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Smith v. Montgomery

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Harrison Division

February 27, 2018

JEFFREY L. SMITH PLAINTIFF
v.
SHERIFF JOHN MONTGOMERY, Baxter County, Arkansas; JAILER TONY BECK; and JAILER GARY KOCHA DEFENDANTS

          OPINION AND ORDER

          Timothy L. Brooks, Judge

         This is a civil rights case filed by the Plaintiff, Jeffrey L. Smith, under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff also asserts a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis ("IFP"). He is currently incarcerated in the Grimes Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction ("ADC").

         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).

         I. BACKGROUND

         According to the allegations of the Amended Complaint (Doc. 13), Plaintiff was being held at the Baxter County Detention Center ("BCDC") on a parole violation pending transfer to the ADC. Plaintiff was held at the BCDC from August 5, 2017, until September 20, 2017.

         While at the BCDC, Plaintiff contends his constitutional rights were violated in the following ways:

(1) He was not provided with "balanced nutritional meals sufficient in quantity, quality, nutritionally to prevent healthy and safe continuance of life"; and, as to the custom or policy supporting an official capacity claim, Plaintiff alleges "failure to properly supervise daily operations" of the facility. Id. at 4-5.
(2) Defendants failed to dispense medication in accordance with prescribed amounts and times; and, as to the custom or policy supporting an official capacity claim, Plaintiff alleges "failure to properly dispense medications as required by the bottle it was in. An[d] as prescribed by plaintiff's Primary Care Physician." Id. at 5-6.
(3) Defendants failed to upgrade all areas of the facility "so as to bring [it] into compliance with [the ADA]. . . . Failure to attach assist bars for handicapped in showers and other required areas." Id. at 6-7.

         With respect to his medication, Plaintiff has attached a jail request form addressed to the attention of Lieutenant Lewis stating his blood pressure medication dosage had been changed from twice a day to once a day. He stated this could result in heart failure or stroke. In response, he was told the request would be forwarded to the nurse. Id. at 8.

         Plaintiff sues the Defendants in both their individual and official capacities. As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages. He also requests an order directing "Defendants to bring their facilities into compliance with Title II of the [ADA] and barring retaliation against Plaintiff." Id. at 7.

         II. DISCUSSION

         Under 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." Bell Atl. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The Court bears In mind, however, 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 (2007)).

         A. ...


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