United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF PARTIAL
GUIROLA, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case is before the Court sua sponte. Pro se
Plaintiff Jacob Heath Van Slyke is incarcerated at the Pearl
River County Jail, and he brings this 42 U.S.C. § 1983
action for damages and injunctive relief. The Court has
considered and liberally construed the pleadings. As set
forth below, Defendant Shane Tucker is dismissed.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Slyke alleges that he has been held at the Pearl River County
Jail since his arrest on March 29, 2016. He has since been
convicted of a misdemeanor and is still awaiting trial on
five felony counts. He sues Pearl River County, various
members of its Sheriff's Department, and medical
personnel employed at the jail.
Van Slyke alleges excessive force; retaliation; confiscation
of property; religious claims; denial of recreation, medical
and mental health treatment, proper hygiene, legal
assistance, and speedy trial; and censorship of his outgoing
Van Slyke alleges instances of excessive force involving a
restraint chair and later being shoved by an officer. Van
Slyke contends that on September 30, 2016, Defendant Sergeant
Terry Poe placed him in a restraint chair in retaliation for
attempting to file grievances, including one for medical
treatment of a staph infection in his armpit. (Resp.  at
2); (Compl. at 4-5). He claims that he was placed in
handcuffs “so tight . . . that [his] wrist began to
bleed, the officers would yank the handcuffs jerking [his]
wrist . . . and shackle [his] hands to chairs behind [him]
that was not part of the restraint chair.” Id.
at 4. While in the chair, he claims that his arms were spread
out as if he were being crucified, his wound worsened, his
fingers turned purple, and Defendant Officer Keenum allegedly
choked him and cut his wrists by “snatching the
handcuffs” while he was shackled. (Resp.  at 2);
(2d Am. Compl.  at 6); (Compl. at 4-5). Van Slyke further
maintains that the restraint “chair had other
inmates['] urin[e] and vomit on it.” (Resp.  at
2). He accuses Defendants Officers Devin, Heath Wayne, and
Tynesnia of also being present and subjecting him to the
restraint chair. Id.
on May 30, 2017, Van Slyke contends that Defendant Sergeant
Liz Barton repeatedly shoved him in his back which “was
already hurt before this incident” and had also been
the subject of medical grievances. (Am. Compl. ). Van
Slyke further alleges that the force occurred in front of
Defendants Captain Corey Mataya, Sergeant Poe, Officer Mitch,
and Officer Brad Shaw. (2d Am. Compl.  at 5-6). This
incident happened, allegedly, because Barton was angry that
Plaintiff had filed a grievance on her. Id. at 5.
the alleged acts of retaliation mentioned above, Van Slyke
contends that Captain Mataya has kept him on solitary
lockdown, denied him canteen, recreation, visitation, and
phone privileges in retaliation for filing this and a state
lawsuit, challenging the conditions of his confinement, and
for writing grievances. Id. at 1-2, 6. According to
the pleadings, Defendant Roy D'Arcangelo, Jr.-the
jail's mailroom clerk-informs Mataya about the contents
of Van Slyke's mail, “causing more [h]arassment
& retaliation.” Id. at 3. He claims that,
on May 30, 2017, Sergeant Barton gave him two weeks on
lockdown, without notice or a hearing, for filing a grievance
on her. Id. at 5. He accuses D'Arcangelo, who is
also alleged to be the canteen and accounts officer, of
charging his inmate account in retaliation for complaining
about the handling of his mail and missing canteen items. (3d
Am. Compl.  at 2-3).
Van Slyke alleges that he was deprived of various property.
He claims that, after being placed in the restraint chair,
Captain Mataya ordered officers to take his property away
from him, including his Bible, in which he documented
“multiple inc[i]dents of physical abuse.” (Compl.
at 4-5). Besides the Bible, Captain Mataya had ordered them,
allegedly, to take away Plaintiff's blankets, hygiene
[items], tooth brush, mail, and pens. Id. at 5. He
allegedly wrote grievances concerning the matter to both
Mataya and Major Flowers. Id. at 4. Van Slyke also
claims that $100 was taken out of his inmate account as a
charge for a damaged mattress, even though it was allegedly
that way before Plaintiff ever received it. (2d Am. Compl.
Ex. C [9-3] at 7). He contends that, even though Officer Clay
verified to both Major Flowers and Captain Mataya that the
mattress was not impaired by Van Slyke, they never returned
his money to him. Id.
to the property claim, is a religious claim, based on the
alleged taking of Van Slyke's Bible. Major Flowers was
allegedly aware that the Bible had been taken. (Compl. at 4).
Besides the loss of his Bible, he claims that Flowers and
Captain Mataya have denied him religious services and access
to a Chaplain. (2d Am. Compl.  at 3, 6-7).
Van Slyke accuses Major Flowers, Captain Mataya, and Sergeant
Barton of denying him recreational exercise during the two
times he was in lockdown. (Resp.  at 2-3); (Compl. at 5).
Van Slyke contends that he went 35 days or so without
recreational exercise, during his periods on segregation.
(Resp.  at 2); (Am. Compl. ).
mentioned previously, part of the reason Van Slyke maintains
he was on segregation was for complaining about alleged
denials of medical treatment. Specifically, he accuses Nurse
Robin and Dr. Grayson of ignoring his food allergy to a red
sauce for over 30 days. (Resp.  at 3). As a result, Van
Slyke allegedly suffered hemorrhoids, diarrhea, weight loss,
and an inflamed prostate, and he claims that he had to choose
between either suffering these symptoms or not eating.
Id.; (3d Am. Compl.  at 1); (Compl. at 5).
Nurses Bri and Buddy are next accused of delaying treatment
for the staph infection for over a week. (Resp.  at 2).
As a result, Van Slyke claims his “arm became red and
burned . . . and [he] could not sleep due to pain in [his]
arm and side.” Id. He also alleges that Nurses
Bri and Jessie did not treat him for bumps on his genitals
for over a year, causing the bumps to spread. Id.
Slyke also alleges that he has been denied treatment for his
mental health. (3d Am. Compl.  at 2). Specifically, he
contends that he suffers from “mental problems
developed at this jail from isolation [and]
har[r]assment” as well as depression, paranoia, sleep
deprivation, “lack of sense of self [and] peripheral
vision hallucinations, ” anger, stress, anxiety, and
homicidal thoughts. (Resp.  at 3-4); (3d Am. Compl. 
at 2). He claims that the jail's social worker has
referred him to Defendant Dr. Montgomery for treatment, but
he will not see Plaintiff. Id.
Van Slyke alleges that he was denied legal assistance and
access to courts in both his criminal cases, which includes a
case charging five felonies, and one charging a misdemeanor.
He claims he went 15 months without counsel being appointed
in his felony case, was without counsel in the misdemeanor
case, and was not allowed to use the law library to prepare a
defense. (Resp.  at 3-4); (2d Am. Compl. Ex. C [9-3] at
7); (Am. Compl. ). He also claims he is not presently
allowed access to the law library to appeal his misdemeanor
conviction. (Resp.  at 4). Additionally, Van Slyke
contends D'Arcangelo has prevented his letters going out
to the Public Defender's office. Id. at 3. Van
Slyke alleges he was unable to file motions with ...