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Wheeler v. Winn Correctional

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division

June 11, 2019

LARRY DARNELL WHEELER, Plaintiff
v.
WINN CORRECTIONAL, ET AL., Defendants

          DEE D. DRELL JUDGE.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Joseph H.L. Perez-Montes United States Magistrate Judge.

         Before the Court is the civil rights Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 of pro se Plaintiff Larry Darnell Wheeler (“Wheeler”) (#163673). Wheeler is an inmate in the custody of the Louisiana Department of Corrections, incarcerated at the Winn Correctional Center (“WCC”) in Winnfield, Louisiana. Wheeler alleges that he was bitten by a spider at WCC, resulting in a serious injury.

         Because Wheeler fails to state a claim for the deprivation of a constitutional right, his Complaint (Doc. 1) should be DENIED and DISMISSED.

         I. Background

         Wheeler alleges that he was bitten by a poisonous spider at WCC. (Doc. 1, p. 4). Wheeler claims that he now suffers from nightmares and a fear of spiders. (Doc. 1, p. 4). Wheeler names as Defendants WCC, Medical Director Randi Price, and Dr. Hearn.

         II. Law and Analysis

         A. Wheeler's Complaint is subject to screening under §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.

         Wheeler is a prisoner who has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 8). As a prisoner seeking redress from an officer or employee of a governmental entity, Wheeler's Complaint is subject to preliminary screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. See Martin v. Scott, 156 F.3d 578, 579-80 (5th Cir. 1998) (per curiam). Because he is proceeding in forma pauperis, Wheeler's Complaint is also subject to screening under § 1915(e)(2). Both § 1915(e)(2)(B) and § 1915A(b) provide for sua sponte dismissal of a complaint, or any portion thereof, if the Court finds it is frivolous or malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.

         A complaint is frivolous when it “lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A claim lacks an arguable basis in law when it is “based on an indisputably meritless legal theory.” Id. at 327. A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted when it fails to plead “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); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009).

         B. Wheeler has not alleged unconstitutional conditions of confinement or deliberate indifference.

         The Constitution does not require that prisoners be provided pleasant surroundings or a comfortable jail. See Harper v. Showers, 174 F.3d 716, 719 (5th Cir. 1999). The constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment requires simply that prisoners be afforded humane conditions of confinement and receive adequate food, shelter, clothing, and medical care. See Herman v. Holiday, 238 F.3d 660, 664 (5th Cir. 2001).

         To establish an Eighth Amendment violation based on conditions of confinement, a prisoner must satisfy both an objective and a subjective component. See Woods v. Edwards, 51 F.3d 577, 581 (5th Cir. 1995). “First, he must show that his confinement resulted in a deprivation that was ‘objectively, sufficiently serious.'” Hernandez v. Velasquez, 522 F.3d 556, 560 (5th Cir. 2008) (quoting Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994)). To make such a showing, the prisoner must demonstrate that the deprivation violated contemporary standards of decency and resulted in the denial of “the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities.” Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 298 (1991) (internal citation omitted).

         Second, the prisoner must show that prison officials possessed a sufficiently culpable state of mind in that they were deliberately indifferent to the alleged conditions. See Wilson, 501 U.S. at 297-303; Woods, 51 F.3d at 581. To establish deliberate indifference, the prisoner must show that the official knew of and ...


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