United States District Court, D. Kansas
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
CROW U.S. SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is a civil rights action filed under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 by a person held at the Franklin County Jail (FCJ).
Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis.
of the Complaint
claims the defendants violated his constitutional rights by
failing to provide him with access to a law library. He also
claims the FCJ failed to provide him with an adequate
grievance procedure. He seeks damages and injunctive relief.
federal court must conduct a preliminary review of any case
in which a prisoner seeks relief against a governmental
entity or an officer or employee of such an entity.
See 28 U.S.C. §1915A(a). Following this review,
the court must dismiss any portion of the complaint that is
frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or seeks monetary damages from a
defendant who is immune from that relief. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
screening, a court liberally construes pleadings filed by a
party proceeding pro se and applies “less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).
state a claim for relief under Section 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, 48-49
avoid a dismissal for failure to state a claim, a complaint
must set out factual allegations that “raise a right to
relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). The court
accepts the well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true
and construes them in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff. Id. However, “when the allegations
in a complaint, however, true, could not raise a [plausible]
claim of entitlement to relief, ” the matter should be
dismissed. Id. at 558. A court need not accept
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action supported by mere conclusory statements.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Rather,
“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).
Tenth Circuit has observed that the U.S. Supreme
Court’s decisions in Twombly and
Erickson set out a new standard of review for
dismissals under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)
dismissals. See Key v. Bemis, 500 F.3d 1214, 1218
(10th Cir. 2007)(citations omitted). Following those
decisions, 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
(quotation marks and internal citations omitted). A plaintiff
“must nudge his claims across the line from conceivable
to plausible.” Smith v. United States, 561
F.3d 1090, 1098 (10th Cir. 2009). In this context,
“plausible” 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 [the] claims
across the line from conceivable to plausible.”
Robbins v. Oklahoma, 519 F.3d 1242, 1247 (citing
Twombly at 1974).
Failure to provide adequate grievance procedures
Court first addresses plaintiff’s claim that the FCJ
failed to provide him with an adequate grievance procedure.
As a prisoner, plaintiff has no constitutionally protected
interest in an administrative grievance procedure. See,
e.g., Boyd v. Werholtz, 443 Fed.Appx. 331, 332
(10th Cir. 2011)(“there is no independent
constitutional right to state administrative grievance
procedures… [n]or does the state’s voluntary
provision of an administrative grievance process create a
liberty interest in that process.”). Therefore,
“[a] viable due process claim cannot rest on
allegations of an unfair or inadequate grievance
process.” Burnett v. Allbaugh, 715 Fed.Appx.
848, 852 (10th Cir. 2017)(citing Von Hallcy v.
Clements, 519 Fed.Appx. 521, 524 (10th Cir.
2013)(rejecting claim that prison director violated due
process by failing to provide an adequate grievance reporting
plaintiff’s contention that the failure to provide an
adequate grievance procedure hindered or prevented him from
complying with the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) is not
well-taken. The PLRA requires a prisoner to exhaust only
“such administrative remedies as are available”
before commencing an action under federal law to challenge
prison conditions. 42 U.S.C. §1997e(a).