United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
D. WHITNEY, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER is before the Court on initial review of
Plaintiff's Complaint, filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
(Doc. No. 1). See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2);
Plaintiff Robert Lamar McFadden is a North Carolina prisoner
currently incarcerated at Marion Correctional Institution in
Marion, North Carolina. Plaintiff filed this action on April
5, 2017, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, naming the
following persons as Defendants: (1) Julie Jenkins,
identified as the head of the “RDU Program C
Rehabilitation Department Unit” at Marion; (2) FNU
Watkins, identified as the Assistant Superintendent at
Marion; (3) Davis Cothron, identified as an “Assistant
over RDU C Rehabilitation Department Unit”; and (4) FNU
Swink, identified as the Director of Programs at Marion.
Plaintiff purports to bring a claim against Defendants for a
violation of Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment right under the
U.S. Constitution not to be subjected to cruel and unusual
punishment based on conditions of confinement in the prison.
In support of his claim, Plaintiff alleges the following
This grievance is on inmates' right to decent conditions
in prison. I have sent Ms. Jenkins, Mr. Watkins, Mr. Cothran,
Mr. Swink request forms informing them that the present
canteen list is depriving inmates of a “basic human
need.” Which is violation to inmates Eighth Amendment.
The present canteen list only allow RDU inmates to purchase
stamps, oil and shower shoes. We cannot purchase dental
floss, finger nail clippers, soap and other important hygiene
items. If we do not floss at least 2 to 3 times a day or if
we don't floss at all decay could build up and cause gum
cancer meaning loss of teeth. I went to the dentist on
2/14/17 at 12:27 pm and was told by the dentist and doctor
that I had a lot of decay build up to be young for not using
dental floss. By inmates being in RDU we are considered in
the computer regular population meaning we should be able to
purchase these items that we are entitled to. I am no longer
on RHCP (control status) so why am I receiving a control
status hygiene kit once a month if I am in RDU regular
population. Am I being punished for being a non-participant
On 2-19-17, 2-21-17, 3-8-17, 3-15-17, and 3-19-17, I have
sent multiple notice[s] and inmate request forms stating that
inmates have a right to decent conditions in prison. On
3-15-17 I have sent letters to Julie Jenkins, Mr. Watkins,
Mr. Cothran, Mr. Swink, Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Corpening, Capt.
Faircloth, informing them that the way inmates are being
treated while housed in the RDU program (Rehabilitation
Department Unit) is violating inmates' constitutional
rights. I have asked Ms. Jenkins who is over the RDU program
to please respond and show any proof that Raleigh signed off
on the canteen list that they are forcing inmates who are
housed in RDU program to use. I have wrote a grievance but
feel like there is a lot or corrupt/conspiracy going on at
Marion Correctional Institution. Due to Ms. Swink answering
my Step One response when he is involved in my grievance and
should not have any dealings with answering my grievance. I
received two answered response from all the inmate request
forms I sent out prior to the filing of the lawsuit. (one)
from Mr. Watkins Asst. Superintendent of Marion Corr. Inst.
stating that the canteen items have been approved per RDU
guidelines. (one) from Capt. Faircloth-Internal Affairs-at
Marion Correctional Inst. stating that per Marion CI policy
and procedure per RDU the facility provides inmates a hygiene
kit a month. I have spoke to several of Marion Administration
stating that if inmates are housed in the computer as regular
population why are we being treated as if we are on control
status/long-term. I feel like inmates are housed in the
non-participant block of RDU are being punished for being
No. 1 at 3-4). Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages as well
as numerous forms of injunctive and declaratory relief.
(Id. at 4).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court must
review the Complaint to determine whether it is subject to
dismissal on the grounds that it is “frivolous or
malicious [or] fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Furthermore,
§ 1915A requires an initial review of a “complaint
in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a
governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental
entity, ” and the court must identify cognizable claims
or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if
the complaint is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted; or seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. In
its frivolity review, this Court must determine whether the
Complaint raises an indisputably meritless legal theory or is
founded upon clearly baseless factual contentions, such as
fantastic or delusional scenarios. Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327-28 (1989).
Eighth Amendment protects prisoners from inhumane methods of
punishment and from inhumane conditions of confinement.
Williams v. Benjamin, 77 F.3d 756, 761 (4th Cir.
1996). “Prison conditions may be harsh and
uncomfortable without violating the Eighth Amendment
prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.”
Dixon v. Godinez, 114 F.3d 640, 642 (7th Cir. 1997).
Rather, extreme deprivations are required, and “only
those deprivations denying the minimal civilized measure of
life's necessities are sufficiently grave to form the
basis of an Eighth Amendment violation.” Hudson v.
McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 9 (1992) (quoting Wilson v.
Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 298 (1991) (internal quotation
omitted)). The plaintiff must allege facts sufficient to
support a claim that prison officials knew of and disregarded
a substantial risk of serious harm. Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 847 (1994). A plaintiff must also
generally allege “a serious or significant physical or
emotional injury resulting from the challenged
conditions.” Strickler v. Waters, 989 F.2d
1375, 1381 (4th Cir. 1993).
Court will dismiss this action for failure to state a claim.
Here, even taking Plaintiff's allegations as true, the
Court finds that Plaintiff has not alleged a cognizable claim
for an Eighth Amendment violation. At most, Plaintiff alleges
that inmates who are in the Rehabilitative Diversion Unit
(referred to as “the RDU program”) at Marion are
deprived of certain hygiene items that the general population
at Marion is allowed to receive. Plaintiff alleges
specifically that he has himself suffered from tooth decay
because he is not allowed to use dental floss.
Plaintiff's alleged facts simply do not give rise to an
extreme deprivation denying Plaintiff the minimal civilized
measure of life's necessities sufficient to state a claim
for an Eighth Amendment violation. Accord Jones v.
Barrett, No. 2:14-cv-00303-GMN, 2014 WL 1340770, at *4
(D. Nev. Apr. 2, 2014) (stating that “[d]epriving an
inmate of free dental floss does not constitute cruel and
unusual punishment”). For the reasons stated herein,
the Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to state an Eighth
Amendment claim against Defendants and this action will
therefore be dismissed.
reasons stated herein, Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claim