United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Frankfort
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
GREGORY F. VAN TATENHOVE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Anton Cousins is an inmate confined at the Miami Correctional
Facility in Bunker Hill, Indiana. Proceeding without an
attorney, Mr. Cousins has filed a civil rights complaint
against prisons officials at the Franklin County Regional
Jail located in Frankfort, Kentucky, pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. [R. 1.]
separate order, the Court has granted Mr. Cousins's
motion to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee. [R.
6.] Thus, the Court must conduct a preliminary review of Mr.
Cousins' complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2), 1915A. A district court must dismiss any claim
that 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. McGore v.
Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 607-08 (6th Cir. 1997). A
complaint is subject to dismissal as “frivolous”
where “it lacks an arguable basis in either law or
fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325
Court evaluates Mr. Cousins's complaint under a more
lenient standard because he is not represented by an
attorney. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007); Burton v. Jones, 321 F.3d 569, 573 (6th Cir.
2003). At this stage, the Court accepts the plaintiff's
factual allegations as true, and his legal claims are
liberally construed in his favor. Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007).
Cousins's complaint alleges that he was denied a kosher
meal by Defendant Sergeant Lucas because Lucas told him that
Mr. Cousins must first prove his faith to him. [R. 1 at 2.]
He further alleges that, although he was told by Defendant
Sergeant Jones to write a medical grievance, Mr. Cousins was
told by medical that medical is unable to give him a kosher
meal and he should instead submit a jail grievance.
Id. at 2-3. According to Mr. Cousins, after he wrote
over 20 grievances, Jones called him into Defendant Captain
Abrams' office, where Mr. Cousins was told that he had to
have a rabbi come to the jail with appropriate paperwork,
including proof that Mr. Cousins believed the Jewish faith.
Id. at 3. He alleges that he lost 70 pounds in 4
months. [R. 1-1.]
Cousins also alleges that, after the meeting with Jones in
Abrams' office, Abrams made his “time after that
hell, ” including an incident where Mr. Cousins alleges
that Abrams “put his finger on my chest really hard
with a crazy look in his face.” Id. at 3. He
also alleges that he was “jumped” on August 6,
2017, then he was placed in the same dorm with the two white
inmates who jumped him, even though they were not supposed to
be housed together and that Abrams told the CO to give
Cousins 90 days in lockdown, while the other individual only
received 20 days. [Id. at 3; R. 1-1.]
on these allegations, Mr. Cousins asserts claims of
violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized
Persons Act (“RLUIPA”), 42 U.S.C. §
2000cc-1, as well as his rights under the First, Eighth and
court has reviewed Mr. Cousins's complaint and determined
that a response is required. Because Mr. Cousins in
proceeding in forma pauperis, the United States
Marshals Service (“USMS”) will serve the summons
and complaint on Mr. Cousins's behalf. Fed.R.Civ.P.
4(c)(3); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d).
IT IS ORDERED that:
Deputy Clerk SHALL PREPARE four
“Service Packets” for service upon Defendants
Rick Rogers, Captain Abrams, Sergeant Lucas, and Sergeant
Jones. Each Service Packet shall include:
a. a completed summons form;
b. the complaint [R. 1];
c. the Order granting Plaintiff in forma pauperis