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Rankins v. Hargrave

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division

May 13, 2014

ANOTHONY RUDOLPH RANKINS, Plaintiff,
v.
WENDALL HARGRAVE, GEORGE SOLOMON, DAVID HATLEY, Defendants.

ORDER

FRANK D. WHITNEY, District Judge.

THIS MATTER is before the Court on initial review of Plaintiff's Complaint, filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, (Doc. No. 1), and on Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis, (Doc. No. 2). See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2); 1915A.

The Court first notes that Plaintiff's trust fund account statement shows that as of April 24, 2014, Plaintiff had $0.13 in his trust account. (Doc. No. 5 at 2). The Court will grant Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis.

I. BACKGROUND

Pro se Plaintiff Anthony Rudolph Rankins, a North Carolina state inmate currently incarcerated at Lanesboro Correctional Institution, filed this action on April 21, 2014, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In his Complaint, Plaintiff names as Defendants Wendall Hargrave, identified as the Administrator of Lanesboro; George Solomon, identified as Director of Prisons for the State of North Carolina; and David Hatley, identified as Unit Manager of the Union Unit at Lanesboro. (Doc. No. 1 at 2). Plaintiff purports to bring a claim of cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment based on his allegation that he and other inmates at Lanesboro were subjected to inhumane conditions during an emergency lockdown in November and December of 2013. A grievance attached to Plaintiff's Administrative Remedy Statement indicates that the prison was placed "under a code 1 lockdown due to an incident that occurred." (Doc. No. 3 at 2). Specifically, Plaintiff alleges the following facts in support of his Eighth Amendment claim:

From November 15th to December 31st of 2013, while housed in union unit cell JE 19[, ] [t]he inmates of JE dormitory were made to live in inhumane conditions while on emergency lockdown.
The inmates had to shower while handcuffed which made it hard to balance yourself and created a high risk for falling. Plus it is impossible to clean yourself while handcuffed.
The inmates were given no exercise opportunity. I did not get exercise until January 31, 2014.
[Forty-eight] inmates were given the same rag for cleaning our cell. We only had that opportunity twice[] [w]hile plaintiff was housed on union unit during the emergency lockdown.
The inmates were given nothing for cleaning the toilet. The inside of the toilets were filthy.
The inmates were given no choice, and had to eat in the cells while smelling the filthy toilets.
The inmates were not given the opportunity to sweep or mop their rooms, both the mop and broom could have been given to the inmates without the cell doors being open.
On the 31st day of December 2013 Plaintiff was moved from Union Unit to Moore Unit and did not get to exercise until January 31st 2014, 77 days from 11/15/2013. Some of the inmates did get to exercise before that date.

(Doc. No. 1 at 2). Plaintiff alleges that, as Director of Prisons, Defendant Solomon is legally responsible for the operation of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety and that he knew about the conditions; as the Acting Administrator of Lanesboro, Defendant Hargrave gave the order implementing the emergency lockdown; and, as Unit Manager of Union Unit, Defendant Hatley knew about the conditions and told Plaintiff that he was "only doing ...


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