United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
OPINION AND ORDER
L BROOKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Kendall C. Harvey filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§1983. He proceeds pro se and in forma
pauperis. The 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.
to the allegations of the Complaint, on January 9, 2018,
inmates at the Benton County Detention Center were served
contaminated food. As a result, Plaintiff asserts he suffered
from stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.
asserts that Defendants failed to follow proper food safety
rules and regulations resulting in the food poisoning. He
also asserts workers in the kitchen did not follow food
safety guidelines. Plaintiff sues the Defendants in both
their individual and official capacities. As relief, he asks
for compensatory damages.
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) seek 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 Atl. 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. Partus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)).
mere conclusory allegations with no supporting factual
averments are insufficient to state a claim upon which relief
can be based. Allen v. Purkett, 5 F.3d 1151, 1153
(8th Cir. 1993); see also Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d
912, 914 (8th Cir. 2004). "[A] pro se plaintiff requires
no special legal training to recount the facts surrounding
his alleged injury, and he must provide such facts if the
court is to determine whether he makes out a claim on which
relief can be granted." Hall v. Bellmon, 935
F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991) (citations omitted).
1983 provides a federal cause of action for the deprivation,
under color of law, of a citizen's "rights,
privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and
laws" of the United States. In order to state a claim
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, plaintiff must allege that the
defendant acted under color of state law and that he violated
a right secured by the Constitution. West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42 (1988); Dunham v. Wadley, 195 F.3d 1007,
1009 (8th Cir. 1999). The deprivation must be intentional;
mere negligence will not suffice to state a claim for
deprivation of a constitutional right under § 1983.
Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327 (1986);
Davidson v. Cannon, 474 U.S. 344 (1986). To the
extent Plaintiff attempts to assert a negligence claim, it is
insufficient as a matter of law.
Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits
the imposition of cruel and unusual punishment. U.S. Const,
amend. VIII. The Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the
Eighth Amendment forbids conditions that involve the
"wanton and unnecessary infliction of pain, " or
are "grossly disproportionate to the severity of the
crime." Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 347
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." Cnty. of Sacramento
v. Lewis, 523 U.S. 833, 851 (1998) (citation omitted).
The Constitution does not mandate comfortable prisons, but
neither does it permit inhumane ones. See Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994).
Eighth Amendment 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). Jail or prison officials must provide
reasonably adequate ventilation, sanitation, bedding,
hygienic materials, food, and utilities. Prison conditions
claims include threats to an inmate's ...