United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
OPINION AND ORDER
TIMOTHY L BROOKS JUDGE
a civil rights case filed by the Plaintiff, Christopher
Thornsberry, under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma
pauperis ("IFP"). He is incarcerated in the
Benton County Detention Center ("BCDC"). The Prison
Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) modified the IFP statute, 28
U.S.C. § 1915, to require the Court to screen complaints
for dismissal under § 1915(e)(2)(B). The Court must
dismiss a complaint, or any portion of it, if it contains
claims that: (a) are frivolous or malicious; (b) fail to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or, (c) seek
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
to the allegations of the Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff is a
pretrial detainee charged with a sex offense. He contends his
constitutional rights are being violated because he is being
housed with sex offenders. He argues that he is not a sex
offender because his charge is still pending. He alleges that
he would rather be housed with non-sex offenders. He believes
his rights to equal treatment are being denied and that he is
being discriminated against.
relief, he asks that he be allowed to reside in a cell with
non-sex offenders. He indicates he is willing to enter into
an agreement holding that the BCDC would not be "liable
for any mishap if one were to occur." (Doc. 1, p. 5)
the PLRA, the Court is obligated to screen a case prior to
service of process being issued. A claim is frivolous when it
"lacks an arguable basis either in law or fact."
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A
claim fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted
if it does not allege "enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face." Bell AtL
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The Court
bears in mind, however, that when "evaluating whether a
pro se plaintiff has asserted sufficient facts to
state a claim, we hold 'a pro se complaint,
however inartfully pleaded, ... to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'"
Jackson v. Nixon, 747 F.3d 537, 541 (8th Cir. 2014)
(quoting Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
claims are subject to dismissal. No Due Process claim is
stated when an inmate is merely given an administrative
housing assignment based on the nature of his charges rather
than as punishment for his charges. See e.g., Higgs v.
Carver, 286 F.3d 437 (7th Cir. 2002) (no process is
required when inmate is placed in segregation for managerial
reasons). Here, Plaintiff alleges he is housed with other
inmates either charged with offenses of a sexual nature or
with convicted sex offenders. There is no constitutional
right to a particular housing assignment. See Bell v.
Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 538-40, 546 (1979) (maintaining
safety and internal order within institution are permissible
nonpunitive objectives); Thompson v. Helder, Civil
No. 07-5223, 2008 WL 2328335, at *4 (W.D. Ark. June 4, 2008)
(no constitutional right to a particular housing assignment).
has stated no Equal Protection claim. "The Equal
Protection Clause generally requires the government to treat
similarly situated people alike." Kilinger v.
Dep't. of Com, 31 F.3d 727, 731 (8th Cir. 1994)
(citation omitted). Plaintiff has not alleged that he has
been treated differently than other similarly situated
inmates charged with offenses of a sexual nature.
no discrimination claim is stated. The key element in a
discrimination case is unlawful, purposeful discrimination.
Batra v. Bd. of Regents of Univ. of Nebraska, 79
F.3d 717, 722 (8th Cir. 1996). Plaintiff has not alleged
membership in a protected class or any other basis for the
alleged discrimination. See e.g., Cantrell v. Beebe,
Civil No. 2:09-cv-00184, 2010 WL 2232221 (E.D. Ark. Oct. 7,
2010) (explaining that sex offenders are not a protected
Complaint fails to state a cognizable claim under § 1983
and is frivolous. Therefore, it is DISMISSED WITH
PREJUDICE. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(ii) (IFP action may be dismissed at any
time due to frivolousness or for failure to state a claim).