United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
following proposed Findings and Recommendation have been sent
to United States District Judge D.P. Marshall Jr. 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
Donald Adams, an inmate at the Pulaski County Detention
Facility, filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 on October 23, 2017 (Doc. No. 1). Adams
filed an amended complaint on November 20, 2017 (Doc. No. 4).
Adams sues Jail Administrator Doc Holladay and claims there
is a lack of security at the jail in that one guard attends
to 150 inmates in two separate living quarters at times.
Adams also complains that he did not receive a tuberculosis
(TB) shot for ten days. Because Adams' original complaint
and amended complaint did not allege enough facts to
determine if he had stated a claim for relief, the Court
ordered Adams to file another amended complaint setting forth
facts describing how and when the named defendant allegedly
violated Adams' constitutional rights and how Adams was
injured by the defendant's actions. See Doc. No.
5. Adams subsequently filed a second amended complaint.
See Doc. No. 6.
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. . . .”).
Although a pro se complaint is construed liberally,
it must contain enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face, not merely conceivable.
liberally construed Adams' various complaints, the Court
finds Adams fails to allege sufficient facts to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, as explained below, and
recommends that Adams' complaint be dismissed without
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. Adams claims that he should have been
tested for TB within 72 hours, but was instead tested 10 days
after his incarceration at the Pulaski County Detention
Facility began. Adams also alleges that the jail was not
appropriately staffed to ensure the prisoners' safety.
The Court construes Adams' complaints as describing an
Eighth Amendment claim based on unsafe prison conditions.
treatment a prisoner receives in prison and the conditions
under which he is confined are subject to scrutiny under the
Eighth Amendment.” Helling v. McKinney, 509
U.S. 25, 31 (1993). Prison officials must provide humane
conditions of confinement as well as adequate food, clothing,
shelter, and medical care, and they “must ‘take
reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of the
inmates.'” Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S.
825, 832 (1994) (quoting Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S.
517, 526-527 (1984)). To state an Eighth Amendment claim
based on lack of safety, Adams must allege that he was
incarcerated under conditions posing a substantial risk of
serious harm. Id. He must also show that defendant
“both knew of and disregarded an excessive risk to
[his] health and safety.” Holden v. Hirner,
663 F.3d 326, 341 (8th Cir. 2011). Such conduct is,
“akin to criminal recklessness, which demands more than
negligent misconduct.” Popoalii v. Correctional
Med. Servs, 512 F.3d 488, 499 (8th Cir. 2008) (internal
quotation marks and citations omitted).
provides no facts to support his allegations that he was
subjected to a substantial risk of harm from a TB infection
or a lack of security. Adams generally describes other
inmates who needed medical help or banged on their doors but
provides no details specifically describing an unsafe
environment. See Doc. No. 4 at 1. Furthermore, Adams
alleges no injury as a result of his possible exposure to TB
or the alleged lack of security other than a general feeling
of fear which disrupts his sleep. Because a § 1983
action is a type of tort claim, general principles of tort
law require that a plaintiff suffer some actual injury before
he can receive compensation. See Irving v.
Dormire, 519 F.3d 441, 448 (8th Cir. 2008) (citing
Carey v. Piphus, 435 U.S. 247, 253-55 (1978)).
See also 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(e) (requiring a
prisoner to show an actual physical injury as opposed to
mental or emotional injury to sustain a claim for
Adams' complaints regarding the Defendant's failure
to follow jail policy is insufficient to state a
constitutional claim. See Gardner v. Howard, 109
F.3d 427, 430 (8th Cir. 1997) (holding that “there is
no § 1983 liability for violating prison
policy.”); Williams v. Nix, 1 F.3d 712, 717
(8th Cir. 1992) (“[T]he mere violation of a state law
or rule does not constitute a federal due process
THEREFORE RECOMMENDED THAT:
Adams' claims be dismissed without prejudice for failure
to state a claim ...