this action by filing a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983"), together with an application to proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP"). Dkt. No. 1 ("Compl."); Dkt. No. 12 ("IFP Application"). By Decision and Order filed February 21, 2018, plaintiff's IFP Application was granted but following review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), some of plaintiff's claims and defendants were dismissed and the Court directed service and a response for the claims that survived sua sponte review. Dkt. No. 13 (the "February 2018 Order").

         Presently before the Court is (1) plaintiff's amended complaint, wherein plaintiff also requests appointment of counsel, and (2) plaintiff's letter motion requesting that the Court consider certain documents in support of his claims. Dkt. No. 20 ("Am. Compl."); Dkt. No. 17 ("Letter Motion").

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Original Complaint

         In his original complaint, plaintiff asserted claims arising while he was in the custody of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision ("DOCCS") at Clinton Correctional Facility ("Clinton C.F."). See generally Compl.

         The complaint was liberally construed to assert the following claims: (1) Eighth Amendment medical indifference claims against defendants Johnson, Calley, John Doe Director of Dental Care ("Director John Doe") and Medical Escort Officer John Doe ("Officer John Doe"); and (2) Fourteenth Amendment equal protection claims against defendants Johnson, Calley, Corrections Officer John Doe, and Director John Doe. See February 2018 Order at 6.

         Following review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the Court dismissed without prejudice plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment equal protection claims against all of the defendants, as well as plaintiff's Eighth Amendment medical indifference claims against Director John Doe and Officer John Doe. See February 2018 Order at 8-14. Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment medical indifference claims against defendants Johnson and Calley were found to survive sua sponte review and to require a response. Id. at 8-9. The Court dismissed Director John Doe and Officer John Doe as defendants from the action without prejudice. Id. at 15.

         Because plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis and is an inmate suing government employees, his amended complaint must be reviewed in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         B. Review of the Amended Complaint

         The legal standard governing the dismissal of a pleading for failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b) was discussed at length in the February 2018 Order and it will not be restated in this Decision and Order. See February 2018 Order at 2-4.

         Plaintiff's amended complaint is substantially the same as his original complaint with minor exceptions. Compare Compl. with Am. Compl. First, the amended complaint includes some additional allegations, with attached exhibits, mostly in support of plaintiff's claims against Director John Doe. See generally, Am. Compl. Second, the amended complaint deletes all of the Fourteenth Amendment claims, as well as the Eighth Amendment claim against defendant Corrections Officer John Doe. Id. The remainder of the amended complaint asserts the same Eighth Amendment medical indifference claims that were set forth in the original complaint, including the medical indifference claim against Director John Doe that was previously dismissed by the February 2018 Order. Id. For a more complete statement of plaintiff's claims, refer to the amended complaint.

         1. Director John Doe

         In the February 2018 Order, the Court dismissed without prejudice plaintiff's Eighth Amendment medical indifference claim against Director John Doe based on a finding that the original complaint failed to allege facts plausibly suggesting that Director John Doe was personally involved in the alleged inadequate dental treatment plaintiff has received. See February 2018 Order at 9-10. Specifically, the Court stated that there were "no facts alleged in the complaint which plausibly suggest that defendant Director John Doe knew that plaintiff sought medical treatment yet ...


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