United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
October 6, 2014
DARROW B. PAYNE-BEY, Plaintiff,
CLINTON M. WALKER, Defendant.
ABDUL K. KALLON, District Judge.
On September 10, 2014, the magistrate judge entered a report and recommen-dation recommending dismissal all of the plaintiff's claims, except for the Fourteenth Amendment access to courts claim against Defendant Clinton Walker, for failing to state a claim upon which relief may be granted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). Doc. 10. The magistrate judge further recommended that the plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment access to courts claim against Defendant Walker be referred back to him for further proceedings. Id. On September 22, 2014, the plaintiff filed objections to the magistrate judge's report and recommendation. Doc. 12.
To the extent the plaintiff restates his claims that Defendant Walker harassed and threatened him, dismissal of these claims is warranted because threats and verbal harassment alone are insufficient to state a constitutional violation. See Edwards v. Gilbert, 867 F.2d 1271, 1274 n.1 (11th Cir. 1989) (explaining that mere verbal taunts, despite their distressing nature, directed at inmate by jailers do not violate inmate's constitutional rights). Likewise, as to plaintiff's contention that Defendant Clinton violated various Alabama Department of Corrections policies by threatening and harassing him, doc. 12 at 2-3, dismissal is warranted because the violation of agency regulations or procedures does not, by itself, raise a constitutional issue. Sandin v. Connor, 515 U.S. 472, 481-82 (1995) (explaining prison regulations are not intended to confer rights or benefits on inmates but are merely designed to guide correctional officials in the administration of prisons); United States v. Caceres, 440 U.S. 741 (1979).
Finally, although the magistrate judge liberally construed the plaintiff's amended complaint to allege that, on January 4, 5, and 8, 2014, Defendant Walker refused him access to the prison law library resulting in the plaintiff's inability to file a writ of mandamus, doc. 10 at 5, the plaintiff states in his objections that Defendant Walker refused him access to the prison law library on many other occasions, including June 17 and September 8, 2012. Doc. 12 at 3. To prevail on an access to courts claim, an inmate must establish that "his efforts to pursue a legal claim" were "hindered." Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 351 (1996). The plaintiff does not allege any such prejudice as a result of Defendant Walker's conduct on any other occasion and, therefore, does not state a claim for relief based on these additional dates.
Having carefully reviewed and considered de novo all the materials in the court file, including the report and recommendation and the objections thereto, the court is of the opinion that the magistrate judge's report is due to be and is hereby ADOPTED and the magistrate judge's recommendation is ACCEPTED. It is therefore ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that all of the plaintiff's claims except his Fourteenth Amendment access to courts claim against Defendant Walker are DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). It is further ORDERED that the plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment access to courts claim against Defendant Walker is REFERRED to the magistrate judge for further proceedings.