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Jackson v. Mike-Lopez

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

February 4, 2019

RONNIE JACKSON, JOSHUA JONES, SHANE KRINGEN, MARVIN FRANCO-MORALES, MITCHELL OSTERLOH, and JESSE PLENTYHORSE, Plaintiffs,
v.
SHARLENE MIKE-LOPEZ, DIANE MEDCHILL, KATHY RIED, BRUCE RIESER, DAVID RIESHUS, TOM ROY, and MICHELLE SMITH, individually, Defendants.

          Ronnie Jackson, No. 239471, and Jesse Plentyhorse, No. 235901, Joshua Jones, No. 222266, Shane Kringen, No. 178338, and Marvin Franco-Morales, No. 250893, and Mitchell Osterloh, No. 214179, pro se plaintiffs.

          Lindsay LaVoie, for defendants.

          ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JOHN R. TUNHEIM CHIEF JUDGE

         Pro se Plaintiffs Ronnie Jackson, Joshua Jones, Shane Kringen, Marvin Franco-Morales, Mitchell Osterloh, and Jesse Plentyhorse (collectively “Plaintiffs”) are all inmates in the custody of the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Plaintiffs bring claims for violations of their constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to their medical needs, subjected them to unconstitutional conditions of confinement, denied them due process of law, and deprived them of religious freedom.

         In a Report and Recommendation (“R&R”), Magistrate Judge Becky R. Thorson has recommended that the Court grant Defendants' Motion to Dismiss in part and dismiss the action as to all claims except for the Eighth Amendment claim against Defendant Mike-Lopez. Defendants object, arguing that the Eighth Amendment claim against Mike-Lopez should also be dismissed.

         Upon de novo review of Defendants' objections, the Court will find that Plaintiffs have stated a plausible Eighth Amendment claim against Mike-Lopez. As such, the Court will overrule Defendants' objections and adopt the R&R.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs allege that they were incarcerated at Minnesota Correctional Facility - Oak Park Heights (“MCF-OPH”) between May 1, 2017, and July 31, 2017. (Compl. ¶ 1, Sept. 15, 2017, Docket No. 1.) At some point during this time, they were housed in the Administrative Control Unit (“ACU”) and involuntarily placed on Administrative Control Status (“ACS”), which required them to participate in a mental health treatment program conducted by an unlicensed mental health professional. (Id. ¶¶ 5, 13.) Plaintiffs allege that they were subjected to unconstitutional dehumanizing conditions of confinement while in the ACU for a minimum of 80 days. (Id. ¶ 14.) These conditions included:

• being kept alone in a very small cell for 23 hours (and sometimes a full 24 hours) per day;
• no human contact beyond minimal administrative interactions with MCF-OPH staff;
• limited visitations held via video feed rather than in person;
• cells illuminated 24 hours per day by artificial lights;
• insufficient ventilation;
• lack of privacy when using the showers and toilets;
• excessive noise due to other ACU inmates' mental ...

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