United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
Crow U.S. Senior District Judge
Gregory Charles Loufer is hereby required to show good cause,
in writing, to the Honorable Sam A. Crow, United States
District Judge, why this action should not be dismissed due
to the deficiencies in Plaintiff's Complaint that are
Nature of the Matter before the Court
brings this pro se civil rights action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court granted Plaintiff leave to
proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 6.) On August 29,
2018, the Court entered a Memorandum and Order and Order to
Show Cause (Doc. 8) (“MOSC”), granting Plaintiff
an opportunity to show good cause why his Complaint should
not be dismissed or to file a proper amended complaint.
Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint (Doc. 9). The Court
finds that Plaintiff's Amended Complaint fails to state a
claim for relief and grants Plaintiff until July 22, 2019, in
which to show good cause why his Amended Complaint should not
be dismissed for the reasons set forth herein.
Court's MOSC, the Court found that: Plaintiff fails to
allege personal participation by any of the defendants in any
purported constitutional violations; Plaintiff's First
Amendment claim of denial of the right to freely practice his
religion is subject to dismissal for failure to allege
adequate facts in support; and Plaintiff has failed to allege
an actual injury and he must first allege facts in his
complaint suggesting an actual injury, “an essential
requirement of a denial of access claim.”
Harrison, 24 Fed.Appx. at 967 (citing Lewis v.
Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 351-52 (1996)). The court also
found that Plaintiff's request for compensatory damages
is barred by 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(e), because Plaintiff has
failed to allege a physical injury. Section 1997e(e) provides
in pertinent part that “[n]o Federal civil action may
be brought by a prisoner confined in a jail, prison, or other
correctional facility, for mental or emotional injury
suffered while in custody without a prior showing of physical
injury.” 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(e). In addition,
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
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint adds facts to support his
First Amendment claim, he fails to cure the remaining
deficiencies set forth in the MOSC. To the extent Plaintiff
added factual support regarding his religious diet at the
Ford County Detention Center in Dodge City, Kansas
(“FCDC”), those claims are now moot. Plaintiff
seeks injunctive relief regarding those claims, and he is no
longer housed at the FCDC.
was transferred to the El Dorado Correctional Facility in El
Dorado, Kansas. (Doc. 10.) Because Plaintiff's request
relates solely to alleged wrongdoing on the part of FCDC
employees, the Court would be unable to provide Plaintiff
with effective relief and his requests for injunctive relief
are moot. Article III of the Constitution extends the
jurisdiction of federal courts only to “live,
concrete” cases or controversies. Rio Grande
Silvery Minnow v. Bureau of Reclamation, 601 F.3d 1096,
1109 (10th Cir. 2010). “Article III's requirement
that federal courts adjudicate only cases and controversies
necessitates that courts decline to exercise jurisdiction
where the award of any requested relief would be moot-i.e.
where the controversy is no longer live and ongoing.”
Cox v. Phelps Dodge Corp., 43 F.3d 1345, 1348 (10th
Cir. 1994), superseded by statute on other grounds.
Consequently, “[m]ootness is a threshold issue because
the existence of a live case or controversy is a
constitutional prerequisite to federal court
jurisdiction.” Rio Grande, 601 F.3d at 1109
(internal quotations and citations omitted).
exposure to illegal conduct does not in itself show a present
case or controversy regarding injunctive relief.”
O'Shea v. Littleton, 414 U.S. 488, 4951974). The
Tenth Circuit has applied this principle to § 1983
actions brought by inmates, and held that an inmate's
transfer from one prison to another generally renders moot
any request for injunctive relief against the employees of
the original prison concerning the conditions of confinement.
See Green v. Branson, 108 F.3d 1296, 1299-1300 (10th
Cir. 1997); see also Wirsching v. Colorado, 360 F.3d
1191, 1196 (10th Cir. 2004) (inmate's release from prison
moots his claims for declaratory and injunctive relief);
McAlpine v. Thompson, 187 F.3d 1213, 1215 (10th Cir.
1999) (recognizing prisoner's release from prison mooted
his § 1983 claim for injunctive relief); Love v.
Summit County, 776 F.2d 908, 910 n.4 (10th Cir. 1985)
(noting transfer of inmate to different prison renders his
§ 1983 claim for injunctive relief moot); 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
mootness doctrine is based on the reality that even if the
inmate receives injunctive relief, the defendants from the
former prison would be unable to provide the relief to
plaintiff. Because Plaintiff is no longer incarcerated at
FCDC, his claims for injunctive relief are moot and subject
also attempts to add a claim regarding the grievance
procedure at FCDC. Plaintiff's claims relate to his
dissatisfaction with responses to his grievances. The Tenth
Circuit has held several times that there is no
constitutional right to an administrative grievance system.
Gray v. GEO Group, Inc., No. 17-6135, 2018 WL
1181098, at *6 (10th Cir. March 6, 2018) (citations omitted);
Von Hallcy v. Clements, 519 Fed.Appx. 521, 523-24
(10th Cir. 2013); Boyd v. Werholtz, 443 Fed.Appx.
331, 332 (10th Cir. 2011); see also Watson v. Evans,
No. 13-cv-3035-EFM, 2014 WL 7246800, at *7 (D. Kan. Dec. 17,
2014) (failure to answer grievances does not violate
constitutional rights or prove injury necessary to claim
denial of access to courts); Strope v. Pettis, No.
03-3383-JAR, 2004 WL 2713084, at *7 (D. Kan. Nov. 23, 2004)
(alleged failure to investigate grievances does not amount to
a constitutional violation); Baltoski v. Pretorius,
291 F.Supp.2d 807, 811 (N.D. Ind. 2003) (finding that
“[t]he right to petition the government for redress of
grievances . . . does not guarantee a favorable response, or
indeed any response, from state officials”).
Plaintiff's claims regarding the failure to respond to
grievances are subject to dismissal for failure to state a
is required to show good cause why his Amended Complaint
should not be dismissed for the reasons stated herein and in
the Court's previous MOSC at Doc. 8.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT Plaintiff is granted until
July 22, 2019, in which to show good cause,
in writing, to the Honorable Sam A. Crow, United States
District Judge, why Plaintiff's Amended Complaint should
not be dismissed for ...