United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs 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, United States District Judge, referred this case to
the undersigned for the purpose of making a Report and
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 June 11, 2019, in the Eastern District
of Arkansas. (ECF No. 1). On June 12, 2019, the case was
transferred to this District. (ECF No. 3). That same day the
Court entered Orders directing Plaintiff to file an in
forma pauperis application and an Amended Complaint.
(ECF No. 6, 7). Plaintiff did so on July 1, 2019. (ECF No. 8,
Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges his constitutional
rights were violated by Defendant on November 15, 2018, while
he was incarcerated in the Clark County Detention Center.
(ECF No. 8 at 4). Plaintiff alleges he was taken off his CPAP
machine and forced to walk through carbon monoxide. This
required that he be taken to the hospital to be treated for
“unintentional carbon monoxide” poisoning on
either November 15 or November 16, 2018, because he was
having trouble breathing. (Id. at 4). Plaintiff also
alleges that the facility does not keep medical staff on duty
to pass out medication. (Id. at 6).
proceeds against Defendant in both his official and personal
capacity. (Id. at 4). 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).
failed to state any plausible constitutional claims.
Plaintiff alleges he was unintentionally exposed to carbon
monoxide during his incarceration. The Court will interpret
this allegation as stating a conditions of confinement claim.
A prisoner alleging an Eighth Amendment violation must prove
both an objective and subjective element. See Revels v.
Vincenz, 382 F.3d 870, 875 (8th Cir. 2004) (citing
Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 298 (1991)). “The
defendant's conduct must objectively rise to the level of
a constitutional violation by depriving the plaintiff of the
minimal civilized measure of life's necessities. The
defendant's conduct must also reflect a subjective state
of mind evincing deliberate indifference to the health or
safety of the prisoner.” Revels, 382 F.3d at
875 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted).
Deliberate indifference is established when the Plaintiff
shows “the defendant was substantially aware of but
disregarded an excessive risk to inmate health or
safety.” Revels, 382 F.3d at 875.
the Court will assume for the purposes of screening that
Plaintiff's allegation meets the objective first prong of
the standard. His allegation that he was unintentionally
forced to walk through carbon monoxide fails to meet the
subjective second prong of the standard. Nothing in
Plaintiff's allegation permits the inference that
Defendant Watson was substantially aware of but disregarded
an excessive risk to his health or safety.
allegation that there are no medical staff kept on duty to
pass out medication also fails to state a plausible claim.
The Court first notes that Plaintiff does not allege that he
suffers from any medical condition which requires medication.
A prison does have a duty to “promptly provide
necessary medical treatment for prisoners, ” including
access to 24-hour emergency care. Johnson v. Bowers,884 F.2d 1053, 1056 (8th Cir.1989), modified on
reh'g (Oct. 27, 1989). Here, Plaintiff alleges he
was taken to the hospital when he had trouble breathing. The
Court, however, cannot find any authority requiring a county
jail to have medical staff on hand to provide care for
inmates twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Nor is it
a constitutional violation for corrections officers to
deliver prescription medication to inmates, provided they
have received appropriate training. See Griggs v.
Livermore, Civil No. 13-5133, 2014 WL 979197, at *3
(W.D. Ark. March 13, 2014) (“There is no constitutional
requirement that medication be disbursed only by trained
medical personnel”); Booker v. Herman, Civil
No. 06-178, 2006 WL 2457230, at *5 (N.D. Ind. ...