United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Crow U.S. Senior District Judge
Anthony Earl Ridley brings thispro se civil rights
action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Although Plaintiff was
incarcerated at the Lansing Correctional Facility at the time
of filing, the acts giving rise to his Complaint occurred
while he was in custody at the Sedgwick County Detention
Facility. The Court granted his motion to proceed in
alleges in his Complaint that he was denied a special diet
and religious text in accordance with his Hindu religion, and
that he was excluded from chaplain services. On July 18,
2018, the Court entered a Memorandum and Order and Order to
Show Cause (Doc. 5) ("MOSC"), granting Plaintiff
until August 17, 2018, to either show good cause why his
Complaint should not be dismissed or to file a proper amended
complaint. Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint (Doc. 6).
Court found in the MOSC that: Plaintiffs Complaint is subject
to dismissal based on his failure to exhaust available
administrative remedies before filing this action; this
action is subject to dismissal as against the Board of
Sedgwick County Commissioners, Sedgwick County and Sheriff
Jeff Easter because Plaintiff has not alleged the requisite
causative custom or policy; Plaintiff failed to allege
personal participation by the two John Doe Chaplains;
Plaintiffs claims against Sam Brownback, the Governor's
Constituent Services Office, the State of Kansas, and any
other state agency or employee are subject to summary
dismissal based on sovereign immunity; Plaintiffs bare
conspiracy allegations fail to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted; because Plaintiff is no longer
detained at the Sedgwick County Detention Facility, his
requests for injunctive relief are moot; Plaintiffs request
for compensatory damages is barred by 42 U.S.C. §
1997e(e), because Plaintiff has failed to allege a physical
injury; and Plaintiff presents no plausible basis for a claim
of punitive damages because he alleges no facts whatsoever
establishing that any defendant acted with a sufficiently
culpable state of mind.
Court also noted in the MOSC that Plaintiff s instant case
includes claims substantially similar to those he has raised
in his prior cases. See Ridley v. Sedgwick Cty.
Sherriff's Office, No. 18-3011-SAC (dismissed for
failure to exhaust administrative remedies); Ridley v.
Kansas Dep't of Corr., No. 17-3214-SAC; Ridley
v. Brownback, No. 18-3060-SAC, Doc. 6, at 3 (noting that
Plaintiff "acknowledges that he has filed in this court
two other cases that deal with the same facts involved in
this action or otherwise relate to the conditions of his
confinement"). The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
affirmed this Court's dismissal of No. 17-3214-SAC based
on Plaintiffs failure to exhaust. See Ridley v. Kansas
Dep't of Corr., No. 18-3055 (10th Cir. July 13,
Complaint, Plaintiff names as Defendants: the Board of
Sedgwick County Commissioners; Sedgwick County; Sam
Brownback; Governor Constituent Services Office; the State of
Kansas; John Doe (1) Chaplain; and John Doe (2) Chaplain.
Plaintiff seeks "$10, 000, 000 for monetary damages for
violations of the Due Process Clause, [his] right to
Substantive Due Process, and First, Fifth, Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendments, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(UDHR), Federal Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice Act, 42 U.S.C.
1985(2), (3), prospective injunctive relief and $3, 000, 000
for violation of Kan. Const. B. of R. (7), $10, 000, 000 for
monetary damages for violations of Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Person Act (RLUIPA) and Kansas Preservation
of Religious Freedom Act, $27, 000, 000 for punitive damages
for constitutional injury and damages of emotional injury,
loss of enjoyment of life, dispiritedness and mental distress
and bodily damage." In his Amended Complaint, Plaintiff
names the same defendants, although he identifies the two
John Doe Chaplains, and he states the same request for
relief. See Doc. 6, at 1-2, 35-36.
Amended Complaint fails to address the deficiencies set forth
in the MOSC. Plaintiff does allege in his Amended Complaint
that he has attempted to exhaust his administrative remedies.
Plaintiff alleges that he "sent a formal grievance
letter to the Sedgwick County Sheriff s Office, actually [he]
sent 2 letters and nothing was done to correct the
institutional civil rights violations." (Doc. 6, at 17,
21.) Plaintiff also alleges that he made numerous complaints
and that he filled out an inmate claim form to formally
submit his grievance. Id. at 18, 19. Although it
does not appear that Plaintiff completed the formal grievance
procedures,  the Court finds that even if Plaintiff
exhausted his administrative remedies, the Amended Complaint
fails to state a valid claim for relief.
