United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
following Recommended Disposition
(“Recommendation”) has been sent to United States
District Judge James M. Moody, Jr. You may file written
objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If you do
so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain the
factual and/or legal basis for your objection; and (2) be
received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days
of the date of this Recommendation. If you do not file
objections, Judge Moody can adopt this Recommendation without
independently reviewing all of the evidence in the record. By
not objecting, you may waive the right to appeal questions of
August 20, 2018, Plaintiff Derrick Allen
(“Allen”) initiated this pro se §
1983 action while he was a pretrial detainee in the Pulaski
County Detention Facility (“PCDF”). Doc. 2.
He was then released from incarceration. Doc. 16. On
November 1, 2018, his case was dismissed, without prejudice,
for lack of prosecution. Docs. 11 & 12.
December 3, 2018, Allen filed a Motion to Reopen, stating
that he wished to pursue his case even though he was no
longer incarcerated. Doc. 18. The Court granted that
Motion and ordered him to file an Amended Complaint. Doc.
20. On March 7, 2019, he filed his Amended Complaint.
Doc. 22. Before Allen may proceed with this case,
the Court must screen his allegations.
Complaint and Amended Complaint,  Allen alleges that, while he
was housed in the PCDF's R Unit for an unspecified period
of time, his security was at risk because the “link
door” separating the R and S Units was open “for
hours at a time.” According to Allen, when the link
door was open, one deputy watched both units, which together
housed more than 150 inmates. Allen alleges that PCDF policy
and “federal law” mandate no more than 80 inmates
per officer. He alleges that his security was further at risk
because R unit had only one security camera (which left
multiple “blind spots”) and the speakers in the
cells did not work. Doc. 2 at 5-6.
result of what Allen claims was a “shortage of staff,
” the inmates in R Unit were placed on lockdown. This
meant inmates in R Unit were only allowed to come out of
their cells one hour per day, which: limited their access to
the phone; forced them “to give up cell
clean-up”; unfairly treated general population inmates
as if they were “Ad Seg.”; prevented them on some
occasions from showering or “get[ting] [their] full
portion of food”; and forced them to plead guilty to
their criminal charges in order to get out of the PCDF.
Id.; Doc. 22 at 4. Allen alleges that, if inmates
sought help about these matters, they were “threatened,
maced and placed in the hole.” Doc. 2 at 5-6.
alleges that the above-described conditions in R Unit
violated his rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendments. He seeks $1.5 million in damages. Id. at 5
following reasons, the Court concludes that Allen has failed
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
No. Personal Involvement
initial Complaint contained no factual or legal allegations
against any of the named Defendants (Sheriff Doc Holladay,
Grievance Officer Sgt. Brawley, Major Briggs, Sgt. Musaddiq,
Lt. Bang and Lt. Routh). Doc. 2 at 1-2. In ordering
Allen to file an Amended Complaint, the Court pointed out
this deficiency and expressly ordered him to file an Amended
Complaint “explaining how each Defendant was
personally involved in violating his constitutional
rights.” Doc. 20 at 3-4. Despite this clear
instruction, his Amended Complaint adds a Defendant (Deputy
Ryan Crancer) but still contains only conclusory allegations
that fail to identify any specific individuals, explain how
each of them were personally involved in the alleged
constitutional violations, or provide any specific facts
demonstrating how these alleged constitutional violations
resulted in him sustaining any physical injuries. Doc. 22
at 1-2 & 4.
naming an individual or entity as a Defendant is insufficient
to state a claim against that individual or entity. See
Krych v. Hvass, 83 Fed.Appx. 854, 855 (8th Cir. 2003)
(holding that pro se plaintiff failed to state a
claim against individuals that he “merely listed”
in the complaint as defendants). Instead, to state a viable
§ 1983 claim, a prisoner “must plead that each
Government-official defendant, through the official's own
individual actions, has violated the Constitution, ”
and the complaint must contain sufficient “factual
content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676 & 678;
see Keeper v. King., 130 F.3d 1309, 1314 (8th Cir.
1997) (holding that the “general responsibility for
supervising the operations of a prison in insufficient to
establish the personal involvement required to support
[§ 1983] liability”). Liability under § 1983
“requires a causal link to, and direct responsibility
for, the deprivation of rights.” Madewell v.
Roberts, 909 F.2d 1203, 1208 (8th Cir. 1990). Allen has
not alleged sufficient personal involvement on the part of
any of the named Defendants.
No. Personal Harm
Complaint, Allen vaguely alleged that “security is at
risk” and that the activities and privileges of PCDC
inmates, in general, were limited by the staff shortage and
lockdown. In ordering Allen to file an Amended Complaint, the
Court expressly advised him that he: (1) could not proceed on
behalf of other inmates; (2) could “proceed only on the
alleged constitutional violations he personally
experienced”; and (3) was required to