United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING
GUIROLA, JR. CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court, sua sponte, for consideration of
dismissal. Plaintiff Travis Banks, an inmate of the
Mississippi Department of Corrections, brings this pro se
Complaint seeking monetary damages and injunctive relief.
Banks is proceeding in forma pauperis. See
Order . The named Defendants are: Marshal Turner, Warden
at South Mississippi Correctional Institution
(“SMCI”); Jane Doe #1, Disciplinary Hearing
Officer at SMCI; and Jane Doe #2, Disciplinary Hearing
Officer at SMCI. The Court, having liberally construed the
Complaint  and Response  in consideration with the
applicable law, finds that this case should be dismissed.
August of 2016, Banks was found guilty of a prison rule
violation report (“RVR”) for possession of an
electronic device. Banks states that his punishment for this
disciplinary conviction is an 18-month restriction on his
prison privileges, including canteen, visits and phone use.
Thes appeal of this RVR and resulting punishment was denied.
asserts several complaints regarding the disciplinary
process, which he claims violates MDOC policy and his
constitutional rights. Specifically, Banks complains that at
his disciplinary hearing he was not allowed to call witnesses
or make a statement and the hearing was not recorded. Banks
complains that despite these due process violations, he was
found guilty of the RVR and his appeal of the disciplinary
action was denied by Warden Turner. As relief, Banks is
seeking an order reversing the disciplinary findings,
vacating the restrictions on his privileges, and awarding him
Prison Litigation Reform Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) (as
amended), applies to prisoners proceeding in forma
pauperis, and provides that “the court shall
dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . .
. (B) the action or appeal - (i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted;
or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.” Since Banks is proceeding
in forma pauperis, his Complaint is subject to the
case-screening procedures set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915
order to have a viable claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff A must allege facts showing that a person, acting
under color of state law, deprived the plaintiff of a right,
privilege or immunity secured by the United States
Constitution or the laws of the United States. Bryant v.
Military Dept of the State of Miss., 597 F.3d 678, 686
(5th Cir. 2010). Initially, the Court notes that discipline
of inmates by prison officials is A within the expected
perimeters of the sentence imposed by a court of law.
Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 485 (1995).
is asserting that his constitutional right to due process was
violated when he lost prison privileges and when he was
denied relief in the prison grievance system. To invoke the
protections of the Due Process Clause, Banks must have a
protected liberty interest at stake. In the prison context, a
constitutionally protected liberty interest is A limited to
freedom from restraint which . . . imposes atypical and
significant hardships on the inmate in relation to the
ordinary incidents of prison life Sandin, 515 U.S.
loss of prison privileges as punishment “are in fact
merely changes in the conditions of his confinement and do
not implicate due process concerns."Madison v.
Parker, 104 F.3d 765, 768 (5th Cir. 1997). The Fifth
Circuit has specifically addressed the loss or restriction of
most prison privileges and determined that protection under
the Due Process Clause is not available. See Lewis v.
Dretke, No. 02-40956, 2002 WL 31845293, at *1 (5th Cir.
2002) (finding restrictions on commissary, telephone,
recreation, and library privileges as well as attendance at
religious services, resulting from allegedly false
disciplinary charges does not implicate due process);
Berry v. Brady, 192 F.3d 504, 508 (5th Cir. 1999)
(holding inmate has no constitutional right to visitation
privileges); Bulger v. United States, 65 F.3d 48, 50
(5th Cir.1995) (finding inmate's loss of prison job did
not implicate a liberty interest even though the inmate lost
the ability to automatically accrue good-time credits). Since
Banks does not have a constitutionally protected right to
certain privileges while in prison, his due process claim
the Court finds that to the extent Banks is claiming that
MDOC policy and procedure was violated during his
disciplinary process, he is not entitled to relief under
' 1983. These allegations, without more, simply do not
rise to a level of constitutional deprivation. See Guiden
v. Wilson, 244 F.App'x 980, 981 (5th Cir. 2009)
(“A violation of a prison rule by itself is
insufficient to set forth a claim of a constitutional
violation.") (citing Hernandez v. Estelle, 788
F.2d 1154, 1158 (5th Cir 1986)).
addition, the Court finds that Banks does not have a
federally protected liberty interest in having a prison
grievance investigated or resolved to his satisfaction.
Geiger v. Jowers, 404 F.3d 371, 373-74 (5th Cir.
2005). Therefore, claims that appeals within the prison
grievance system are “arbitrarily and capriciously
denied" are not cognizable. Staples v. Keffer,
419 F.App'x 461, 463 (5th Cir. 2011) (finding “a
prisoner does not have a constitutional right to a grievance
procedure at all"). The claims related to how his
grievance or appeal of his disciplinary action was handled by
Warden Turner is frivolous. Id.; Morris v.
Cross, 476 F.App'x 783, 785 (5th Cir. 2012) (finding
inmate's claims regarding grievance process were properly
dismissed as frivolous).
Court has considered the pleadings and applicable law. For
the reasons stated, this civil action will be dismissed as
frivolous and for failure to state a ...