Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cowherd v. Larson

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division

June 6, 2019

RANDY COWHERD, Plaintiff,
v.
JERAMME LARSON, CORRECTION OFFICER, MDSP; BRITTANY ULMER, UNIT STAFF, MDSP; BOB DOOLEY, WARDEN, SDSP; AND UNKNOWN ASSISTANT WARDEN, SDSP; Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO AMEND AND DISMISSING CASE

          KAREN E. SCHREIER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff, Randy Cowherd, is an inmate at the Rapid City Community Work Center (RCCWC) in South Dakota. Cowherd filed a pro se civil rights lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and requested leave to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Docket 1; Docket 2. On December 19, 2018, Cowherd's motion to proceed in forma pauperis was granted and his amended complaint was dismissed without prejudice for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Docket 11. Cowherd now moves for leave to file a second amended complaint. Docket 13. The court now screens Cowherd's second amended complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and for the reasons stated below, the court dismisses Cowherd's second amended complaint.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Cowherd's complaint alleges violations of his right to due process during a prison disciplinary matter. Cowherd was on work release at the RCCWC when he was charged with escape and transferred to the Mike Durfee State Prison (MDSP). The facts as Cowherd alleges are as follows:

         On July 8, 2017, Cowherd was placed in segregated confinement at RCCWC without written notice of any violation or a disciplinary hearing. Docket 13-1 at 2. He later learned he was accused of not returning to the unit directly after work. Id. at 3.

         In his Memorandum and Affidavit in Support of Second Amended Complaint, Cowherd describes the conditions in segregated confinement at the RCCWC. Docket 14 at 4. Inmates in segregation do not have access to radios, books, or legal materials. Id. Inmates are in their cells 24 hours a day with the lights always on. Id. During the twenty days in confinement, he was permitted to shower three times. Id.

         On July 10, 2017, Cowherd had an initial appearance in state court and the judge informed Cowherd that he was charged with second degree escape on July 8, 2017. Docket 13-1 at 3. On July 26, 2018, these charges were dropped. Id.

         After the state charges were dropped, the defendants pursued internal discipline. Id. On Friday, July 28, 2017, at 8:30 a.m., Brittany Ulmer, Cowherd's assigned staff representative, told Cowherd his disciplinary hearing would be Monday to allow her to collect evidence. Docket 13-1 at 2. An hour later, Ulmer returned with the Disciplinary Hearing Officer Jeramme Larson to hold the disciplinary hearing. Id.

         At 9:30 a.m. on July 28, 2017, Larson held a disciplinary hearing. Id. Cowherd did not receive notice twenty-four-hours in advance of the hearing. Id. Cowherd was not allowed to present evidence or call witnesses. Id. Ulmer perjured details of witnesses and evidence. Id.

         Cowherd believes Larson was biased against him due to a previous disciplinary matter. Id. at 4. Cowherd was previously charged with a rule violation. Id. Cowherd was found not guilty of the rule violation because he was incorrectly written up. Id. As a result, Larson had to go to the warden to have the disciplinary action removed from Cowherd's record. Id.

         After the July 28, 2017 hearing, the wardens failed to investigate this incident and were indifferent to Cowherd's claims. Id. at 3. Wardens also failed to train their subordinates to follow procedures. Id.

         As a result, Cowherd was deprived of liberty and property. Cowherd's security status was heightened, and he lost his initial parole date for non-compliance with his Individual Program Directive (IPD). Id. at 4. Cowherd suffered “stress, dejection, hopelessness, and ire.” Id. At MDSP, Cowherd's “issues with PTSD were exacerbated from living in an atmosphere with violent offenders and sexual predators.” Id.

         LEGAL ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.