United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
BARRY A. BRYANT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a civil rights action provisionally filed pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1) and (3)(2011), the Honorable Susan O.
Hickey, Chief United States District Judge, referred this
case to the undersigned for the purpose of making a Report
case is before the Court for preservice screening under the
provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA).
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court has the
obligation to screen any complaint in which a prisoner seeks
redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of
a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
filed his Complaint on February 27, 2019. (ECF No. 1).
Plaintiff's allegations center on his time incarcerated
in the Union County Jail (“UCJ”). (Id.
at 17). He alleges that on August 15, 2018, there was a fire
“over the kitchen area” in UCJ. (Id.).
He and other inmates were left in H-pod for an hour while
smoke poured through the air duct and vents. (Id.).
He alleges the officers who finally came to free them wore
air masks and fresh air tanks. (Id.) He states
several Defendants appeared to be more concerned about the
building than the safety of the inmates. (Id. at
11-12). Plaintiff alleges he suffered from burning in his
chest and was denied medical care. (Id. at 18).
Plaintiff also alleges the grievance procedure at UCJ is not
operated properly in accordance with the State grievance
procedure. (Id. at 6).
proceeds against all Defendants in their official and
personal capacities. (Id. at 4-7). He seeks
compensatory and punitive damages. (Id. at 7).
the PLRA, the Court is obligated to screen the case prior to
service of process being issued. The Court must dismiss a
complaint, or any portion of it, if it contains claims that:
(1) are frivolous, malicious, or fail to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted; or, (2) seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C.
is frivolous if “it lacks an arguable basis either in
law or fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 325 (1989). A claim fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted if it does not allege “enough
facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “In evaluating whether a pro
se plaintiff has asserted sufficient facts to state a
claim, we hold ‘a pro se complaint, however
inartfully pleaded ... to less stringent standards than
formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'” Jackson
v. Nixon, 747 F.3d 537, 541 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)). Even a
pro se Plaintiff must allege specific facts
sufficient to support a claim. Martin v. Sargent,
780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985).
fails to state a cognizable claim based on UCJ's
grievance procedure, or lack thereof. “Inmates do not
have a constitutionally protected right to a grievance
procedure. Because a . . . grievance procedure does not
confer any substantive right upon prison inmates, a prison
official's failure to comply with the . . . grievance
procedure is not actionable under § 1983.”
Ashann-Ra v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 112 F.Supp.2d
559, 569 (W.D. Va. 2000) (citations omitted); see also
Lombolt v. Holder, 287 F.3d 683, 684 (8th Cir. 2002)
(denial of grievances does not state a substantive
constitutional claim); Buckley v. Barlow, 997 F.2d
494, 495 (8th Cir. 1993) (“no constitutional right was
violated by the defendants' failure, if any, to process
all of the grievances [Plaintiff] submitted for
consideration”); Adams v. Rice, 40 F.3d 72, 74
(4th Cir. 1994) (inmates have no constitutional right to
grievance procedure); Blagman v. White, 112
F.Supp.2d 534 (E.D. Va. 2000) (inmate has no constitutional
entitlement to grievance procedure), aff'd, 3
Fed.Appx. 23 (4th Cir. 2001).
I recommend that Plaintiff's claim for improper grievance
procedures at UCJ be dismissed WITHOUT PREJUDICE. I further
recommend that all Plaintiff's other claims remain for
parties have fourteen days from receipt of the Report and
Recommendation in which to file written objections pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The failure to file timely
objections may result in waiver of the right to appeal
questions of fact. The parties are reminded that objections