United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. Russell, III United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff Leroy Yuman, IV's
Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (ECF No. 2).
The Motion is ripe for disposition and no hearing necessary.
See Local Rule 105.6 (D.Md. 2016). For the reasons
outlined below, the Court will grant the Motion and dismiss
the Complaint without prejudice for filing in the appropriate
housed at the Dorchester County Detention Center
(“DCDC”) in 2015, Yuman slipped, fell in a puddle
of “nasty and stagnant water, ” and sustained a
bad cut to his foot when he “struggled to pull [his]
foot from under the shower door.” (Compl. at 1, ECF No.
1-1). He asserts that there were no signs placed in the area
stating “caution, wet floor.” (Id.). He
was taken to the nurses' room and it took forty-five
minutes for personnel to decide what treatment to provide.
(Id.). Yuman pleads he was bleeding profusely and
was in pain the entire time. (Id.).
Court observes that Yuman has named the DCDC Warden as the
sole Defendant. He fails to allege how Warden Mills
personally participated in violating his rights under the
law. Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, individual liability must
be based on personal conduct. See Wright v.
Collins, 766 F.2d 841, 850 (4th Cir. 1985); see
also Foote v. Spiegal, 118 F.3d 1416, 1423
(10th Cir. 1997). Further, absent subjective knowledge, a
prison official is not liable. Farmer v. Brennan,
511 U.S. 825, 847 (1994); see Johnson v.
Quinones, 145 F.3d 164, 168 (4th Cir. 1998).
he does not indicate that the Warden was personally
responsible for his injury, it appears that Yuman intends to
hold Mills liable under a theory of respondeat
superior. Under Shaw v. Stroud, 13
F.3d 791 (4th Cir. 1994), supervisory liability may attach
under § 1983 when a plaintiff establishes three
elements: (1) “that the supervisor had actual or
constructive knowledge that his subordinate was engaged in
conduct that posed ‘a pervasive and unreasonable
risk' of constitutional injury to citizens like the
plaintiff;” (2) “that the supervisor's
response to that knowledge was so inadequate as to show
‘deliberate indifference to or tacit authorization of
the alleged offensive practices;'” and (3)
“that there was an ‘affirmative causal link'
between the supervisor's inaction and the particular
constitutional injury suffered by the plaintiff.”
Id. at 799 (citations omitted). Yuman provides no
grounds for supervisory liability.
more, the Court concludes that Yuman's allegations set
out no constitutional violations. To the extent that Yuman
brings his claim under § 1983, which provides a private
cause of action for constitutional violations by persons
acting under color of state law, it shall be dismissed.
Section 1983 “‘is not itself a source of
substantive rights, ' but merely provides ‘a method
for vindicating federal rights elsewhere conferred.'
” Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994)
(quoting Baker v. McCollan, 443 U.S. 137, 144 n.3
(1979)). Accordingly, a civil action under § 1983 allows
“a party who has been deprived of a federal right under
the color of state law to seek relief.” City of
Monterey v. Del Monte Dunes at Monterey, Ltd., 526 U.S.
687, 707 (1999); see also 28 U.S.C. §§
1343(a)(3) and (4); West v. Adkins, 487 U.S. 42, 49
(1988); Lugar v. Edmondson Oil Co., 457
U.S. 922, 928-30 (1982).
1983 provides, in relevant part:
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State ... subjects, or
causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or
any person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation
of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the
Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured
in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper
proceeding for redress….
establish a claim under § 1983, a Plaintiff must prove
two elements: (1) that the defendant “deprived [the
plaintiff] of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of
the United States;” and (2) that the defendant
“deprived [the plaintiff] of this constitutional right
under color of [State] statute, ordinance, regulation,
custom, or usage.” Mentavlos v. Anderson, 249
F.3d 301, 310 (4th Cir. 2001) (third alteration in original)
(citation and internal quotation marks omitted). Thus,
jurisdictional and threshold requirements of §1983 civil
actions require a substantial federal claim and that the
named defendants act "under color of" state law.
has, at best, set out a claim of negligence for the alleged
failure to place a caution sign around the shower area. A
claim of negligence is not colorable under § 1983.
See Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327, 328-36 &
n.3 (1986); Davidson v. Cannon, 474 U.S. 344,
345-348 (1986); Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106
(1976). In addition, Yuman states that it took personnel
forty-five minutes to determine what type of treatment he
needed. Such a delay is not sufficient to state a deliberate
indifference or punitive behavior claim under the Eighth or
Fourteenth Amendment. The Court will, therefore, dismiss the
Complaint without prejudice to allow Yuman to file the action
in the appropriate state court.
foregoing reasons, Yuman's Motion for Leave to Proceed In
Forma Pauperis (ECF No. 2) is GRANTED and the Complaint is