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Beaty v. Runion

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

May 29, 2018

DAVID BEATY PLAINTIFF
v.
SHERIFF JACKIE RUNION, Miller County, Arkansas; WARDEN JEFFIE WALKER, Miller County Detention Center (“MCDC”); CAPTAIN GOLDEN ADAMS, MCDC; SERGEANT ALLEN GRIFFEN, MCDC; LIEUTENANT MILLER; and SERGEANT HANNING, MCDC DEFENDANTS

          ORDER

          SUSAN O. HICKEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This is a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff David Beaty pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff 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.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed his initial Complaint on April 24, 2018. (ECF No. 1). That same day, the Court directed Plaintiff to file an Amended Complaint to clarify his claims against Defendants and submit an application to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”). (ECF No. 2). On May 14, 2018, Plaintiff filed his Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 4). Plaintiff's application to proceed IFP was granted the following day. (ECF No. 7).

         Plaintiff is currently incarcerated in the Miller County Detention Center (“MCDC”) serving a sentence as a result of a judgment of conviction. (ECF No. 4, p. 3). Plaintiff is asserting claims for “jail conditions” at the MCDC and failure of Defendants to respond to his grievances. Plaintiff is suing Defendants in their personal and official capacities. Plaintiff is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

         Plaintiff describes the acts or omissions of Defendants that form the basis of his personal capacity claims as follows:

1st Response was: We take allegations as the one you have made very seriously We like to remind you that disciplinary action will be taken against you if it is found that you've made false allegations. We will also want to assure you that appropriate measures will be taken to address your concerns. 2nd Response: I will inform maintenance of your complaints. No. action has been taken - the jail has not complied with the Safe and Sanitary Act that is required by federal law which is laid out in the 8th & 14th Amendments.

(ECF No. 4, p. 4). In describing the official custom or policy of Miller County that he believes contributed to the violation of his rights Plaintiff states:

I am challenging the jail conditions due to the fact that myself and several other inmates have put in multiple grievances and requests but still remain in these unsanitary conditions with no resolve. This is why I am claiming to live in unfair and unsanitary living conditions.

(ECF No. 4, p. 5).

         II. APPLICABLE LAW

         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 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 Atlantic 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, even a pro se Plaintiff must allege specific facts sufficient to support a claim. Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985).

         III. ...


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