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Collins v. Cash

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

June 13, 2018

JESSE QUINCY COLLINS, JR. PLAINTIFF
v.
SHERIFF MIKE CASH, CHIEF DEPUTY RICHARD TOLLISON, ADMINISTRATOR KEN FAIN, and ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR T.J. BURNETT Hot Spring County Jail 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 March 27, 2018. (ECF No. 1). He Filed a Motion to Amend with his Complaint (ECF No. 6), which was refiled as a Supplement on March 28, 2018. (ECF No. 9). Plaintiff alleges his constitutional rights were violated by Defendants during his incarceration in the Hot Spring County Jail. Plaintiff alleges he is indigent and Defendants denied him two stamped envelopes a week. He further alleges that there is no commissary in the jail where he could buy stamps or envelopes. (ECF No. 1 at 4). Plaintiff alleges he was informed by a jailer that the jail would no longer provide stamped envelopes for indigent inmates; instead they would need to have family provide them. (ECF No. 1 at 4). Plaintiff alleges the lack of stamped envelopes prevented him from contacting his family and his attorney.[1] (ECF No. 1 at 6).

         Plaintiff alleges Defendants placed an inmate with tuberculosis in Plaintiff's pod instead of quarantining him. (ECF No. 1 at 7; 9 at 3). He alleges that the jail did not have tuberculosis lights, and, as a result, he and other inmates in the pod became ill. He alleges he asked to be tested for tuberculosis but has not received any testing. (ECF No. 1 at 6-7). Plaintiff alleges he was in the facility in 2011 or 2012, and there were no tuberculosis lights at that time either. (ECF No. 1 at 6).

         Plaintiff alleges Defendants denied him “fresh air exercise or recreation.” (ECF No. 1 at 7). He alleges the jail violated his right to go outside every day. (ECF No. 1 at 7). Plaintiff alleges that the denial of fresh air outdoors has caused him headaches, nausea, breathing problems, muscle aches, and bone aches. (ECF Nos. 1 at 7; 9 at 4).

         Plaintiff proceeds against all Defendants for all claims in their personal and official capacities. (ECF No. 1 at 4, 6, 7). Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages. He further asks that the facility “fix everything.” (ECF No. 1 at 8).

         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 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)). 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. ANALYSIS

         A. Outdoor Exercise

         Plaintiff's allegation that he was denied his right to go outdoors for “fresh air exercise or recreation” fails to state a plausible claim. A constitutional violation can exist if prison officials are deliberately indifferent to an inmate's exercise needs. Wishon v. Gammon, 978 F.2d 446, 449 (8th Cir. 1992). A “lack of exercise may be a constitutional violation if one's muscles are allowed to atrophy or if an inmate's health is threatened.” Id. Here, Plaintiff did not allege that he was denied ...


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