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Chandler v. Wolcott

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

February 11, 2019

DUSTIN BLAINE CHANDLER PLAINTIFF
v.
JAIL ADMINISTRATOR CHRIS WOLCOTT; DEPUTY GUSTAVO ALVAREZ; SHERIFF ROBERT GENTRY; JAILER MELISSA BRECHEISEN; JAILER CECILY HUGHES; and ASSISTANT JAIL ADMINISTRATOR TERRY HERNANDEZ DEFENDANTS

          ORDER

          Susan O. Hickey, United States District Judge

         This is a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff Dustin Blaine Chandler 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”), 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Pursuant to the PLRA, the Court has the obligation to screen any complaint in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity, officer, or employee of a governmental entity.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed his Complaint on January 22, 2019. (ECF No. 1). His application to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”) was granted the same day. (ECF No. 3). Plaintiff is currently incarcerated in the Sevier County Jail (“SCJ”) serving a sentence as a result of a judgment of conviction. (ECF No. 1, p. 3).

         Plaintiff has named Jail Administrator Chris Wolcott, Deputy Gustavo Alvarez, Sheriff Robert Gentry, Jailer Melissa Brecheisen, Jailer Cecily Hughes, and Assistant Jail Administrator Terry Hernandez as Defendants. Plaintiff asserts several claims based on allegations of verbal threats, excessive force, retaliation, interference with the grievance process, black mold in the SCJ, denial of medical care, and denial of access to a law library.

         Specifically, Plaintiff alleges he was verbally threatened by Alvarez on January 8, 2019:

I was setting down on the table when officer Alvarez…entered (A) pod stated ‘whats wrong with write up?' I tried to explain he stated ‘shut up before I do something bad to you.' All the time he said to go to your cell I obeyed, he followed me on the stairs and he said ‘I'll give you another 7 days lock down' I said why and he said “ I don't know…I said lock me down for life you weirdo' he said ‘What did you call me'…I had my back to him and he pepper sprayed me.

(ECF No. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff also claims when he informed Brecheisen on January 8, 2019, that he wanted to appeal the disciplinary write up, she then informed Alvarez of Plaintiff's intention, and both she and Alvarez began using offensive language such as “Let me go talk to that son of a ***** I'm tired of his **** anyway.” (ECF No. 1, p. 6).

         On January 10, 2018, Plaintiff alleges he was verbally threatened and retaliated against by Wolcott when he was:

taken up front to appeal write up & showed video of being pepper sprayed, At this time Chris Wolcott stated due to my grievance procedure that he will keep me here 80 days I will remain on 23-1 He will send me to ADC for 180 days, to file a 1983 form that they don't scare them…”

(ECF No. 1, p. 8).

         Plaintiff also claims that Gentry:

abuses his power by doing nothing when Chris Wolcott stood in front of him & verbally told me what he would do all behind me filing a grievance which is my legal rights to due process. Its not policy for him to stand there & say nothing while I'm intimidated by his co-worker after another one pepper sprayed me for no reason.

(ECF No. 1, p. 9).

         On January 11, 2019, Plaintiff claims Alvarez retaliated against him for filing a grievance to appeal a disciplinary report by “inform[ing] the tower not to let me out of my cell, to file a grievance. Him knowing I been on 23 hour lock down & him knowing the kiosk shuts off at 10:00pm & that's the only way I have to exercise all my admin. remedeys.” (ECF No. 1, p. 7).

         Plaintiff also alleges that there is black mold in “numerous cells and the shower”. He states he has informed SCJ officials of the situation and that it was not resolved to his satisfaction. Specifically, he claims:

…It is in violation of my rights to be housed in a confined cell being exposed to Black mold. 1-9-19…Officer Terry Hernandez did a walk thru…we showed him black mold he stated ‘we have paint & chemicals for it'…1-11-19 maintenance came in & scrubed one cell that had black mold in it at this time I was still housed in a confined space were I could smell the chemicals they used to scrub the black mold, the whole time there was no ventilation system, ...

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