United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
OPINION AND ORDER
TIMOTHY L. BROOKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a civil rights case filed by Plaintiff Ezra Joe Jones
pursuant to the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He
proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis.
before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 24) filed by
Aramark Correctional Services, LLC, the John Doe Kitchen
Staff, the John Doe Kitchen Supervisor, and Deputy C. Cink.
Mr. Jones did not file a response to the Motion to Dismiss.
Jones is currently incarcerated in the Randall L. Williams
Correctional Facility of the Arkansas Department of
Correction. When he filed this case on September 12, 2016, he
was incarcerated in the Washington County Detention Center
("WCDC"). The claims asserted arise out of his
incarceration in the WCDC.
to the allegations of the Complaint (Doc. 1), Defendants
failed to provide Mr. Jones with: (1) a diet in keeping with
his religious beliefs; (2) a well-balanced diet; and (3) a
diet meeting vegetarian standards. He also alleges that
Aramark failed to properly train its kitchen staff with
respect to basic nutritional standards, portion control,
appropriate substitutions, religious diets, and how to
properly and timely respond to requests or grievances about
the food being served. He additionally alleges that kitchen
staff are not provided with a copy of the menu.
respect to Deputy Cink, Mr. Jones alleges that she responded
to his written complaint regarding meals with-what he
perceived to be-a veiled threat. Specifically, he claims that
Deputy Cink responded: "It seems that almost every day
you have a complaint. I will see if we can't get a
scheduled visit with the Medical Dept. and see if we
can't solve your issues." (Doc. 8, p. 2). Mr. Jones
interpreted this as a threat to "force sedation" on
him. Id. at 3.
relief, Mr. Jones seeks compensatory and punitive damages. He
also asks for the following to be placed on the jail kiosk in
the document section: a copy of the approved menu with
portion size noted; a copy of the "feeding policy";
and instructions on how to obtain special/religious diets.
8(a) contains the general pleading rules and requires a
complaint to present "a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a) (2). "In order to meet this standard,
and survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), 'a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its
face.'" Braden v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.,
588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009) (quoting Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)).
plausibility standard requires a plaintiff to show at the
pleading stage that success on the merits is more than a
'sheer possibility.'" Braden, 588 F.3d
at 594 (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). The
standard does "not impose a probability requirement at
the pleading stage; it simply calls for enough facts to raise
a reasonable expectation, " or reasonable inference,
that the "defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; see also
Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th Cir. 2004) (while
pro se complaints are liberally construed, they must allege
sufficient facts to support the claims).
and Deputy Cink argue they are entitled to dismissal of the
claims against them on the following grounds: (1) Mr.
Jones's allegations, accepted as true for purposes of
this Motion, do not allege a physical injury as required by
42 U.S.C. § 1997e (e) of the Prison Litigation Reform
Act (PLRA); and (2) his allegations fail to state an Eighth
1983 provides a federal cause of action for the deprivation,
under color of law, of a citizen's "rights,
privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and
laws" of the United States. In order to state a claim
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that the
defendant acted under color of state law and violated a right
secured by the Constitution. West v. Adkins, 487
U.S. 42 (1988); Dunham v. Wadley,195 F.3d 1007,
1009 (8th Cir. 1999). The deprivation must be intentional;
mere negligence will not suffice to state a claim for