United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah Division
B. Russell, Senior Judge
pro se, filed a pro se 42 U.S.C. §
1983 complaint. This matter is before the Court for screening
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and McGore v.
Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601 (6th Cir. 1997),
overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549
U.S. 199 (2007). For the following reasons, the complaint
will be dismissed.
SUMMARY OF CLAIMS
sues the following Christian County Jail (CCJ) employees in
their official capacities: Jailer Brad Boyd, Mr. Howard, Sgt.
McIntosh, and Mr. Woods. Plaintiff alleges that while he was
an inmate at CCJ, Defendants forced him to sleep on the floor
with a less than 2-inch thick mat and only one blanket. He
also alleges that he was exposed to mold on the cell's
walls and baseboards and was not provided bleach to clean it.
He further alleges that the food provided by Defendants was
not nutritionally adequate.
prisoner initiates a civil action seeking redress from a
governmental entity, officer, or employee, the trial court
must review the complaint and dismiss the action, if the
Court determines that it is frivolous or malicious, fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1) and (2). A
claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490
U.S. 319, 325 (1989). The Court may, therefore, dismiss a
claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are
clearly baseless. Id. at 327. When determining
whether a plaintiff has stated a claim upon which relief can
be granted, the Court must construe the complaint in a light
most favorable to Plaintiff and accept all of the factual
allegations as true. Prater v. City of Burnside,
Ky., 289 F.3d 417, 424 (6th Cir. 2002). While a
reviewing court must liberally construe pro se
pleadings, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365
(1982) (per curiam), to avoid dismissal, a complaint must
include “enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
1983 creates no substantive rights, but merely provides
remedies for deprivations of rights established elsewhere.
Flint ex rel. Flint v. Ky. Dep't of Corr., 270
F.3d 340, 351 (6th Cir. 2001). Two elements are required to
state a claim under § 1983. Gomez v. Toledo,
446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980). “[A] plaintiff must allege
the violation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws
of the United States, and must show that the alleged
deprivation was committed by a person acting under color of
state law.” West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48
(1988). “Absent either element, a section 1983 claim
will not lie.” Christy v. Randlett, 932 F.2d
502, 504 (6th Cir. 1991).
all of Plaintiff's claims involve the conditions of his
confinement at CCJ. “[T]he treatment a prisoner
receives in prison and the conditions under which he is
confined are subject to scrutiny under the Eighth
Amendment.” Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25,
31 (1993). An Eighth Amendment claim is composed of two
parts: an objective component, which requires plaintiff to
show a “sufficiently serious” deprivation, and a
subjective component, which requires a showing of a
sufficiently culpable state of mind--one of deliberate
indifference. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834,
842 (1994). In the context of a conditions-of-confinement
claim, only extreme deprivations can be characterized as
punishment prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. Hudson v.
McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 8-9 (1992).
regard to Plaintiff's allegations that Defendants forced
him to sleep on the floor with a less than 2-inch thick mat,
a prisoner has no right to sleep on an elevated bed. Mann
v. Smith, 796 F.2d 79, 85 (5th Cir. 1986); see also
Hubbard v. Taylor, 538 F.3d 229, 235 (3d Cir. 2008)
(forcing pretrial detainees to sleep on a floor mattress for
three to seven months due to overcrowding is not a
constitutional violation); Edwards v. Warren Cty.
Reg'l Jail, No. 1:17-CV-P137-GNS, 2018 WL 445115, at
*4 (W.D. Ky. Jan. 16, 2018) (finding that “a prisoner
has no right to sleep on an elevated bed”).
does Plaintiff allege a constitutional violation simply by
alleging that he was provided only one blanket. There is no
constitutional violation unless the challenged jail
conditions have resulted in “the deprivation of a
single, identifiable human need such as . . . warmth . . . --
for example, a low cell temperature at night combined with a
failure to issue blankets.” Wilson v. Seiter,
501 U.S. 294, 304 (1991). Plaintiff makes no such allegation.
allegations that he was exposed to mold on the cell's
walls and baseboards and was not provided bleach to clean it
also fail to allege a § 1983 claim. Plaintiff does not
allege that he suffered any injury as a result of the mold.
Without alleging an injury, Plaintiff has not stated a claim
under the Eighth Amendment. See, e.g., Turner v.
George, No. 1:13-cv-0142, 2014 WL 49594, at *3 (M.D.
Tenn. Jan. 7, 2014). “The mere allegation of the
presence of some mold does not create a condition
‘intolerable for prison confinement.'”
Lyons v. Wickersham, No. 2:12-CV-14353, 2012 WL
6591581, at *4 (E.D. Mich. Dec. 18, 2012) (quoting Rhodes
v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 348 (1981)). Moreover,
“some exposure to black mold is a risk that society has
chosen to tolerate.” McIntyre v. Phillips, No.
1:07-cv-527, 2007 WL 2986470, at *3 (W.D. Mich. Sept. 10,
2007) (citing Brady v. State Farm Fire & Cas.
Co., No. 05-30716, 2006 WL 551388, at *3 (5th Cir. Mar.
8, 2006) (per curiam); Board v. Farnham, 394 F.3d
469, 486 (7th Cir. 2005)).
Plaintiff simply alleges that the food he was given at CCJ
was not nutritionally adequate. This broad allegation,
without more detail, is insufficient to support a § 1983
claim. See, e.g., Sims v. Mich. Dep't of Corr.,
23 Fed.Appx. 214, 216 (6th Cir. 2001) (rejecting Eighth
Amendment claim based on assertion that the plaintiff
received only one cup of fruit as one of the six meals he
received in one day); Jackson v. Aramark, No.
3:17-CV-P322-DJH, 2017 WL 3176284, at *3 (W.D. Ky. July 26,
2017) (finding that broad allegation that prison food was
“not nutritionally adequate, no well-balanced
meals” insufficient to support a constitutional claim);
Witschi v. N.C. Dep't of Pub. Safety, No.
1:14-cv-68-FDW, 2014 WL 3735135, at *2 (W.D. N.C. July 29,
2014) (finding no Eighth Amendment claim despite Plaintiffs
allegation that he was not being fed a sufficient diet
because he did not allege facts suggesting that his health
had deteriorated as a result of his diet regimen).