United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Crow, U.S. District Senior Judge.
the plaintiff John Elbert Broyles II filed his civil rights
complaint, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, he was an inmate at the
Graham County Jail. ECF# 1, p. 1. After the court's
screening order, Mr. Broyles informed the court that he had
been returned to Saline County Jail. ECF# 12, p. 1. Even more
recently, the court has learned from Mr. Broyles' filings
that Saline County has again transferred him to another
county's facility. Mr. Broyles is currently housed at
Cloud County Jail. In his latest letter addressed to the
Clerk of the Court, Mr. Broyles asks if he is “allowed
to include the Cloud County Jail” and its employees as
defendants in this case. ECF#18. Having filed a separate
complaint that alleges unrelated events separate and distinct
in time, facility and actors, the court filed Mr.
Broyles' complaint as a separate action. See Broyles
v. Marks, No. 18-3030-SAC. In the instant case, Mr.
Broyles claims are limited to those which he has alleged in
his original complaint.
filed, Broyles' complaint names four defendants in his
caption, but his factual allegations can only be linked with
two of them, Cole Presley, as sheriff and administrator of
Graham County Jail, and Tina Miller, as supervisor of
classifications for diet and administrative status at Saline
County Jail. ECF# 1. Consequently, on its screening, the
court dismissed the other two named defendants, City of
Salina and State of Kansas. ECF# 6, pp. 5-6.
complaint includes three causes of action. For his first
count, he alleges his First Amendment right to follow the
dietary tenets of his Jewish religion were violated when he
was serving his sentence at the Saline County Jail and
receiving Kosher meals only to have the Saline County Jail
transfer him to the Graham County facility where no Kosher
meals were provided. He made numerous grievances to both
jails asking for a transfer back to Saline County Jail and
for a kosher meal to be provided, but his grievances and
requests were ignored. For his second count, he alleges the
confinement conditions at the Graham County Jail violated his
Eighth Amendment rights. Specifically, he was denied
recreation and outdoor exercise and denied a proper
nutritional diet because all food was prepared by
“microwave” and was “totally
unhealthy.” For his third count, he alleges his
Fourteenth Amendment right to equally exercise his religion
practices the same as other prisoners in Saline County jail
“or [in] any other facility of confinement” were
violated. ECF# 1, p. 6.
the factual allegations in his complaint, Broyles says he was
serving a jail sentence at Saline County Jail since November
21, 2016, when he was transferred to the Graham County Jail
on June 27, 2017. Id. at p. 3 He practices the
“Jewish faith, ‘Yahweh Assembly in
Yahshua'” and “adhere(s) to a strict
‘kosher' religion diet.” Id. at p.
2. At the Saline County Jail, he had been receiving a
“partial ‘Kosher' diet.” Id.
at p. 3. As evident from the above summary, Broyles'
complaint includes no claim based on the Kosher meals
received at the Saline County Jail. Instead, his only claim
related to the Saline County Jail is based on his transfer to
a facility where his kosher diet requirements could not be
met and on the denial of his requests for another transfer.
Regarding the Graham County Jail, Broyles complains about the
lack of Kosher meals and the following conditions:
The entire diet (menu) this facility offers is prepared by
microwave oven. They provide no milk, fresh vegetables or
fruits. No nutrients whatsoever! Lastly, no space or
recreation area, nor opportunity to go outside or to a
specific recreation area.
ECF# 1, p. 3. He alleges having filed grievances with both
jails seeking transfers back to the Saline County Jail. He
denies receiving formal responses to his grievances. For
relief, Mr. Broyles requests housing “at a facility
that provides a Kosher diet” and monetary awards from
Saline County Jail, Graham County Jail, and the State of
Kansas. Id. at p. 7.
to its statutory duty, the court initially screened
Broyles' complaint looking for any claim that was
“frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted” or that sought
“monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief, ” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). The court
applied the following standards. 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). All
well-pleaded allegations in the complaint are accepted as
true. Anderson v. Blake, 469 F.3d 910, 913 (10th
Cir. 2006). But, “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). Courts
“look to the specific allegations in the complaint to
determine whether they plausibly support a legal claim for
relief.” Kay v. Bemis, 500 F.3d 1214, 1218
(10th Cir. 2007) (citations omitted).
screening order, the court noted that it appeared that Mr.
Broyles could allege against a Saline County Jail official a
claim for knowingly transferring him to interfere with the
exercise of his religious belief in a kosher diet and for
then not transferring him back after he complained about the
lack of a kosher diet. The court also said it appeared that
Mr. Broyles could allege against a Graham County Jail
official a claim for failing to provide him a kosher diet and
for denying him all outside exercise for months. The Court,
however, found that the proper processing of these claims
could not go forward without additional information from
appropriate officials at both jails. See Martinez v.
Aaron, 570 F.2d 317, 319 (10th Cir. 1978). The
Martinez report was to provide an opportunity for
jail officials to investigate the events in question and to
construct an administrative record from that investigation.
Id. at 319. This report's purpose is to create a
sufficient record from which “to ascertain whether
there are any factual or legal bases for the prisoner's
claims.'” Breedlove v. Costner, 405
Fed.Appx. 338, 343 (10th Cir. 2010) (unpub.), cert.
denied, 563 U.S. 965 (2011) (quoting Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1109 (10th Cir. 1991)).
“This process is designed to aid the court in fleshing
out possible legal bases of relief from unartfully drawn pro
se complaints, not to resolve material factual issues.”
Northington v. Jackson, 973 F.2d 1518, 1521 (10th
Cir. 1992) (citation omitted).
defendant B. Cole Presley, sheriff of Graham County, Kansas,
averred that his office is responsible for operating the
county jail which is the only detention facility in Graham
County. His office is comprised of three full-time and one
part-time law enforcement officers and four fulltime
dispatchers. None of the employees work full-time in jail
operations, and both dispatchers and officers “share
the responsibility of meal and medication preparation and
management.” ECF# 9, p. 2. Graham County has contracted
with Saline County to hold inmates, and the plaintiff came to
Graham County jail pursuant to this contract hold. When Mr.
Broyles arrived, he informed staff of his religious
requirements for diet, and he was told the jail could only
accommodate the requirement of no pork products being served.
Sheriff Presley avers that substitute products were purchased
and served and that the plaintiff's daily menu was
adjusted with only one recorded incident of pork sausage
being provided accidentally. Sheriff Presley avers that a
review of the plaintiff's complaints or requests show he
first requested a transfer back to Saline County on September
18, 2017. In that request, Mr. Broyles stated that he had
made multiple attempts for transfer. Sheriff Presley concedes
that Graham County jail has no “outside exercise area
of any kind to afford inmates a dedicated area to be outside
in a secure manner.” ECF# 9, p. 4. He further states:
Given the small area within the jail, when the population is
at 12, exercise can be difficult. As this applies to Mr.
Broyles, a weekly census of the jail population shows an
average weekly population of 4 inmates providing for the
space needed to exercise with plenty of space (Exhibit H). A
review of complaints or requests from Mr. Broyles file
(Exhibit E) also shows that no request to go outside or for
other accommodations for exercise have been made by him.
ECF# 9, p. 5.
Broyles has filed a lengthy response to Sheriff Presley's
affidavit. ECF# 16. He primarily argues inferences to be
drawn from the affidavit and from the attached exhibits and
admissions as showing that the jail was not equipped to and
failed to provide him Kosher meals. He notes that the jail
did not provide Kosher meals but only attempted to remove
pork products from his meals and occasionally failed at this.
Mr. Broyles is also critical of the jail staff's efforts
at communicating with ...