United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division
JIMMY P. TURNER PLAINTIFF
Procedure for Filing Objections:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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. 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).
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 ...