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Jones v. Rainey

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division

June 28, 2019




         This pro se prisoner case is before the Court, sua sponte, for consideration of dismissal. Plaintiff Kendrick Monice Jones is a pretrial detainee at the Lauderdale County Detention Center, and he brings this action challenging the conditions of his confinement. The Court has considered and liberally construed the pleadings. As set forth below, Defendants Jane Davis, John Aikins, Jane Chesman, Jane Larson, and Casey Spears are dismissed, as are the claims regarding wrongs allegedly done to other inmates, tampering with mail and in forma pauperis (“IFP”) Certificates, and denial of notary services.

         I. Background

         Jones is being detained at the Lauderdale County Detention Center. The fifteen Defendants are employees of the jail, Sheriff Billy Sollie, and Lauderdale County. Jones claims hazardous and unsanitary conditions; extreme temperatures; inadequate food and water; tampered mail and IFP Certificates; denial of mental health and dental treatment; denial of notary services and religion; retaliation; excessive force; and wrongful disciplinary convictions.

         First, Jones claims he has been subjected to hazardous conditions because the cells, including his, flood each time it rains. As a result, Jones says he slipped and fell when he jumped down from his top bunk, which is without a ladder. Jones asserts that he injured his back, ankle, knee, and neck as a result. Jones alleges that Defendant Lieutenants Miria Rainey and Rigdon, Sheriff Sollie, the County, Major McCarthy, and Sergeant John Mowerly knew of the water “pour[ing] into the cells” through the windows. Pl.'s Resp. [9] at 1, 7-8, 10-11.

         Jones next says he was electrocuted by exposed wires as he was cleaning his cell walls. Allegedly, “this had happened to the last 2 occupants before me in this cell. So this is not unknown by . . . Sollie, Major McCarthy, . . . Rainey, [or] Sgt Mowlery.” Id. at 11.

         Jones further contends the living conditions are unsanitary in six ways. First, the showers have a “foul black colored, pungent and sickening o[d]orous build up . . . containing skin, urine, [and] hair” that “pools up and squishes up from around the rusted, sharp and broken seals when one steps into the shower” and covers the inmates' feet in the shower. Compl. [1] at 8. For this, Jones sues the County, Sheriff Sollie, Major McCarthy, and Lieutenant Rainey. Second, the food trays and tray carts have black mold. Jones claims that McCarthy, Sollie, and Rainey are responsible. Third, the bathroom and tables are never cleaned. Rainey, the County, McCarthy, Sollie, and Lieutenant Rigdon are allegedly responsible for this. Fourth, the laundry does not get cleaned but returns “from the laundry room wet and more o[d]orous than when it went out.” Pl.'s Resp. [9] at 1. The dirty laundry, Jones claims, caused bugs and parasites to crawl in his ears, eyes, buttocks, and nose. Rainey and McCarthy are sued for the alleged laundry situation. Fifth, he is given only one pair of underwear to wear for seven to eight days at a time, and for this he sues Rainey. And sixth, Defendant Officer Seals “play[s] in her ear” and hair while serving Plaintiff food and juice. Id. at 8. Major McCarthy was allegedly informed but did nothing. Jones claims he got a throat infection as a result of the unsanitary feeding practices.

         Jones next claims that “extreme temperatures are given when someone gets on a g[ua]rd's nerves, freezing the population so badly the entire zone has to huddle in the bathroom . . . sleep with 2 to 3 jumpsuits on, [and] wear no less than 3 pair[s] of socks on a day to day basis.” Compl. [1] at 13. Jones appears to assert that Major McCarthy knew about this but did not stop it. Elsewhere Jones contends the “extreme temperatures” are caused by deteriorated window seals and the temperatures are “constant companions every day.” Pl.'s Resp. [9] at 1. Jones maintains the cold is “so bad until you can't sleep and it gets into your bones.” Id. at 10. Jones attributes the deteriorated window seals to Lieutenants Rainey and Rigdon, Sheriff Sollie, the County, and McCarthy's alleged deliberate indifference.

         Jones next claims that the food in the jail is not served in adequate servings nor with sufficient calories. For this, Jones sues Sheriff Sollie, Major McCarthy, and Lieutenant Rainey.

         Jones also avers the cold water in his cell does not work. For this, Jones names Defendants Sergeant Bennett, Officer Jane Dowdy, Lieutenant Rigdon, Major McCarthy, the Sheriff, and County.

         Besides the alleged problems with his living conditions, Jones says his legal mail “is opened and tampered with.” Compl. [1] at 9. According to Jones, on November 1, 2018, Defendant Casey Spears, the mail room clerk, opened Jones's letter from the American Civil Liberties Union. On another occasion Spears allegedly opened a letter to Jones outside of his presence, in retaliation for a prior grievance. “In one I did not get but 1 piece of paper & the other I did not receive my cover page.” Pl.'s Resp. [9] at 9. “Some of my mail are missing pages and written on.” Id. at 10. Allegedly, Sheriff Sollie is responsible, and McCarthy allegedly allowed Jones's mail to be held and censored. Spears and Lieutenant Rainey are also accused of hiding six IFP Certificates that Jones needed to file with this Court, which allegedly delayed his cases.

         Jones further claims that he is being denied psychiatric treatment for “these conditions and fear of being hurt, killed and/or set up due to litigation and that my mother is dying of cancer and just being locked up for a bench warrant and others were lifted.” Compl. [1] at 11-12. Jones asserts that Lieutenant Rainey, Sheriff Sollie, the County, and Major McCarthy would not provide him treatment.

         Jones also alleges that Sheriff Sollie and the County denied him dental treatment because of his inability to pay. Jones was allegedly in pain and at risk of losing teeth.

         Jones next contends that Spears, Lieutenant Rainey, and the County have refused to notarize his documents. Rainey allegedly did so in retaliation for Jones's lawsuits and administrative grievances. Jones claims Major McCarthy ...

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