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Woodward v. Kelley

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

February 15, 2019

ROBERT E. WOODWARD, ADC #166447 PLAINTIFF
v.
WENDY KELLEY, et al. DEFENDANTS

          RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

         I. Procedure for Filing Objections:

         This Recommended Disposition (“Recommendation”) has been sent to Chief Judge Brian S. Miller. Mr. Woodward 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. Woodward 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

         Robert E. Woodward, an Arkansas Department of Correction (“ADC”) inmate, filed this civil rights lawsuit without the help of a lawyer. (Docket entry #2) In his original complaint, Mr. Woodward alleged that the Delta Regional Unit is overcrowded and lacks adequate security. He failed to allege, however, that he suffered any injury as a result of the alleged unconstitutional conditions.

         Rather than recommending dismissal of Mr. Woodward's complaint, the Court allowed Mr. Woodward an opportunity to amend his complaint. (#4) The Court specifically instructed Mr. Woodward to explain what injury he suffered as a result of the alleged unconstitutional conditions and to state how each Defendant violated his rights and caused him injury. Mr. Woodward has now filed his amended complaint. (#5)

         Based on the allegations in Mr. Woodward's original and amended complaints, the Court recommends that Mr. Woodward's claims be DISMISSED, without prejudice.

         B. Standard

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

         C. Conditions-of-Confinement

         In his amended complaint, Mr. Woodward alleges that while he was housed at the Delta Regional Unit for 63 days there was not adequate security; he was consistently deprived of sleep; as a result of working in the field, he suffered from cellulitis; he was “deprived of access to a shower most of the time”; and the toilet, sink, and shower area were unsanitary.

         While the Constitution “does not mandate comfortable prisons, ” inmates are protected from “extreme deprivations” that deny “the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities.” Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 9 (1992); Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 347-49 (1981). An inmate can claim damages for conditions that pose “an excessive risk to inmate health or safety.” Revels v. Vincenz, 382 F.3d 870, 875 (8th Cir. 2004) (citing Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 835 (1994)). Conditions, however, must be sufficiently serious for the court to examine whether prison officials acted with deliberate indifference to inmate health and safety. Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 302 (1991).

         Here, other than Mr. Woodward's allegation that he suffered from cellulitis as a result of being assigned to work in the field, he has not alleged any other injury caused by ...


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