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Penny v. Holloway

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

March 1, 2018

SHANE ALLEN PENNY PLAINTIFF
v.
SHERIFF SHAWN HOLLOWAY, Benton County, Arkansas; LIEUTENANT HOLT; DAWN OSBORN, Kitchen Supervisor, Trinity Food Group, THELMA SNODGRASS, Kitchen Lead, Trinity Food Group; and TRINITY FOOD GROUP DEFENDANTS

          OPINION AND ORDER

          TIMOTHY L. BROOKS JUDGE

         Plaintiff, Shane A. Penny, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis. Plaintiff is incarcerated in the Benton County Detention Center ("BCDC"). He names as Defendants Sheriff Holloway, Lieutenant Holt, Dawn Osborn, Thelma Snodgrass, and Trinity Food Group.

         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. § 1915A(a).

         I. BACKGROUND

         According to the allegations of the Complaint (Doc. 7), on January 10-11, 2018, kitchen staff did not follow food safety rules, causing meat to spoil and resulting in most of the jail "being poisoned." Plaintiff asserts that the trustees do not care about the inmates' safety.

         Plaintiff alleges the food carts are merely rinsed off and are never sanitized. He also contends the coolers used for drinks are only rinsed and never taken apart and sanitized. He alleges the food sits on the carts for hours at a time, and the temperature of the food is never taken. Further, he alleges the trustees are allowed to serve food without gloves.

         With respect to Sheriff Holloway, Plaintiff alleges he does not hold his employees accountable. Plaintiff believes Lieutenant Holt should be held accountable for not supervising the kitchen contractors. Plaintiff maintains that Trinity should be held liable for allowing employees to act as they "wish and not follow laws." Finally, Plaintiff alleges Dawn Osborn and Thelma Snodgrass should be held liable for allowing tainted meat to be served.

         Plaintiff also asserts a denial of medical care claim. Plaintiff states the kiosk used to submit requests for medical treatment was down. Plaintiff alleges he asked the deputies several times to see the medical staff and was told they were too busy. Plaintiff asserts that he was vomiting blood for two days.

         Plaintiff indicates that the inmates were provided with approximately 12 ounces of Gatorade a day. Plaintiff alleges Sheriff Holloway and Lieutenant Holt neglected their duty to provide him with access to medical treatment and medications.

         Plaintiff sues the Defendants in both their individual and official capacities. As relief, he asks for compensatory damages and punitive damages. He also asks that the kitchen be subject to tighter regulations to ensure no food poising incidents occur again. He also asks that the jail be made to operate in a much more humane way.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Under 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. § 1915A(b).

         A claim 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. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)).

         However, 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 ...


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