Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Turner v. Taylor

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

February 13, 2019

JIMMY P. TURNER PLAINTIFF
v.
TAYLOR DEFENDANT

          RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

         I. Procedure for Filing Objections:

         This Recommended Disposition (“Recommendation”) has been sent to Chief Judge Brian S. Miller. Mr. Turner may file written objections with the Clerk of Court if he disagrees with the Recommendation's findings or conclusion. To be considered, objections must be filed with the Clerk of Court within 14 days. Objections should be specific and should include the factual or legal basis for the objection.

         If Mr. Turner does not file objections, he risks waiving the right to appeal questions of fact. And, if no objections are filed, Judge Miller can adopt this Recommendation without independently reviewing the record.

         II. Discussion:

         A. Background

         Jimmy P. Turner, an inmate at the W.C. “Dub” Brassell Adult Detention Center (“Detention Center”), filed this civil rights lawsuit without the help of a lawyer on behalf of himself, and two other inmates, Darrell Hampton and Mark Sykes. Each Plaintiff has been given the opportunity to pursue their own claims in separate lawsuits.

         In Mr. Turner's complaint, he alleges that: on January 29, 2019, he was placed on lockdown without being provided disciplinary papers; Defendant Taylor verbally threatened him; an unknown officer tightened his handcuffs leaving a mark on his arm; he was denied dinner on one occasion; he has been forced to sleep on a top bunk despite his disabilities; the Detention Center cells are overcrowded; and he has experienced significant weight loss over the past six years.

         B. Standard

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act requires federal courts to review complaints filed by prisoners before ordering service of process and to dismiss claims that do not state a claim for relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). The Court has reviewed the complaint in this case and has liberally construed Mr. Turner's allegations. Even if all allegations in the complaint are true, Mr. Turner has not stated a federal claim for relief.

         C. Due Process

         Under current law, a prisoner's due process rights are triggered only if he has a liberty interest at stake. Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 484 (1995); Phillips v. Norris, 320 F.3d 844, 847 (8th Cir. 2003). A prisoner's liberty interests are limited to freedom from restraint that “imposes atypical and significant hardship on the inmate in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life, ” or from actions that “inevitably affect the duration of [a prisoner's] sentence.” Sandin, 515 U.S. at 484, 487. Here, Mr. Turner alleges that he was placed on lock down without being served disciplinary papers. It is unclear whether Mr. Turner remains on lockdown, but even assuming that he is, temporary changes in the conditions of his confinement do not implicate a liberty interest that would invoke the protection of the Due Process Clause.[1] Orr v. Larkins, 610 F.3d 1032, 1034 (8th Cir. 2010) (inmate was not deprived of liberty interest during nine months in administrative segregation); Portley-El v. Brill, 288 F.3d 1063, 1065-66 (8th Cir. 2002) (thirty days in punitive segregation is not an atypical and significant hardship); and Kennedy v. Blankenship, 100 F.3d 640, 642-43 & n.2 (8th Cir. 1996) (placement in punitive isolation was not atypical and significant hardship despite restrictions in mail, telephone, visitation, commissary, and property privileges).

         D. Verbal Harassment

         In his complaint, Mr. Turner alleges that Defendant Taylor verbally threatened to physically harm him. While the Court does not condone threatening or unprofessional conduct, Mr. Turner's allegations, even if true, do not state a federal claim for relief. Verbal abuse and mere threatening language cannot support a constitutional claim. McDowell v. Jones, 990 F.2d 433, 434 (8th Cir. 1993) (holding that verbal harassment, threats, and name calling are not actionable under § 1983); Hopson v. Fredericksen, 961 F.2d 1374, 1378 (8th Cir. 1992) (holding that “mere verbal threats made by a state actor do not constitute a ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.