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Williams v. Hosman

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division

May 17, 2018

CLARENCE WILLIAMS, JR. PLAINTIFF
v.
MRS. HOSMAN, et. al. DEFENDANTS

          MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          HON. BARRY A. BRYANT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This is a civil rights action filed by the Plaintiff pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and (3)(2011), the Honorable Susan O. Hickey, United States District Judge, referred this case to the undersigned for the purpose of making a Report and Recommendation.

         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

         Plaintiff filed his Complaint on December 19, 2017. (ECF No. 1). He alleges his constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC) Ouachita River Unit. (ECF No. 2). For his first claim, Plaintiff alleges he was denied medical care in July of 2017 when Defendant Hosman assigned him to do utility work when he was a medically restricted inmate. Plaintiff alleges the work “caused [his] leg to swell due to metal rod inserted and hip to hurt due to hip implant.” Plaintiff alleges Defendant Ashcraft “wrote disciplinaries” and he was punished “when the pain was to[o] bad to make it out of bed.” (ECF No. 1 at 6). Plaintiff also sues Defendant Hosman in her official capacity, alleging it was Defendant Hosman's job to check medical restrictions, she was informed of her error by an infirmary manager, and she refused to correct the error for several months. (ECF No. 1 at 7).

         For his second claim, Plaintiff alleges Defendant Melugin “disrespected” him on July 4, 2017. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges Defendant Melugin “mocked the [H]onorable Muhammed” on July 4, 2017, by stating “my name is Muhammed” and “denied several inmates religious diets of no pork.” (ECF No. 1 at 7). While he makes a general statement about freedom of religion, Plaintiff makes no specific official capacity claim against Defendant Melugin. (ECF No. 1 at 8).

         In his third claim, Plaintiff alleges Defendant Faust and Defendant Kelley denied him access to the grievance process and he therefore suffered mental anguish on June 22, July 17, 18, and 24, and September 26, 2017. (ECF No. 1 at 8). Here Plaintiff makes the general statement that “every citizen of the U.S. has the right to grieve and have their voice heard, ” but he makes no specific official capacity claim against either Defendant Faust or Defendant Kelley. (ECF No. 1 at 11).

         On an attached sheet, Plaintiff listed several other allegations. The Court will address them as separate claims.

         For his fourth claim, Plaintiff alleges that, on unspecified dates, Defendant Jackson ignored inmate complaints and requests. The Court will interpret this as an allegation that Defendant Jackson denied Plaintiff access to the grievance process. (ECF No. 1 at 9).

         For his fifth claim, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Maxwell refused to acknowledge that keeping lights on for 24 hours a day in the isolation cells causes sleep deprivation and refused to make appropriate changes. (ECF No. 1 at 9). This will be interpreted as an unconstitutional conditions of confinement claim.

         For his sixth claim, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Louis denied him his cardiovascular (heart-healthy) diet tray for seven days. (ECF No. 1 at 9). Plaintiff also alleges in Claims seven, eight, and nine that Defendants Keener, Watkins, and McDonald also denied him his cardiovascular diet tray for an unspecified period of time while he was housed in isolation. (ECF No. 1 at 9). These will be interpreted as denial of adequate medical care claims.

         Plaintiff proceeds against the Defendants named in the first three claims in their official and personal capacities. (ECF No. 1 at 6-8). Plaintiff does not specify the capacity in which he sues the Defendants named in his remaining claims. Plaintiff seeks (1) compensatory and punitive damages, (2) to have the Defendants terminated from their positions in the ADC, and (3) to be released from the ADC or transferred to another Unit as soon as possible. (ECF No. 1 at 11).

         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) seeks monetary ...


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