Amended Complaint fails to address why his request for
injunctive relief is not moot now that he is no longer
incarcerated. See Wirschingv. Colorado, 360 F.3d
1191, 1196 (10th Cir. 2004) (inmate's release from prison
moots his claims for declaratory and injunctive relief);
see also Pfeil v. Lampert, 603 Fed.Appx. 665, 668
(10th Cir. 2015) (unpublished) (holding that "RLUIPA
claims regarding prison conditions become moot if the inmate
plaintiff is released from custody.") (citations
request for compensatory damages is barred by 42 U.S.C.
§ 1997e(e), because Plaintiff has failed to allege a
physical injury. Plaintiff claims in his Amended Complaint
that his damages are: for Count 1, "emotional injury,
loss of enjoyment of life, bodily damage and mental
distress" (Doc. 6, at 15); for Count 2, "emotional
injury, loss of enjoyment of life, dispiritedness and mental
distress" (Doc. 6, at 20); for Count 3, "emotional
injury, loss of enjoyment of life, dispiritedness, bodily
damage and mental distress" (Doc. 6, at 23); for Count
4, "emotional injury, loss of enjoyment of life,
dispiritedness" (Doc. 6, at 25); for Count 5,
"emotional injury, loss of enjoyment of life, and
dispiritedness" (Doc. 6, at 28); for Count 6,
"emotional injury, loss of enjoyment of life and
dispiritedness" (Doc. 6, at 30); and for Count 7,
"loss of enjoyment of life and dispiritedness"
(Doc. 6, at 32).
alleges no facts to support his bald allegation of
"bodily damage." See Herring v. Tabor, No.
9:12-cv-1739 (GLS/DEP), 2014 WL 2946545, at *9 (N.D. N.Y.
June 30, 2014) (adopting report and recommendation) (stating
that where plaintiff contends that he suffered
"seriously bodily harm" such allegations are either
wholly conclusory or insufficient to satisfy the physical
injury requirement under section 1997e(e)). The only
allegation even suggesting a physical injury is Plaintiffs
claim that "Sheriff Jeff Easter did not stop serving me
beef until I had attempt to commit self-destruction one month
before I was sent to KDOC EDCF/RDU." (Doc. 6, at 18.)
However, Plaintiffs alleged "attempt" at
"self-destruction" does not set forth facts
suggesting that he suffered a physical injury as a result of
defendants' alleged constitutional violations.
also seeks punitive damages for "emotional injury, loss
of enjoyment of life, dispiritedness and mental distress and
bodily damage." (Doc. 6, at 36). Although §
1997e(e) does not preclude punitive damages, Plaintiff does
not set forth facts warranting punitive damages. See
Moore v. Taylor, No. 17-3070-CM, 2018 WL 2020725, at *2
(D. Kan. May 1, 2018) (citing Searles v. VanBebber,
251 F.3d 869, 878-79 (10th Cir. 2001)) ("Under Tenth
Circuit law, the statute does not preclude recovery of
nominal or punitive damages."). Punitive damages
"are available only for conduct which is 'shown to
be motivated by evil motive or intent, or when it involves
reckless or callous indifference to the federally protected
rights of others.'" Searles, 251 F.3d at
879 (quoting Smith v. Wade, 461 U.S. 30, 56 (1983)).
Plaintiff presents no plausible basis for a claim of punitive
damages because he alleges no facts whatsoever establishing
that any defendant acted with a sufficiently culpable state
also fails to state a claim under the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights. "[T]he Universal Declaration of Human
Rights is merely a resolution of the United Nations"
and, as such, is "simply [a] multination declaration[
]" that is not "binding on the United States or on
this court." Chen v. Ashcroft, 85 Fed.Appx.
700, 704 (10th Cir. 2004); see also Dartez v.
Peters, No. 15-03255-EFM-DJW, 2017 WL 2774670, *6 (D.
Kan. June 27, 2017) (finding that "despite the
'moral authority' of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, it does not 'impose obligations as a matter
of international law,' nor does it provide a basis for
Dartez's § 1983 claim.") (citations omitted).
allegations regarding violations of the Kansas Constitution
or other Kansas laws cannot support a claim under §
1983, because "a plaintiff must allege a deprivation of
a federally protected right under color of state
law." Id. (citing Thompson v. Galetka,
42 Fed.Appx. 397, 399 (10th Cir. 2002)) (emphasis added).
"A violation of state law alone does not give rise to a
federal cause of action under § 1983." Id.
(citing Thompson, 42 Fed.Appx. at 399).
IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT this matter is dismissed