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Johnson v. Hutchinson

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division

January 9, 2019

ROBERT LEE JOHNSON, JR. ADC #100626 PLAINTIFF
v.
ASA HUTCHINSON, Governor, Arkansas, et al. DEFENDANTS

          PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          JOE J. VOLPE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         INSTRUCTIONS

         The following recommended disposition has been sent to United States District Judge Billy Roy Wilson. Any party may serve and file written objections to this recommendation. Objections should be specific and should include the factual or legal basis for the objection. If the objection is to a factual finding, specifically identify that finding and the evidence that supports your objection. An original and one copy of your objections must be received in the office of the United States District Court Clerk no later than fourteen (14) days from the date of the findings and recommendations. The copy will be furnished to the opposing party. Failure to file timely objections may result in waiver of the right to appeal questions of fact.

         If you are objecting to the recommendation and also desire to submit new, different, or additional evidence, and to have a hearing for this purpose before the District Judge, you must, at the same time that you file your written objections, include the following:

1. Why the record made before the Magistrate Judge is inadequate.
2. Why the evidence proffered at the hearing (if such a hearing is granted) was not offered at the hearing before the Magistrate Judge.
3. The details of any testimony desired to be introduced at the new hearing in the form of an offer of proof, and a copy, or the original, of any documentary or other non-testimonial evidence desired to be introduced at the new hearing.

         From this submission, the District Judge will determine the necessity for an additional evidentiary hearing. Mail your objections and “Statement of Necessity” to:

Clerk, United States District Court Eastern District of Arkansas 600 West Capitol Avenue, Suite A149 Little Rock, AR 72201-3325

         DISPOSITION

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Robert Lee Johnson, Jr. (“Plaintiff”) is incarcerated at the Pine Bluff Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction and filed this action pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. No. 2.) He sued Arkansas Governor As a Hutchinson, Arkansas Department of Correction Director Wendy Kelley, Pine Bluff Unit Warden Gaylon Lay, Mailroom Supervisor H. Hancock, and Sergeants Shelton and Gaddies. (Id. at 1-2.) Plaintiff alleges Defendants Shelton and Gaddies changed the postage-prepaid envelope in which Plaintiff put his legal mail to a regular envelope, resulting in extra postage costs to Plaintiff. (Id. at 5.) Plaintiff brought the discrepancy to the attention of prison officials, who “tried reimbursing [Plaintiff] and still made a mistake [be]cause [Plaintiff] should have been charged .11¢ instead of .68¢ and should have gotten .57¢ returned . . . .” (Id.) While he makes no specific allegations against Defendant Hancock, Plaintiff asserts mailroom personnel must have been aware of the Sergeants' deception. (Id.) He also asserts that Defendants Warden Lay and Director Kelley have denied his complaints on this matter as frivolous, and that Defendant Governor Hutchinson is responsible because he hired Defendant Kelley. (Doc. No. 2, at 5.) Plaintiff seeks damages and asks that “the main 3 individuals” be charged with mail tampering. (Id. at 6.) After careful review of Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. No. 2), I find it should be dismissed without prejudice for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

         II. SCREENING

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) requires federal courts to screen prisoner complaints seeking relief against a governmental entity, officer, or employee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that (a) are legally frivolous or malicious; (b) fail to state a claim upon which relief may be ...


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