Peoples v. Murphy et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting in part Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration 25 . Luther Whitfield and Clabon Hicks shall be reinstated as defendants. The motion is denied in all other respects. The Clerk shall prepare summons and the USM shall serve Defendants Whitfield and Hicks without prepayment of fees or costs or security therefore. The Clerk shall alter the docket to reflect that Defendant Luther Whithfield is appropriately Defendant Luther Whitfield. Signed by Magistrate Judge Joe J. Volpe on 3/4/2016. (lej)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
CHANTELL ALLEN PEOPLES,
ADC # 134098
JAMES MURPHY, Guard, Mississippi
County Detention Center; et al.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Chantell Allen Peoples (“Plaintiff”) filed an Amended Complaint (Doc. No. 22) seeking to
add Luther Whitfiled, Dale Cook, Clabon Hicks, and an unnamed nurse as defendants. After review
of that Complaint, I found this action should proceed only against Defendant James Murphy. (Doc.
No. 24.) Now, Plaintiff has pleaded his allegations against these Defendants with greater specificity
and asked me to reconsider my ruling. (Doc. No. 25.) After weighing Plaintiff’s Motion for
Reconsideration, I now conclude service is appropriate for Luther Whitfield and Clabon Hicks. The
claims against Dale Cook and the unidentified nurse should, for the reasons stated below, not
Plaintiff alleges Sheriff Dale Cook never replied to or returned his grievances. (Id. at 1.) It
is settled law that the failure to respond to an inmate’s grievances, standing alone, does not give rise
to a constitutional violation. See Buckley v. Barlow, 997 F.2d 494 (8th Cir. 1993)(per curiam). With
respect to the unidentified nurse, Plaintiff alleges he spoke to her about his medical issues on one
occasion and, despite her assurances, they were not resolved. (Doc. No. 25 at 1.) He also alleges
she responded to one of his grievances on September 17, 2015, with a denial. (Id.) These allegations
are still too vague to sustain a viable deliberate indifference claim against her. Moreover, denial of
a grievance does not give rise to a constitutional violation. See Lomholt v. Holder, 287 F.3d 683,
684 (8th Cir. 2002).
IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that:
Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. No. 25) is GRANTED in part:
Luther Whitfield and Clabon Hicks shall be reinstated as defendants;
The Motion is denied in all other respects.
The Clerk of Court shall prepare Summons for Defendants Whitfield and Hicks, and
the United States Marshall shall serve a copy of the Amended Complaint (Doc. No. 22), Motion for
Reconsideration (Doc. No. 25), Summons, and this Order on them without prepayment fees or costs
or security therefore. Service for both Defendants should be through the Mississippi County
Detention Facility, 685 NCR 599, Luxora, AR 72358.
The Clerk shall alter the docket to reflect that Defendant Luther Whithfield is
appropriately Defendant Luther Whitfield.
SO ORDERED this 4th day of March, 2016.
JOE J. VOLPE
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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