ARNOLD, Circuit Judge.
This is an action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (1982) by James Johnson, an inmate of the Cummins Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction. Johnson appeals the District Court's
I. The Due Process Claim
Johnson asserts that the defendants are engaged in a conspiracy to deprive him and other inmates of their liberty without due process by depriving them of the right to earn meritorious good time. We hold that the District Court properly dismissed this claim for lack of merit.
In the first place, Johnson claims only that certain state statutes are not being followed. Such a claim, even if true, is not the equivalent of a violation of federal constitutional rights to due process of law. And in the second place, the claims of violation of state law are plainly without merit. Johnson's inmate classification is "Class IV." Ark.Stat.Ann. § 46-120.3 (Supp.1983) provides that inmates "in Class IV shall not be entitled to earn `Meritorious Good Time.'"
Johnson also argues that by a 1981 amendment to Ark.Stat.Ann. § 46-120.1 (Supp.1983), the Arkansas Legislature entitled all prisoners to earn meritorious good time.
II. The Eighth Amendment Claim
Johnson contends that defendants are subjecting him to cruel and unusual punishment by forcing him to work beyond his physical capacity and by denying him necessary hernia surgery.
After the action was dismissed, Johnson filed a "motion of objection" which the District Court treated as a motion to alter or amend the judgment and denied. In his motion, Johnson expanded his claim, alleging that his hernia requires surgery which Warden Sargent will not approve. Johnson further asserted that he filed a grievance alleging that being forced to work beyond his physical capacity was endangering his life, and that the grievance was denied by Warden Sargent. Johnson contends these actions demonstrate the deliberate indifference of Warden Sargent to his serious medical needs.
After reviewing the original complaint and the "motion of objection," we conclude that Johnson alleged sufficient facts to state a claim under § 1983 against Warden Sargent. Therefore, we reverse on this portion of the case.
There are circumstances in which prison work requirements constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Ray v. Mabry, 556 F.2d 881, 882 (8th Cir.1977) (per curiam). "[F]or prison officials knowingly to compel convicts to perform physical labor ... which constitutes a danger to their ... health, or which is unduly painful constitutes an infliction of cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth Amendment...." Id. (quoting Talley v. Stephens, 247 F.Supp. 683, 687 (E.D.Ark.1965) ). Further, "deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners constitutes the `unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain' ... proscribed by the Eighth Amendment." Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104, 97 S.Ct. 285, 291, 50 L.Ed.2d 251 (1976) (citation omitted). In light of these holdings, we conclude that Johnson's claim should not have been dismissed. Accordingly, we remand this claim to the District Court for further consideration. Pro se pleadings are to be read with liberality, and their allegations given every reasonable indulgence.
The remand, however, will relate only to the claim against defendant Sargent, Warden of the Cummins Unit, in which Johnson was confined when he filed his pleadings. The allegations as to the other three defendants, Governor Clinton, Attorney General Clark, and A.L. Lockhart, Director of the Department of Correction, are not sufficient to charge them with any personal involvement in Johnson's case, even when read liberally, and even when amplified by plaintiff's "motion of objection." As to these three defendants, the judgment of dismissal is affirmed.
We are indebted to appointed counsel for their effective services in this Court. On remand, the District Court should seriously consider appointing counsel for plaintiff to handle the further proceedings before it. See Hahn v. McLey, 737 F.2d 771, 774 (8th Cir.1984) (per curiam).
Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
By amendment in 1981, the final sentence was deleted, and certain other word substitutions were made which are not pertinent here.