Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

King v. Houston

United States District Court, Eighth Circuit

August 26, 2013

DONNELL KING, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT P. HOUSTON, Director, DIAN SABATKA-RINE, Warden, JOANNE HILGERT, Tek Ind. Supervisor, MEL SOYH, Tek Ind. Supervisor, and C.S.I. DIRECTOR, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

LYLE E. STROM, Senior District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on initial review of plaintiff's complaint (Filing No. 1). Plaintiff has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this matter (Filing No. 10). The Court now conducts an initial review of plaintiff's complaint to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.

I. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

Plaintiff is incarcerated at the Nebraska State Penitentiary ("NSP") (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 1). He filed his pro se complaint against Robert Houston ("Houston"), Diane Sabatka-Rine ("Sabatka-Rine"), Joanne Hilgert ("Hilgert"), Mel Soyh ("Soyh"), and "C.S.I. Director." ( Id. at CM/ECF pp. 1-2.) Plaintiff alleges that Houston is the Director of the Department of Correctional Services, and Sabatka-Rine is Warden of the NSP. ( Id. at CM/ECF p. 1.) Plaintiff alleges that Hilgert and Soyh are supervisors for Tek Industries, a corporation operating within the NSP. ( Id. at CM/ECF p. 2.)

Plaintiff, a black male, alleges that he was employed by Tek Industries. Plaintiff was working on February 6, 2010. While in the restroom on this date, he discovered a blue cylinder on the floor that had a white substance in it. ( Id. at CM/ECF p. 6.) As he was "smell[ing]" the cylinder, a corrections officer walked into the restroom, after which plaintiff quickly tried to wash out the cylinder. ( Id. ) The corrections officer accused plaintiff of "snorting a white powder substance." ( Id. at CM/ECF p. 30.) Thereafter, the Institutional Discipline Committee found plaintiff guilty of drug abuse. ( Id. at CM/ECF p. 8.) Plaintiff alleges that Hilgert and Soyh terminated him from his employment with Tek Industries for reasons of "Drug Abuse." ( Id. at CM/ECF p. 7.)

Plaintiff alleges that in May 2011, the disciplinary committee at NSP found a white inmate guilty of possessing contraband. ( Id. at CM/ECF p. 9.) Tek Industries, under the direction of defendant "C.S.I. Director, " allowed this white inmate to return to work "like nothing ever happened." ( Id. at CM/ECF p. 10.) Plaintiff alleges that upon learning about the "favorable treatment" this white inmate received, plaintiff filed grievances with NSP officials alleging discrimination. ( Id. at CM/ECF pp. 10-22.) Plaintiff alleges that his grievances were denied because they were not timely filed, and that Houston and Sabatka-Rine did not take his grievances "seriously." ( Id. )

Liberally construed, plaintiff alleges that his rights to equal protection have been violated, and that he suffered employment discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e-2 and e-3(a) ("Title VII").

As relief, plaintiff seeks $450, 000.00, and also for the Court to "help the plaintiff to prevent others from being discriminated against by [Tek Industries]." (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 14.) Plaintiff also asks that the Court "help [plaintiff] change the Department of Correctional Service rules" that require an inmate to file a grievance within three days from the date an incident occurs. ( Id. )

II. APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW

The Court is required to review in forma pauperis complaints to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). The Court must dismiss a complaint or any portion thereof that states a frivolous or malicious claim, that fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

A pro se plaintiff must set forth enough factual allegations to "nudge[] their claims across the line from conceivable to plausible, " or "their complaint must be dismissed" for failing to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 569-70 (2007); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1950 (2009) ("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."). Regardless of whether a plaintiff is represented or is appearing pro se, the plaintiff's complaint must allege specific facts sufficient to state a claim. See Martin v. Sargent , 780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985). However, a pro se plaintiff's allegations must be construed liberally. Burke v. North Dakota Dep't of Corr. & Rehab. , 294 F.3d 1043, 1043-44 (8th Cir. 2002) (citations omitted).

Liberally construed, plaintiff here alleges federal constitutional claims. To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege a violation of rights protected by the United States Constitution or created by federal statute and also must show that the alleged deprivation was caused by conduct of a person acting under color of state law. West v. Atkins , 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Buckley v. Barlow , 997 F.2d 494, 495 (8th Cir. 1993).

III. DISCUSSION OF CLAIMS

A. Claims for Monetary Relief Against Houston ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.