Edwards v. Lee et al, No. 4:2013cv00112 - Document 8 (N.D. Miss. 2013)

Court Description: MEMORANDUM OPINION re 7 Judgment. Signed by Michael P. Mills on 7/17/13. (cr)
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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI GREENVILLE DIVISION ANTHONY J. EDWARDS PLAINTIFF v. No. 4:13CV112-M-S EARNEST LEE, ET AL. DEFENDANTS MEMORANDUM OPINION This matter comes before the court on the pro se prisoner complaint of Anthony J. Edwards, who challenges the conditions of his confinement under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. For the purposes of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the court notes that the plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed this suit. For the reasons set forth below, the instant case shall be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Factual Allegations Edwards alleges that he is a certified mental patient in need of psychiatric case and that he is his having thoughts of killing other inmates, guards, and himself. He is currently receiving psychiatric care at the Mississippi State Penitentiary. He would like to be transferred to the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility or the East Mississippi Correctional Facility where he believes that he will receive additional care to manage his psychiatric problems. Classification Inmates have neither a protectable property or liberty interest to any particular housing assignment or custodial classification, either under the United States Constitution or under Mississippi law. Hewitt v. Helms, 459 U.S. 460, 468 (1983); Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215, 224 (1976); Neals v. Norwood, 59 F.3d 530, 533 (5th Cir. 1995); Wilson v. Budney, 976 F.2d 957, 958 (5th Cir. 1992); McCord v. Maggio, 910 F.2d 1248, 1250 (5th Cir. 1990) (citations omitted); Miss. Code Ann. §§ 47-5-99 to -103 (1993). Prisoner classification is a matter squarely within the broad discretion of prison officials, free from judicial intervention except in extreme circumstances. McCord, 910 F.2d at 1250 (citations omitted). As Edwards is currently receiving psychiatric care, he has not alleged exceptional circumstances warranting judicial intervention. Denial of Medical Treatment In order to prevail on an Eighth Amendment claim for denial of medical care, a plaintiff must allege facts which demonstrate deliberate indifference to the serious medical needs of prisoners [which] constitutes unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain proscribed by the Eighth Amendment . . . whether the indifference is manifested by prison doctors or prison guards in intentionally denying or delaying access to medical care . . . . Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104-105, 50 L. Ed. 2d 251, 260 (1976); Mayweather v. Foti, 958 F.2d 91, 91 (5th Cir. 1992). The test for establishing deliberate indifference is one of subjective recklessness as used in the criminal law. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994). Under this standard, a state actor may not be held liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 unless plaintiff alleges facts which, if true, would establish that the official knows of and disregards an excessive risk to inmate health or safety; the official must both be aware of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists, and he must also draw the inference. Id. at 838. Only in exceptional circumstances may knowledge of substantial risk of serious harm be inferred by a court from the obviousness of the substantial risk. Id. Negligent conduct by prison officials does not rise to the level of a constitutional violation. Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327, 106 S.Ct. 662 (1986), Davidson v. Cannon, 474 U.S. 344, 106 S.Ct. 668 (1986). A prisoner s mere disagreement with medical treatment provided by prison officials does not state a claim against the prison for violation of the Eighth Amendment by deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Gibbs v. Grimmette, 254 F.3d 545 (5th Cir.2001), Norton v. Dimazana, 122 F.3d 286, 292 (5th Cir. 1997). In this case, Edwards is receiving psychiatric care. Though he believes he requires additional care available at another facility, his disagreement with the nature of the care provided does not rise to the level of a constitutional claim and must be dismissed. In sum, the instant case should be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. A final judgment consistent with this memorandum opinion will issue today. SO ORDERED, this the 17th day of July, 2013. /s/ MICHAEL P. MILLS CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI