Johnson v. Cook et al
ORDER denying as moot 25 Motion for Reconsideration. The Clerk is directed to prepare a summons for Cook and Whitfield at the Mississippi County Detention Center. The U.S. Marshal is directed to serve the summons, Complaint, Amended Complaint, and this Order on Cook and Whitfield without prepayment of fees and costs or security therefor. Signed by Magistrate Judge J. Thomas Ray on 10/12/2017. (jak)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
DELL COOK, Chief; and
LUKE WHITFIELD; Lieutenant,
Mississippi County Detention Center
James Johnson ("Johnson") is a state prisoner in Illinois. He has filed a pro
se Complaint and an Amended Complaint alleging that, while he was a pretrial
detainee in the Mississippi County Detention Center ("MCDC"), Defendants
violated his constitutional rights and committed several state torts
I. Motion for Reconsideration
On June 27, 2017, the Court issued a Recommended Disposition suggesting
that this case be dismissed, without prejudice, because Johnson failed to comply with
an Order directing him to file an Amended Complaint... Doc. 18. On August 1,
2017, Honorable Kristine G. Baker, United States District Judge declined to adopt
the Recommended Disposition because, after the Recommended Disposition was
entered, Johnson filed an Amended Complaint and Objections explaining why his
Amended Complaint was late. Docs. 19, 20, & 21.
Johnson has recently filed a Motion asking the Court to reconsider the June
27, 2017 Recommended Disposition. Doc. 25. That Motion is denied, as moot,
because the Recommended Disposition was not accepted.
Before Johnson may proceed, the Court must screen his Complaint and
Johnson alleges that, while he was in the MCDC, from January to March of
2017, Defendants Chief Dell Cook ("Cook") and Lieutenant Luke Whitfield
("Whitfield") violated his constitutional rights, as protected by 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
and committed the Arkansas tort of negligence by refusing to give him supplies to
clean mold, mildew, and rust that caused him to become ill. Docs. 2 & 24. The
Court concludes, for screening purposes only, that Johnson has pled a viable § 1983
and negligence claims against Cox and Whitfield in regard to these specific
The Prison Litigation Reform Act requires federal courts to screen prisoner complaints
seeking relief against a governmental entity, officer, or employee. 28 U.S.C. ' 1915A(a). The
Court must dismiss a complaint or a portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that: (a) are
legally frivolous or malicious; (b) fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (c)
seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. ' 1915A(b).
When making this determination, a court must accept the truth of the factual allegations contained
in the complaint, and it may consider the documents attached to the complaint. Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Reynolds v. Dormire, 636 F.3d 976, 979 (8th Cir. 2011).
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT:
Johnson's Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. 25) is DENIED AS
The Clerk is directed to prepare a summons for Cook and Whitfield at
the Mississippi County Detention Center. The U.S. Marshal is directed to serve the
summons, Complaint, Amended Complaint, and this Order on Cook and Whitfield
without prepayment of fees and costs or security therefor.3
Dated this 12th day of October, 2017.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
The Court has entered a separate Recommended Partial Disposition explaining why the
other claims Johnson raised in his Complaint and Amended Complaint should be dismissed,
If Cook or Whitfield no longer work at the MCDC, the individual responding to service
must file a sealed statement providing their last known private mailing address.
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