United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Owensboro
H. McKinley Jr., United States District Judge.
Jeffrey Scott Young filed the instant pro se
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This matter is before
the Court on initial review of the complaint pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons stated below, the Court
will dismiss the complaint.
is a convicted inmate at the Daviess County Detention Center
(DCDC). He sues the following three DCDC employees: Sgt.
Humphrey and Corrections Officers Brandon Alvey and Wayne
Renfrow. He sues Defendants in their individual and official
states that he was asleep when the three named Defendants
came into his cell “telling everybody to get up, and
not use the bathroom, and line up out in the hallway, and
don't grab nothing.” He asserts, “I was about
to wake up and do my muslim pray (Salah), and read my Quran.
They told me that I couldn't grab my Quran, or my rug, to
study. They told me that I couldn't. They are discrimated
my religion, & belief.” He continues, “They
also refuse to let me go to the bathroom to use it.” He
further states, “Also they have state, and county
inmates in the same cell, & if a state inmate fights an
county inmate then the county inmates can sue, and these
people got state inmates on floor, and not bunks, or
relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages and expungement
of his record.
prisoner initiates a civil action seeking redress from a
governmental entity, officer, or employee, the trial court
must review the complaint and dismiss the complaint, or any
portion of it, if the court determines that the complaint 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 §
1915A(b)(1), (2); McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d
601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by
Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007).
order to survive dismissal for failure to state a claim,
“a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550
U.S. at 556). “[A] district court must (1) view the
complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and
(2) take all well-pleaded factual allegations as true.”
Tackett v. M & G Polymers, USA, LLC, 561 F.3d
478, 488 (6th Cir. 2009) (citing Gunasekera v.
Irwin, 551 F.3d 461, 466 (6th Cir. 2009) (citations
omitted)). “But the district court need not accept a
‘bare assertion of legal conclusions.'”
Tackett, 561 F.3d at 488 (quoting Columbia
Natural Res., Inc. v. Tatum, 58 F.3d 1101, 1109 (6th
Cir. 1995)). “A pleading that offers ‘labels and
conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.' Nor does a
complaint suffice if it tenders ‘naked
assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557).
Denial of religious exercise
First Amendment to the United States Constitution states,
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment
of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .
.” U.S. Const. amend. I. The First Amendment protects
an inmate's right to freely exercise his or her religion.
To state a § 1983 First Amendment free-exercise claim, a
plaintiff must show that the prison's actions
“substantially burdened his sincerely-held religious
beliefs.” Barhite v. Caruso, 377 Fed.Appx.
508, 510 (6th Cir. 2010) (citing Boles v. Neet, 486
F.3d. 1177, 1182 (10th Cir. 2002)). An isolated interference
with the free exercise of religion by not allowing a daily
religious observation on one occasion does not give rise to a
constitutional violation. Colvin v. Caruso, 605 F.3d
282, 293 (6th Cir. 2010) (holding that isolated incidents in
which a prisoner was mistakenly served non-kosher food were
insufficient to state a First Amendment claim); see also
Gunn v. Ky. Dep't of Corr., No. 5:07CV-P103-R, 2010
U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60530, at *12-13 (W.D. Ky. June 18, 2010)
(finding that preventing inmate from attending chapel service
on one occasion was “not sufficient to implicate the
Constitution”); Greenberg v. Hill, No.
2:07-CV-1076, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28027, at *6 (S.D. Ohio
Mar. 31, 2009) (“[I]solated or sporadic government
action or omission is de minimis and does not constitute a
‘substantial burden.'”); Cancel v.
Mazzuca, 205 F.Supp.2d 128, 142 (S.D.N.Y. 2002) (finding
that an “isolated denial, such as having to miss a
single religious service, does not constitute a substantial
burden on a prisoner's right to practice his
Plaintiff's allegation that he was prevented from praying
on one occasion is not sufficient to state a violation of the
First Amendment's Free Exercise Clause, and the claim
must be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted.
Denial of ...