United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division
PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
following proposed Findings and Recommendation have been sent
to United States District Judge Billy Roy Wilson. You may
file written objections to all or part of this
Recommendation. If you do so, those objections must: (1)
specifically explain the factual and/or legal basis for your
objection, and (2) be received by the Clerk of this Court
within fourteen (14) days of this Recommendation. By not
objecting, you may waive the right to appeal questions of
Anthony Alexander, who is currently held at the W.C.
“Dub” Brassell Adult Detention Center, filed a
pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
on June 18, 2018 (Doc. No. 2). Alexander alleges he was
verbally assaulted by another inmate and feels unsafe.
law requires courts to screen prisoner complaints. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, 1915(e)(2). Claims that are legally frivolous
or malicious; that fail to state a claim for relief; or that
seek money from a defendant who is immune from paying damages
should be dismissed before the defendants are served. 28
U.S.C. § 1915A, 1915(e)(2). Although a complaint
requires only a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, the factual
allegations set forth therein must be sufficient to raise the
right to relief above the speculative level. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2); Bell Atlantic Corporation v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (“a
plaintiff's obligation to provide the ‘grounds'
of his ‘entitle[ment]to relief' requires more than
labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do. . . .”).
Although a pro se complaint is construed liberally,
it must contain enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face, not merely conceivable.
liberally construed Alexander's complaint, the Court
finds Alexander fails to allege sufficient facts to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted, as explained below,
and recommends that his complaint be dismissed without
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege that the conduct of a defendant acting under color of
state law deprived him of a right, privilege, or immunity
secured by the United States Constitution or by federal law.
42 U.S.C. § 1983. Alexander claims that defendants
violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and
unusual punishment by creating unsafe prison conditions.
Specifically, Alexander alleges that he previously informed
guards that a certain inmate named Beasley had attacked
another inmate. Doc. No. 2 at 4. Alexander claims that
Beasley later entered his cell and made threatening gestures
towards him before defendant McLinten came in and told
Beasley he did not belong in there. Id. at 4 &
5-6. Alexander questions how Beasley was able to get through
three locked doors to reach him. Id. at 4. Alexander
states he suffered psychological injury in that he does not
feel safe. Id. at 4 & 6.
treatment a prisoner receives in prison and the conditions
under which he is confined are subject to scrutiny under the
Eighth Amendment.” Helling v. McKinney, 509
U.S. 25, 31 (1993). Prison officials must provide humane
conditions of confinement as well as adequate food, clothing,
shelter, and medical care, and they “must ‘take
reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of the
inmates.'” Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S.
825, 832 (1994) (quoting Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S.
517, 526-527 (1984)). To state an Eighth Amendment claim
based on lack of safety, Alexander must allege that he was
incarcerated under conditions posing a substantial risk of
serious harm. Id. He must also show that defendant
“both knew of and disregarded an excessive risk to
[his] health and safety.” Holden v. Hirner,
663 F.3d 326, 341 (8th Cir.2011). Such conduct is,
“akin to criminal recklessness, which demands more than
negligent misconduct.” Popoalii v. Correctional
Med. Servs, 512 F.3d 488, 499 (8th Cir. 2008) (internal
quotation marks and citations omitted).
allegations are not sufficient to state an Eighth Amendment
claim. An inmate who may have reason to hurt Alexander
reached his cell on one occasion and made verbal threats.
Defendant McLinten intercepted and removed the inmate. Those
facts do not show that the named defendants knew of but
disregarded an excessive risk to Alexander's safety.
Alexander does not otherwise describe how the jail is unsafe.
Additionally, Alexander admits he has suffered no injury
other than fear and anxiety as a result of the incident he
describes. Because a § 1983 action is a type of tort
claim, general principles of tort law require that a
plaintiff suffer some actual injury before he can receive
compensation. See Irving v. Dormire, 519 F.3d 441,
448 (8th Cir. 2008) (citing Carey v. Piphus, 435
U.S. 247, 253-55 (1978)). See also 42 U.S.C. §
1997e(e) (requiring a prisoner to show an actual physical
injury as opposed to mental or emotional injury to sustain a
claim for compensatory damages).
THEREFORE RECOMMENDED THAT:
1. Alexander's claims be dismissed without prejudice for
failure to state a claim upon which ...