United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
OPINION AND ORDER
TIMOTHY L. BROOKS JUDGE
a civil rights case filed by the Plaintiff Patrick Hubbard
under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Hubbard
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), Hubbard is
incarcerated on pending criminal charges. Hubbard alleges his
constitutional rights are being violated in the following
ways: (1) guards are often physically or verbally abusive to
inmates; (2) unsanitary conditions when thirty or more
inmates are required to use the same toilet and sink; (3)
inmates are overcharged for medical care ($20 for visits and
$10 for prescriptions); (4) illegal housing of the mentally
ill; (5) inadequate grievance procedure with no appeal
process; (6) food is being served at room temperature; (7)
inmate accounts are charged $1.50 per week for indigent
supplies creating a negative balance for those without funds;
(8) inmates are often placed in segregation for infractions
that are not listed as rule violations, e.g.
disrespecting staff; (9) malicious rules with no security
purpose such as being locked out of your cell for 8 to 10
hours and not being allowed to have cups, bowls, commissary
outside your cell during lock out periods; (10) taking away
everyone's phone or commissary privileges based on the
actions of one person; (11) loss of kiosk privileges in
retaliation for complaints about a non-police official coming
to Pope County Jail to pick Hubbard up and transport him to
the BCDC and asking for an investigation of why Detective
Eddie Weimer was allowed to sign a warrant he did not serve;
(12) legal mail being opened outside his presence and a form
removed; (13) being denied adequate healthcare by not being
allowed to see the social worker or a psychologist for
depression; (14) being fed last because an inmate laughed
after being ordered to be quiet; and (15) being discriminated
against. Hubbard has sued the Defendants in both their
individual and official capacities.
relief, Hubbard seeks compensatory and punitive damages. He
also asks that Defendants be ordered to put any money
illegally obtained towards something constructive for the
inmates such as television sets, board games, clothes, mats,
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." BellAtl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). However, the
Court bears in mind 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 Hubbard seeks to bring on behalf of others are subject
to dismissal. These claims are: guards often physically
abusing inmates; illegal housing of the mentally ill; and
inmates being placed in segregation for infractions that are
not listed as rule violations. A claim that an
individual's constitutional rights have been violated is
regarded as personal in nature. See Broadrick v.
Oklahoma, 413 U.S. 601, 610-11 (1973); United States
v. Mitchell, 915 F.2d 521, 526 n. 8 (9th Cir. 1990).
Ordinarily, one individual cannot assert a claim on behalf of
another individual. Johns v. County of San Diego,
114 F.3d 874, 876 (9th Cir. 1997)("While a non-attorney
may appear pro se on his own behalf, '[h]e has no
authority to appear as an attorney for others than
himself"). Plaintiff has not alleged that he was
physically abused, is mentally ill, or was put in segregation
for an infraction not listed as a rule violation. No
constitutional claim is stated.
claim that he was verbally abused or harassed is subject to
dismissal. "Generally, mere verbal threats made by a
state-actor do not constitute a § 1983 claim. The
Constitution does not protect against all intrusions on
one's peace of mind. Fear or emotional injury which
results solely from verbal harassment or idle threats is
generally not sufficient to constitute an invasion of an
identified liberty interest." King v. Olmsted
County, 117 F.3d 1065, 1067 (8th Cir. 1997). No claim of
constitutional dimension is stated.
claim about the alleged unsanitary conditions in connection
with the use of a communal toilet are subject to dismissal.
As a preliminary matter, Hubbard has not stated how any of
the Defendants were personally responsible for these
conditions. "Liability under section 1983 requires a
causal link to, and direct responsibility for, the
deprivation of rights. To establish personal liability,
[Hubbard] must allege specific facts of personal involvement
in, or direct responsibility for, a deprivation of his
constitutional rights." Clemmons v. Armontrout,
477 F.3d 962, 967 (8th Cir. 2007) (quoting Mayorga v.
Missouri, 442 F.3d 1128, 1132 (8th Cir. 2006)); Mark
v. Nix, 983 F.2d 138, 139-40 (8th Cir. 1993) (section
1983 liability requires some personal involvement or
Constitution does not mandate comfortable prisons, but
neither does it permit inhumane ones. See Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994). The Eighth Amendment
prohibits the imposition of cruel and unusual punishment.
U.S. Const, amend. VIM; see also Wilson v. Seiter,
501 U.S. 294 (1991); Hall v. Dalton, 34 F.3d 648,
650 (8th Cir. 1994) ("[l]n this circuit, the standards
applied to Eighth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment claims
have been the same"). "[P]unishment is cruel and
unusual if it deprives inmates of the minimal civilized
measure of life's necessities." Whitnack v.
Douglas County, 16 F.3d 954, 957 (8th Cir.
I994)(internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
prison officials must provide reasonably adequate
ventilation, sanitation, bedding, hygienic materials, food,
and utilities. Prison conditions claims include threats to an
inmate's health and safety. Irving v. Dormire,
519 F.3d 441, 446 (8th Cir. 2008)(citation omitted). To state
an Eighth Amendment claim, the plaintiff must allege that
prison officials acted with "deliberate
indifference" towards conditions at the prison that
created a substantial risk of serious harm. Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994).
does not allege that he was unable to use the toilet when he
needed to. He does not allege his hygiene suffered as a
result or that he contracted any disease. While he does
allege there was an outbreak of staph infection at the
facility in April and May of 2017, he does not allege the
outbreak was in the pod he was confined to or that there was
any evidence suggesting the outbreak was connected in anyway
to the use of the communal toilet during lock out periods.
Certainly, there is nothing in the Complaint suggesting that
the Hubbard was deprived of a single identifiable human need.
No claim is stated.
respect to the food being served at room temperature, Hubbard
makes no other allegations regarding the food. He does not
allege that this was an unsafe practice, that his diet was