United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
HOLMES, III CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
a civil rights action filed by the Plaintiff pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and
in forma pauperis.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court has the obligation
to screen any complaint in which an individual has sought
leave to proceed IFP. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). On review,
the Court is to dismiss the Complaint, or any portion of the
Complaint, that is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
filed his Complaint on May 26, 2017. (ECF No. 1). The basis
of Plaintiff's claim concerns a letter he wrote to
Defendant Warden Gibson, and the subsequent events triggered
by this letter. Plaintiff alleges that, in this letter, he
asked Defendant Gibson “why white prisoners are treated
different than black prisoners.” Plaintiff further
alleges he asked Defendant Gibson “why is it that
blacks can call each other nigger alday [sic] long and
nothing be done about it but let a white man say that word
and he gets a disciplinary.” (ECF No. 1 at 6).
Plaintiff attached the disciplinary charge document
concerning this letter. This charge described the letter as
On 2/24/17 at approx. 10 am I Lt. Maxwell received a letter
addressed to Warden Gipson from inmate Chester Vaughn #
129334. In this letter Inmate Vaughn talks about the unfair
treatment of whites and goes on to say nigger many times.
Inmate Vaughn goes on to complains [sic] about their music
being played after lights out, stealing chicken, cake, and
cookies from the kitchen. At the bottom of the letter he
asked Mr. Gipson, Why is it that a nigger can call each other
nigger, but when a white man say nigger, they get in trouble?
Inmate was given a confiscation form. Therefore I Lt. Maxwell
charge Inmate Vaughn #129334 with rule violation 1-7 and 2-5.
(ECF No. 1 at 3). Plaintiff alleges Defendant Warden Gibson
placed him in isolation without investigating anything in the
letter, and told him not to send any more letters with those
adjectives in them. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Gibson
therefore punished him “for using my freedom of
speech.” (ECF No. 1 at 5). Plaintiff alleges Defendant
Assistant Warden Jackson “did not come to me to
investigate anything on why I was appealing the
disciplinary.” (ECF No. 1 at 6). He alleges Defendant
Jackson has heard blacks call each other the “n”
word and done nothing about it, therefore he knows whites are
treated differently than blacks. Plaintiff alleges Defendant
Jackson violated his freedom of speech. (ECF No. 1at 6).
alleges the disciplinary charge hearing officer, Defendant
Minor, did not allow him to complete his defense statement
during his disciplinary hearing. Plaintiff alleges he stated
he told her he wanted to address the court before he entered
a plea, and she did not allow him to do so. (ECF No. 1 at 7).
Specifically, Plaintiff alleges she “got into her
fellings when she showed unprofessional conduct by stoping me
in the court hearing when I asked her before I enter a plea I
would like to address the courts. She started yelling and
said no your going to enter a plea. This shows she was in her
felling because she was addressing a white man who used the
(n) word.” [sic] (Id.).
alleges Defendant Maxwell did not provide the paperwork
Plaintiff requested to prepare his defense. (ECF No. 1 at 8).
alleges he spoke to Defendant Deputy Payne through the mail
many times. He alleges Defendant Payne sent him a letter
telling him “it is ok for me to ask questions, ”
but did nothing to help him or to get his disciplinary
conviction overturned. Defendant Payne also denied
Plaintiff's request for a hearing with Defendant Payne.
(ECF No. 1 at 8).
alleges Defendant Stougenberg refused to let him go to the
law library on two occasions, and this showed she had a
personal grudge against Plaintiff for writing her up on
another occasion. (ECF No. 1 at 9).
proceeds against all Defendants both their official and
personal capacity. (ECF No. 1, pp. 5-9). Plaintiff seeks
punitive damages, and to have the Defendants removed from
their jobs. (ECF No. 1 at 17). He further seeks $100 per day
for every day it took for him to get his Class One status
back, and $100 per day for the 150 days of good-time credit
that was taken from him as a result of the disciplinary
conviction. (ECF No. 1 at 26).