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Bettag v. Blount County Sheriff's Dep't

August 31, 2006

HEATH BETTAG
v.
BLOUNT COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEP'T, OFFICER LATHAM, SGT. SLAGLE, CAPT. DAN NUBERT, CPL. BILL FANCIER, CPL. RON MEYERS, AND JAMES BERRONG, SHERIFF



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thomas W. Phillips United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM and ORDER

Heath Bettag, a prisoner in the Claiborne County jail, brings this pro se civil rights action for monetary and injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that he was subjected to unconstitutional conditions and treatment at the Blount County Detention Center ("BCDC"), where he was formerly confined. The defendants are several Blount County officials or employees.

The plaintiff is ASSESSED the civil filing fee of $250.00 under 28 U.S.C. § 1915.*fn1 Accordingly, the custodian of the plaintiff's inmate trust account at the institution where he now resides shall submit, as an initial partial payment, whichever is the greater of:

(a) twenty percent (20%) of the average monthly deposits to the plaintiff's' inmate trust account; or (b) twenty percent (20%) of the average monthly balance in his inmate trust account for the six-month period preceding the filing of the complaint. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1)(A) and (B).

Thereafter, the custodian shall submit twenty percent (20%) of the plaintiff's preceding monthly income (or income credited to his trust account for the preceding month), but only when such monthly income exceeds $10.00, until the full filing fee of $250.00 has been paid to the Clerk's Office.*fn2 McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 607 (6th Cir. 1997).

The Clerk is DIRECTED to send a copy of this memorandum and order to the custodian of inmate accounts at the facility wherein the plaintiff is currently confined, to ensure full compliance with the fee-assessment procedures outlined in this memorandum.

The allegations in the complaint fall within three separate categories of claims.

1. Overall Housing Conditions

There are several claims in this category, the first of which is the plaintiff's claim that inmates in the BCDC are fed a daily diet of 800 to 1,000 calories; that it is always substandard; and that it is prepared under unsanitary conditions. Moreover, for the last three weeks and without any provocation, the plaintiff has been served half of the food portions other inmates receive.

Federal inmates are housed with state and county prisoners, and the number of inmates in BCDC-the average population in BCDC is one-hundred convicts-exceeds its maximum capacity.

The plaintiff is forced to write and eat on the floor or in his bed.

His final claim in this category is that medical and dental instruments are not sanitized before they are used on each inmate-patient.

2. Access to the Courts; Grievance Policy Violations

In the first claim in this category, the plaintiff alleges that he was charged 10รณ per page for photocopies of material, though the material which was copied was not the material he had requested to be copied. He maintains that his earlier attempts to obtain access to [or photocopies of?] laws which he had specifically requested were ignored. He further ...


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