Payne-Bey v. Walker
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS It is ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that all of the plaintiff's claims except his Fourteenth Amendment access to courts claim against Defendant Walker are DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). It is further ORDERED that the plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment access to courts claim against Defendant Walker is REFERRED to the magistrate judge for further proceedings. Signed by Judge Abdul K Kallon on 10/6/2014. (PSM)
2014 Oct-06 AM 11:09
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
DARROW B. PAYNE-BEY,
CLINTON M. WALKER,
) Case Number: 2:13-cv-02021-AKK-JHE
On September 10, 2014, the magistrate judge entered a report and recommendation recommending dismissal all of the plaintiff’s claims, except for the Fourteenth
Amendment access to courts claim against Defendant Clinton Walker, for failing to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1).
Doc. 10. The magistrate judge further recommended that the plaintiff’s Fourteenth
Amendment access to courts claim against Defendant Walker be referred back to him
for further proceedings. Id. On September 22, 2014, the plaintiff filed objections to
the magistrate judge’s report and recommendation. Doc. 12.
To the extent the plaintiff restates his claims that Defendant Walker harassed
and threatened him, dismissal of these claims is warranted because threats and verbal
harassment alone are insufficient to state a constitutional violation.1 See Edwards v.
Gilbert, 867 F.2d 1271, 1274 n.1 (11th Cir. 1989) (explaining that mere verbal taunts,
despite their distressing nature, directed at inmate by jailers do not violate inmate’s
constitutional rights). Likewise, as to plaintiff’s contention that Defendant Clinton
violated various Alabama Department of Corrections policies by threatening and
harassing him, doc. 12 at 2-3, dismissal is warranted because the violation of agency
regulations or procedures does not, by itself, raise a constitutional issue. Sandin v.
Connor, 515 U.S. 472, 481-82 (1995) (explaining prison regulations are not intended
to confer rights or benefits on inmates but are merely designed to guide correctional
officials in the administration of prisons); United States v. Caceres, 440 U.S. 741
Finally, although the magistrate judge liberally construed the plaintiff’s
amended complaint to allege that, on January 4, 5, and 8, 2014, Defendant Walker
refused him access to the prison law library resulting in the plaintiff’s inability to file
a writ of mandamus, doc. 10 at 5, the plaintiff states in his objections that Defendant
Walker refused him access to the prison law library on many other occasions,
The magistrate judge recommended the plaintiff’s claims occurring between March 1, 2010
and August 2, 2011, be dismissed as untimely under the applicable statute of limitations. Doc. 10
at 3-4. In his objections, the plaintiff requests the court “acknowledge” Defendant Walker also
harassed him on June 17 and September 8, 2012. Doc. 12 at 3. Even if the plaintiff’s allegations
of harassment are timely, they do not state a constitutional violation and are due to be dismissed for
reasons explained in the report and recommendation. Doc. 10 at 4.
including June 17 and September 8, 2012. Doc. 12 at 3. To prevail on an access to
courts claim, an inmate must establish that “his efforts to pursue a legal claim” were
“hindered.” Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 351 (1996). The plaintiff does not allege
any such prejudice as a result of Defendant Walker’s conduct on any other occasion
and, therefore, does not state a claim for relief based on these additional dates.2
Having carefully reviewed and considered de novo all the materials in the court
file, including the report and recommendation and the objections thereto, the court
is of the opinion that the magistrate judge’s report is due to be and is hereby
ADOPTED and the magistrate judge’s recommendation is ACCEPTED. It is
therefore ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that all of the plaintiff’s claims
except his Fourteenth Amendment access to courts claim against Defendant Walker
are DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). It is further ORDERED that
the plaintiff’s Fourteenth Amendment access to courts claim against Defendant
Walker is REFERRED to the magistrate judge for further proceedings.
It appears from three institutional documents the plaintiff submits that prison officials
gave him permission to use the law library in April 2012 and March, April, and May 2014. Doc. 12
at 11, 14-16. These documents do not indicate whether Defendant Walker refused the plaintiff
access to the law library during these months. Id.
DONE this 6th day of October, 2014.
ABDUL K. KALLON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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