United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
REGINALD K. WATSON, Plaintiff,
FNU JENKINS, et al., Defendants.
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. 1]; see 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).
March 20, 2019, the Court entered an order waiving the
initial filing fee and directing monthly payments to be made
from Plaintiff’s prison account. [Doc. 6]. Therefore,
Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis.
Plaintiff Reginald K. Watson, a North Carolina prisoner
incarcerated at Marion Correctional Institution
(“MCI”) in Marion, North Carolina, filed this
action on January 8, 2019, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff has named the following persons as Defendants: (1)
FNU Jenkins, identified as the Director of Rehabilitative
Diversion Unit (“RDU”) Program at Marion
Correctional Institution; and (2) FNU Swink, identified as a
Program Director of the RDU Program at MCI. [Doc. 1].
Plaintiff alleges that his Eighth Amendment constitutional
rights are being violated because of the way the RDU program
is run at MCI.
support of his claims, Plaintiff alleges the following:
I was placed on the RDU program on 4-13-17. Any inmate that
refuses to do the workbooks or go to the classes are kept in
solitary indefinitely until they participate even if they
don’t catch any write ups. Anybody who refuses to do
the classes are labeled “non-participants” and
denied phone privileges even if you’re not on
restriction. If you’re written up, you can be placed on
cell restriction for 15-30 days without recreation and placed
in full restraints to take a shower. State policy says that
you can be placed on cell restriction for only up to 3 days.
They say that the RDU policy overrides state policy and
refuses to let inmates see the RDU policy.
[Doc. 1 at 2]. Plaintiff states that, as a result of this
policy, he has been left in solitary confinement “for
years longer than appointed by the DOC.” He has also
been “placed on cell restriction for extended amounts
of time with no recreation and no shower.” Plaintiff
does not allege any other ways in which he has been
personally affected by RDU program policy. [Doc. 1 at 4].
Plaintiff claims that his Eighth Amendment rights have been
violated as a result of this situation.
relief, Plaintiff requests certain policy changes to the RDU
Program. [Doc. 1 at 6].
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).
following reasons, the Court finds that Plaintiff fails to
state a cognizable claim for a violation of his rights under
the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
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). 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). 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 allege “a serious or
significant physical or emotional injury resulting from the
challenged conditions.” Strickler v. Waters,
989 F.3d 1375, 1381 (4th Cir. 1993). Plaintiff’s
allegations regarding the conditions to which he was
subjected while in the RDU program do not ...