United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division
HOLMES, III CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
case is before the Court for preservice screening under the
provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA).
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court has the
obligation to screen any complaint in which a prisoner seeks
redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of
a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
filed his Complaint on October 2, 2017. (ECF No. 1). He
alleges his constitutional rights are being violated by the
unconstitutional conditions of confinement at the Logan
County Detention Center. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges the
jail is on a “23 and 1 lockdown program, ” and
inmates “eat w[h]ere we def[e]cate.” Plaintiff
further alleges it is a hostile and unsanitary environment,
and that felons are housed with misdemeanor inmates. (ECF No.
1 at 4). Later in his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges he has to
sleep where he defecates, and there are no windows in the
yard. (ECF No. 1 at 6). Plaintiff included a newspaper
article from an unidentified newspaper noting that the jail
has been repeatedly cited for violations of jail standards.
(ECF No. 1, p. 12). Plaintiff alleges his mental condition is
deteriorating due to the hostile and unsanitary environment.
(ECF No. 1 at 4).
proceeds against all Defendants in their official capacities.
(ECF No. 1 at 4). Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive
damages. (ECF No. 1 at 7).
the PLRA, the Court is obligated to screen the case prior to
service of process being issued. The Court must dismiss a
complaint, or any portion of it, if it contains claims that:
(1) are frivolous, malicious, or fail to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted; or, (2) seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C.
is frivolous if “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 Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “In 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 (2007)). Even a
pro se Plaintiff must allege specific facts
sufficient to support a claim. Martin v. Sargent,
780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8 Cir. 1985).
has failed to state a plausible claim of unconstitutional
conditions of confinement. “[W]hen the State takes a
person into its custody and holds him there against his will,
the Constitution imposes upon it a corresponding duty to
assume some responsibility for his safety and general
well-being.” County of Sacramento v. Lewis,
523 U.S. 833 (1998) (citation omitted). The Eighth Amendment
to the United States Constitution prohibits the imposition of
cruel and unusual punishment. U.S. Const. amend. VIII.
Detention centers must provide pretrial detainees with
“reasonably adequate sanitation, personal hygiene, and
laundry privileges . . . .” Beaulieu v.
Ludeman, 690 F.3d 1017, 1045 (8th Cir. 2012) (quoting
Howard v. Adkison, 887 F.2d 134, 137 (8th Cir.
1989)). The Eighth Amendment also prohibits punishments that
deprive inmates of the minimal civilized measure of
life's necessities. Smith v. Copeland, 87 F.3d
265, 268 (8th Cir. 1996); see also Hall v. Dalton,
34 F.3d 648, 650 (8th Cir. 1994) (“[I]n this circuit,
the standards applied to Eighth Amendment and Fourteenth
Amendment claims have been the same.”).
the case with all Eighth Amendment claims, a prisoner must
suffer some actual injury in order to receive compensation.
This injury must be greater than de minimis.
Irving v. Dormire, 519 F.3d 441, 448 (8th Cir.
2008). Plaintiff's Complaint centers on a lockdown
procedure in which inmates must eat and sleep in their cells,
and on the fact that felony inmates are housed with
misdemeanor inmates. Plaintiff seeks compensation, but has
provided no allegation of actual physical harm suffered as a
result of any of the alleged conditions at the Logan County
Detention Center. Plaintiff's vague allegation concerning
the deterioration of his mental condition due to unsanitary
and hostile conditions, alone, does not suffice. “No
Federal civil action may be brought by a prisoner confined in
jail, prison, or other correctional facility, for mental or
emotional injury suffered while in custody without a prior
showing of physical injury . . . .” 42 U.S.C.A. §
1997e(e); see also Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1,
8-9 & 16-17 (1992) (Blackmun, J., concurring) (de
minimis infliction of psychological pain is not
actionable under the Eighth Amendment). Plaintiff, therefore,
failed to state a plausible conditions of confinement claim.
these reasons, IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's claims are