United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
K. JOHNSTONE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the court is pro se plaintiff Robert Roy Frene's
complaint (Doc. No. 1) and complaint addenda (Doc. Nos. 3,
5), in this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action, alleging that the
New Hampshire State Prison (“NHSP”) violated his
rights during his incarceration at that facility. The matter
is before the court for preliminary review pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(a) and LR 4.3(d)(1).
determining whether a pro se pleading states a claim, the
court construes the pleading liberally. See Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Disregarding any legal
conclusions, the court considers whether the factual content
in the pleading and inferences reasonably drawn therefrom,
taken as true, state a facially plausible claim to relief.
Hernandez-Cuevas v. Taylor, 723 F.3d 91,
102-03 (1st Cir. 2013) (citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)).
Conditions of Confinement
Factual Assertions Frene asserts that while he was
incarcerated at the NHSP, he was held in a “very
hot” cell for six days without out-of-cell time, a
shower, or fresh air. Frene also claims that during that
time, he was given food through cell bars that had lead paint
on them, had to sleep on a mattress that smelled like urine
without a sheet, and that there was human saliva and feces on
the cell walls and floor. Frene further alleges that he was
assaulted by another inmate while at the NHSP.
Fourteenth and Eighth Amendment Claims
unclear from Frene's complaint whether he was a pretrial
detainee or a sentenced prisoner while housed at the NHSP
during the time at issue in this case. Frene's claims
arise under the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause
if he was a pretrial detainee at that time, and if he was a
sentenced prisoner, under the Eighth Amendment's
protection from cruel and unusual punishment.
Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause prohibits subjecting
pretrial detainees to conditions of confinement that amount
to pretrial punishment. See Bell v. Wolfish, 441
U.S. 520, 535 (1979). The Eighth Amendment “prohibits
prison officials from depriving sentenced inmates of
‘the minimal civilized measure of life's
necessities.'” Brown v. Plata, 131 S.Ct.
1910, 1959 (2011) (citation omitted).
assert a claim under the Eighth or Fourteenth Amendment,
plaintiff must, in addition to demonstrating that he was
subjected to conditions of confinement that were severe or
dangerous enough to violate the constitution, allege facts
regarding the defendant's state of mind. Mere negligence
does not suffice. “‘[A] prison official cannot be
found liable under the Eighth Amendment for denying an inmate
humane conditions of confinement unless the official knows of
and disregards an excessive risk to inmate health or
safety.'” Giroux v. Somerset Cty., 178
F.3d 28, 32 (1st Cir. 1999) (citations omitted).
“‘[L]iability for negligently inflicted harm is
categorically beneath the threshold of constitutional due
process.'” Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 135
S.Ct. 2466, 2472 (2015) (citation omitted) (emphasis in
Frene has alleged that he was subjected to unsanitary and
unpleasant conditions of confinement for six days, and that
he was assaulted by another inmate, while at the NHSP.
Further, the complaint contains no facts indicating that any
prison official was aware of a danger to Frene's health
or safety, and, acting with a purposeful, knowing, and/or
deliberately indifferent state of mind, either disregarded or
failed to take reasonable steps to remedy that danger.
the assertions set forth in Frene's complaint and
complaint addenda (Doc. Nos. 1, 3, 5) are insufficient to
support either an Eighth or Fourteenth Amendment claim
concerning the conditions of his confinement. The district
judge should therefore dismiss those claims, unless Frene
files an amended complaint within fourteen days of the date
of this Report and Recommendation, identifying individual
defendants to his conditions of confinement claims,
indicating whether he was a pretrial detainee or a sentenced
inmate while at the NHSP, and stating, with specificity, what
each defendant did or did not do to violate his rights,
including facts to support a ...