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Shye v. W.B. Melton

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Northeastern Division

December 3, 2014

ROYCE D. SHYE,
v.
W.B. MELTON, et al.

REPORT AND RECOMENDATION

JULIET GRIFFIN, Magistrate Judge.

TO: Honorable Kevin H. Sharp, Chief District Judge

By Order entered November 8, 2013 (Docket Entry No. 3), this action was referred to the Magistrate Judge to enter a scheduling order for the management of the case, to dispose or recommend disposition of any pretrial motions under 28 U.S.C. §§ 636(b)(1)(A) and (B), and to conduct further proceedings, if necessary, under Rule 72(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Local Rules of Court.

Presently pending before the Court is the Defendants' motion for summary judgment (Docket Entry No. 36). The plaintiff has not responded to the motion.[1] For the reasons set out below, the Court recommends that the motion for summary judgment be granted.

I. BACKGROUND

The plaintiff is an inmate of the Tennessee Department of Correction ("TDOC") currently confined at the Hardeman County Correctional Facility ("HCCC"). On November 1, 2013, he filed this action pro se and in forma pauperis based upon events that occurred at the Overton County, Tennessee, Jail ("Jail") where he was incarcerated at the time the lawsuit was filed and prior to being transferred to the TDOC. The plaintiff seeks nominal and punitive damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and names as defendants former Overton County Sheriff W.B. Melton ("Melton") and former Jail Administrator Shannon Harvey ("Harvey"), who are sued in their individual and official capacities.[2] The plaintiff sets out seven pages of complaints about the Jail, including allegations that:

1) he was denied materials necessary to "prepare and file meaningful legal papers" and his dictionary was confiscated, see Complaint (Docket Entry No. 1) at 5;
2) his right to personal safety was violated when prison staff repeatedly referred to him as a sex offender or child molester in front of other inmates, he was called racial slurs by prison staff, he was wrongly placed in maximum security and protective custody, he was left unsupervised with maximum security inmates on two occasions, and he was placed at risk because the locks on the cell doors could be "popped" or opened by inmates, id. at 5-10;
3) he requested but was denied mental health services, id. at 7;
4) he was strip searched along with other inmates in front of female guards and other inmates, id. at 9-10;
5) he was denied access to religious related mail and religious services, id. at 10-11; and
6) he was charged fees for toiletries, medication, and nurse visits despite being a TDOC inmate. Id. at 11.

The plaintiff further complains that many of these wrongdoings occurred because Jail staff were inadequately trained and/or because of inadequate policies at the Jail, id. at 7-10, and he alleges that he suffered severe and extreme fear and depression as a result of the above mentioned events. Id. at 6-7 and 10.[3]

The Defendants filed an answer, see Docket Entry No. 12, and scheduling orders were entered providing for a period of pretrial activity. See Docket Entry Nos. 14 and 27. All ...


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