United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
OPINION AND ORDER
TIMOTHY L. BROOKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Eduardo Lamas Leyva filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§1983. He proceeds pro se and in forma
pauperis. Plaintiff is incarcerated in the Washington
County Detention Center. He has named as a Defendant Deputy
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. §
to the allegations of the Complaint (Doc. 1), on July 15,
2018, Defendant began harassing and threatening the
Plaintiff. As a result, Plaintiff states he has had to
"live each day in fear of retaliation." Plaintiff
alleges his anxiety is "at an all time peak." With
respect to this claim, Plaintiff has sued the Defendant in
both his individual and official capacity. On the form
complaint when asked to describe the custom or policy that he
believed caused the violation of his constitutional rights,
Plaintiff replied that he is entitled to receive humane
medical treatment and to be "treated respectfully and
diligently throughout that process." He maintains he has
been denied "all of this."
also alleges Defendant has defamed his character. From
Defendant's comments and body language, Plaintiff
believes Defendant "was referring to my ethnicity"
and his approval or dislike of the same. Plaintiff has sued
Defendant in his personal capacity only on this claim.
relief, Plaintiff seeks both compensatory and punitive
damages. Plaintiff also states he would like to see Defendant
"terminated as an employee, as well as prosecuted for
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.
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)).
1983 requires proof of two elements: (1) the conduct
complained of must be committed by a person acting under
color of state law; and (2) the conduct must deprive the
plaintiff of rights or privileges secured by the Constitution
or laws of the United States. As set forth above, Plaintiff
has brought two separate claims against the Defendant. For
the reasons discussed below, no plausible claims are stated,
and this action is subject to dismissal.
One: Harassment, Racist Comments, & Threats
mere verbal threats made by a state-actor do not constitute a
§ 1983 claim. The Constitution does not protect against
all intrusions on one's peace of mind. Fear or emotional
injury which results solely from verbal harassment or idle
threats is generally not sufficient to constitute an invasion
of an identified liberty interest." King v. Olmsted
Cnty.,117 F.3d 1065, 1067 (8th Cir. 1997). Similarly,
taunts, name calling, and the use of offensive language does
not state a claim of constitutional dimension. McDowell
v. Jones,990 F.2d 433, 434 (8th Cir. 1993)
(inmate's claims of general harassment and of verbal
harassment were not actionable under § 1983). Even the
use of racially derogatory comments, while "thoroughly
offensive" and "reprehensible," does not
itself violate the Fourteenth Amendment. Blades v.
Schuetzle,302 F.3d 801, 805 (8th Cir. 2002)
("[U]nless it is pervasive or severe enough to ...