United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
CROW U.S. SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE.
Anthony Jefferson, is hereby required to show good cause, in
writing, to the Honorable Sam A. Crow, United States District
Judge, why his claims against Defendant Aramark Correctional
Services should not be dismissed due to the deficiencies in
Plaintiff's Complaint that are discussed herein. The
Court finds that proper processing of Plaintiff's claims
against the remaining Defendants cannot be achieved without
additional information from appropriate officials of the
Hutchinson Correctional Facility in Hutchinson, Kansas
Nature of the Matter before the Court
a prisoner currently incarcerated at HCF, brings this pro
se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. The Court granted Plaintiff leave to proceed in
alleges that he requested to be placed on a Kosher diet at
HCF on June 1, 2017. Plaintiff received a response on June 7,
2017, requesting that he fill out a request for a certified
religious diet (“CRD”) and submit it to chaplain
services. Plaintiff did not fill out the request form for a
CRD because the meal components at HCF are not
Kosher-certified by a supervising Rabbinical committee and
are not stored, prepared or served in accordance with Jewish
Kosher dietary laws.
alleges that the same meal components for CRD meals and the
same storage, preparation, and servicing procedures are used
at all Kansas Department of Corrections (“KDOC”)
facilities. Plaintiff alleges that the packaging of the CRD
meal components do not contain the proper Kosher symbols,
meaning that there has been no Rabbinical supervision of that
food product and that the food product is not Kosher.
Plaintiff also alleges that the meal components are served
and stored in the same area as non-Kosher food items.
Plaintiff alleges violations of his First Amendment rights
and RLUIPA. Plaintiff names Aramark Correctional Services and
multiple KDOC and Aramark staff as defendants. Plaintiff
seeks a declaratory judgment, compensatory damages, nominal
damages, punitive damages and injunctive relief.
Statutory Screening of Prisoner Complaints
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or
an employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion
thereof if a plaintiff has raised claims that are legally
frivolous or malicious, that fail to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege the
violation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of
the United States, and must show that the alleged deprivation
was committed by a person acting under color of state
law.” West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48
(1988)(citations omitted); Northington v. Jackson,
973 F.2d 1518, 1523 (10th Cir. 1992). A court liberally
construes a pro se complaint and applies “less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007). In addition, the court accepts all well-pleaded
allegations in the complaint as true. Anderson v.
Blake, 469 F.3d 910, 913 (10th Cir. 2006). On the other
hand, “when the allegations in a complaint, however
true, could not raise a claim of entitlement to relief,
” dismissal is appropriate. Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 558 (2007).
se litigant's “conclusory allegations without
supporting factual averments are insufficient to state a
claim upon which relief can be based.” Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991).
“[A] plaintiff's obligation to provide the
‘grounds' of his ‘entitlement to relief'
requires “more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citations
omitted). The complaint's “factual allegations must
be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level” and “to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Id. at 555, 570.
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has explained “that, to
state a claim in federal court, a complaint must explain what
each defendant did to [the pro se plaintiff]; when the
defendant did it; how the defendant's action harmed [the
plaintiff]; and, what specific legal right the plaintiff
believes the defendant violated.” Nasious v. Two
Unknown B.I.C.E. Agents, 492 F.3d 1158, 1163 (10th Cir.
2007). The court “will not supply additional factual
allegations to round out a plaintiff's complaint or
construct a legal theory on a plaintiff's behalf.”
Whitney v. New Mexico, 113 F.3d 1170, 1173-74 (10th
Cir. 1997) (citation omitted).
Tenth Circuit has pointed out that the Supreme Court's
decisions in Twombly and Erickson gave rise
to a new standard of review for § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)
dismissals. See Kay v. Bemis, 500 F.3d 1214, 1218
(10th Cir. 2007)(citations omitted); see also Smith v.
United States, 561 F.3d 1090, 1098 (10th Cir. 2009). As
a result, courts “look to the specific allegations in
the complaint to determine whether they plausibly support a
legal claim for relief.” Kay, 500 F.3d at 1218
(citation omitted). Under this new standard, “a
plaintiff must ‘nudge his claims across the line from
conceivable to plausible.'” Smith, 561
F.3d at 1098 (citation omitted). “Plausible” in
this context does not mean “likely to be true, ”
but rather refers “to the scope of the allegations in a
complaint: if they are so general that they encompass a wide
swath of conduct, much of it innocent, ” then the
plaintiff has not “nudged [his] claims across the line
from conceivable to plausible.” Robbins v.
Oklahoma, 519 F.3d 1242, 1247 (10th Cir. 2008) (citing
Twombly, 127 S.Ct. at 1974).
Court finds that proper processing of Plaintiff's claims
cannot be achieved without additional information from
appropriate HCF officials. See Martinez v. Aaron,
570 F.2d 317 (10th Cir. ...