United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah Division
B. RUSSELL JUDGE.
Shon O'Neil Williams filed a pro se, in
forma pauperis complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. 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 reasons set forth below, the action
will be dismissed.
SUMMARY OF CLAIMS
is a prisoner at the McCracken County Regional Jail (MCRJ).
He names as Defendants in their individual and official
capacities MCRJ Jailer Tonya Ray and Captain Steven Carter.
He also names as Defendants MCRJ food service provider Summit
Foods as well as the MCRJ.
alleges that upon his arrival at MCRJ he let Defendants know
that he is allergic to turkey and chicken based products. He
states that he was put on a vegetarian diet. He states,
“I am not a vegetarian and have sent numerous
complaints in the proper chain of command and have been
reassured by empty promises that the problem would be
resolved.” He further asserts that it is cruel and
unusual punishment to force him to “eat beans for my
main course everyday for my entire incarceration while the
rest of the inmate population eats a balanced four food group
meal.” He asserts that he should be given pork or beef
to accommodate his needs.
relief, Plaintiff asks for monetary damages and to be
released from confinement.
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).
constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual
punishment found in the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution
“does not mandate comfortable prisons, 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.” Wilson v.
Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 298 (1991) (internal quotation
marks and citations omitted). With regard to food, the Eighth
Amendment only requires that prisoners must receive adequate
nutrition to maintain normal health; the food need not be
tasty or aesthetically pleasing. See Cunningham v.
Jones, 567 F.2d 653, 659-60 (6th Cir. 1977). “If
the prisoner's diet . . . is sufficient to sustain the
prisoner in good health, no constitutional right has been
violated.” Alexander v. Carrick, 31 Fed.Appx.
176, 179 (6th Cir. 2002).
Plaintiff does not allege facts suggesting that he has
suffered any harm resulting from being limited to a
vegetarian diet, and he fails to state a claim under the
Eighth Amendment. See Richmond v. Settles, 450
Fed.Appx. 448, 456 (6th Cir. 2011) (affirming dismissal of
claim based on inadequate nutrition where the plaintiff
failed to allege that his health suffered as a result of the
alleged deprivation of meals). Moreover, Plaintiffs desire to
have beef and pork instead of beans to provide protein does
not state a constitutional violation. See Hudson v.
Caruso, 748 F.Supp.2d 721, 730 (W.D. Mich. 2010)
(“While plaintiffs may want to have halal meat entrees
rather than vegetarian entrees and non-meat substitutes,
their food preferences, as prisoners, are limited.”).
Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief may