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Collins v. Epps

July 13, 2007

JAMIE S. COLLINS
v.
BROCK EPPS, JAILER; RON INMAN, CHIEF JAILER; OTTO PURKEY, SHERIFF; JIM BROOKS, JAILER; AND HAMBLEN COUNTY JAIL



The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Ronnie Greer United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM and ORDER

Pro se prisoner Jamie S. Collins brings this civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, seeking injunctive relief from the alleged wrongful conditions under which he is confined in the Hamblen County Detention Center [HCDC] in Morristown, Tennessee. The plaintiff's application to proceed in forma paupers is GRANTED and he is ASSESSED the filing fee of three hundred and fifty dollars ($350).*fn1

Screening the Complaint

The Court must now review the complaint to determine whether it states a claim entitling the plaintiff to relief or is frivolous or malicious or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and § 1915A; McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 607 (6th Cir. 1997). If so, this suit (or individual defendants or claims against them) must be dismissed.

For ease of discussion, the claims are grouped according to the defendant(s) against whom the claims are asserted.

** Claims against Defendants Ron Inman and Otto Purkey.

In the complaint, the plaintiff contends that, though he is a misdemeanant and was found "not guilty" [of a felony?], he is housed with felons, including bank robbers, kidnappers and drug dealers and that, when he asked to be moved back with other misdemeanants, Chief Jailer Ron Inman responded "Not 'till the Lord [comes] back." Furthermore, plaintiff's statement that he was going to be beaten up if he were not moved was relayed to defendant Inman, who purportedly responded that plaintiff "deserved everything" he got and more. The Court infers that the plaintiff is asserting that, as a misdemeanant, he has a right not to be housed with felons.

The plaintiff, however, has failed to cite to any authority, and the Court knows of none, which would support the premise that he possesses any such a right or that this type of housing arrangement violates the Constitution. Indeed, the plaintiff has no constitutionally-protected entitlement to be confined in any particular facility or any particular area of the jail. See Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215, 224 (1983). Thus, his allegations against defendant Inman fail to state a claim for relief under § 1983.

Plaintiff states his claim against [now former] Hamblen County Sheriff Otto Purkey thusly: "Mr. Inman told me in front of about 20 inmates....that the Sheriff Otto Purkey orders was that...." This allegation ends abruptly on the bottom of page 3 of the complaint and is not continued, as the plaintiff indicates, to the back of the page.

Clearly, the mere allegation that a defendant sheriff gives an order does not make out a constitutional claim and is frivolous.

** Claims against Defendants Brock Epps and Jim Brooks.

Plaintiff asserts that, when he requested a grievance form, defendant Brock Epps told him that he would get back to him later, but never came back. Plaintiff has no federal constitutional right to a grievance procedure. LaFlame v. Montgomery County Sheriff's Department, 3 Fed.Appx. 346, 348, 2001 WL 111636, **2 (6th Cir. Jan. 31, 2001) (citing Antonelli v. Sheahan, 81 F.3d 1422, 1430 (7th Cir. 1996)).*fn2 By logical extension, plaintiff has no right to be supplied with a grievance form and defendant Epps' alleged failure "to get back" to plaintiff is not a constitutional infringement.

In plaintiff's second claim, he contends that he told defendant Epps that, if he were not moved, he would be beaten up. Defendant Jim Brooks conveyed plaintiff's comment to defendant Inman.

The Eighth Amendment is violated by a jailer's deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of serious harm to an inmate. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 828-29 (1994). To state a claim of deliberate indifference for failing to protect plaintiff from harm inflicted by another inmate, plaintiff must establish that not only were defendants Epps and Brooks aware of facts from which they could draw an ...


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