Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Biggers v. Walls

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Northern Division

December 20, 2017

KEVIN RANDELL BIGGERS ADC #155966 PLAINTIFF
v.
JOSH WALLS, et al. DEFENDANTS

          PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION

         INSTRUCTIONS

         The following proposed Findings and Recommendation have been sent to United States District Judge J. Leon Holmes. You may file written objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If you do so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain the factual and/or legal basis for your objection, and (2) be received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days of this Recommendation. By not objecting, you may waive the right to appeal questions of fact.

         DISPOSITION

         Plaintiff Kevin Randall Biggers, an inmate at the Arkansas Department of Correction's Delta Regional Unit, filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 raising numerous factually unrelated claims against multiple defendants (Doc. No. 2). Biggers was instructed to file an amended complaint narrowing his claims. See Doc. No. 5. Biggers filed an amended complaint narrowing his claims to those surrounding certain disciplinary proceedings. See Doc. No. 6. Specifically, he challenges the fairness of the disciplinary proceedings against him and his resulting parole revocation. Id. at 2-4. He complains that the defendants do not maintain an adequate grievance procedure. Id. at 4. Finally, he alleges that Defendants retaliated against him for using the grievance procedure by revoking his parole and transferring him to the Arkansas Department of Corrections. Id. The undersigned finds that Biggers fails to describe facts sufficient to state a claim for relief and recommends dismissal of his claims.

         I. Screening Standard

         Federal law requires courts to screen prisoner complaints. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, 1915(e)(2). Claims that are legally frivolous or malicious; that fail to state a claim for relief; or that seek money from a defendant who is immune from paying damages should be dismissed before the defendants are served. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, 1915(e)(2). Although a complaint requires only a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, the factual allegations set forth therein must be sufficient to raise the right to relief above the speculative level. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2); Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (“a plaintiff's obligation to provide the ‘grounds' of his ‘entitle[ment]to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. . . .”). While construed liberally, a pro se complaint must contain enough facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face, not merely conceivable.

         II. Analysis

         To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that the conduct of a defendant acting under color of state law deprived him of a right, privilege, or immunity secured by the United States Constitution or by federal law. 42 U.S.C. § 1983. It appears that Biggers is asserting a Fourteenth Amendment due process and/or equal protection claim based on the disciplinary proceedings against him. According to Biggers' complaint, he was incarcerated in the Sharp County Jail on August 13, 2017, in connection with a parole violation. Doc. No. 6 at 2. He states:

After a parole violation hearing, conducted on August 29, 2017, it was determined that Plaintiff: “offender is to remain in the County Jail for 90 days contingent upon good behavior and eligibility. If the offender fails to abide by the terms of the short term revocation program, the offender will be transferred to the Arkansas Department of Correction to complete the balance of the 6 month revocation term.” . . .

Id. On September 1, 2017, Biggers was disciplined for exercising with no shirt on. Id. On September 6, 2017, Biggers was disciplined for having a bag of water in his cell. Id. Biggers claims that other inmates have done the same things and not been disciplined. Id. Biggers was placed on 72-hour lock-down as a result of each disciplinary. Id. at 2-3. The second disciplinary also resulted in Biggers' full parole revocation and transfer to the ADC. Id. at 3. Biggers seeks money damages and injunctive relief. Id. at 5.

         Due Process.

         To state a Fourteenth Amendment due process claim, a plaintiff must “demonstrate that he was deprived of life, liberty or property by government action.” Phillips v. Norris, 320 F.3d 844, 846 (8th Cir. 2003). Biggers was not deprived of life or property; accordingly, he must identify the deprivation of a liberty interest to sustain a due process challenge to his prison disciplinary proceedings. Id. at 847; Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 484 (1995). A prisoner has no liberty interest in having certain procedures followed in the disciplinary process; rather, the liberty interest arises from the “nature of the prisoner's confinement.” Phillips, 320 F.3d at 847. “In order to determine whether an inmate possesses a liberty interest, we compare the conditions to which the inmate was exposed in segregation with those he or she could ‘expect to experience as an ordinary incident of prison life.'” Phillips, 320 F.3d at 847 (quoting Beverati v. Smith, 120 F.3d 500, 503 (4th Cir. 1997)).

         Biggers was placed on 72-hour lock-down as a result of each disciplinary. An inmate has no liberty interest in avoiding segregated confinement, as long as the conditions do not amount to an “atypical and significant” hardship that would give rise to due process protection as set forth in Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 483-484 (1995). The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has “consistently held that administrative and disciplinary segregation are not atypical and significant hardships under Sandin.” Portly-El v. Brill, 288 F.3d 1063, 1065 (8th Cir. 2002). Biggers does not describe the conditions he endured while on lock-down other than to complain he missed a visit from a friend. Biggers describes no change in conditions that could constitute the deprivation of a liberty interest.

         Re ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.