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Henvey v. Doaks

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division

March 31, 2015

P.A. TASMA GRAHAM DOAKS, et al., Defendants.


JAMES D. TODD, District Judge.

On April 2, 2014, Plaintiff Anthony Henvey a/k/a Anthony Hervey, who is incarcerated at the Whiteville Correctional Facility ("WCF") in Whiteville, Tennessee, filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and a motion seeking leave to proceed in forma pauperis . (ECF Nos. 1 & 2.) On April 4, 2014, the Court entered an order granting leave to proceed in forma pauperis and assessing the filing fee. (ECF No. 4.) On September 18, 2014, Plaintiff filed a motion seeking leave to amend his complaint to state Graham Doak's complete name and to add additional defendants and causes of action. (ECF No. 7.) On February 18, 2015, the Court granted the motion. (ECF No. 11.) The amended complaint was docketed on September 18, 2014. (ECF No. 7-1.) The Clerk shall record the defendants as Physicians' Assistant Tasma Graham Doaks, Ms. J. Bass, Danny Cosby, Unit Manager Charles Hales, and WCF Assistant Warden Dan Devers.

Plaintiff Henvey alleges that he was diagnosed as a diabetic during his incarceration at the Shelby County Jail and the condition required blood sugar checks and insulin. (ECF No. 1 at PageID 4.) Plaintiff alleges that on May 5, 2013, while at the WCF, his prescription for Metformin had expired and he required insulin because his blood sugar was too high. ( Id. ) Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Graham Doaks took him off the list to have his blood sugar tested. ( Id. ) On May 9, 2013, Plaintiff alleges that he either had a seizure or blacked out injuring his left elbow and low back. ( Id. at PageID 5.) Plaintiff was taken to the medical department, given insulin, and transported to an outside hospital. ( Id .) Plaintiff alleges that since that date he has been given ibuprofen for his back pain, Metformin, insulin when required, and has his blood sugar checked three times a day. ( Id. ) Plaintiff complains that he still suffers from back pain. ( Id. )

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant J. Bass denied him the opportunity to change cells when he developed problems with his cellmate. (ECF No. 7-1 at PageID 48.) Plaintiff contends that Defendant Danny Cosby would not allow him reentry to a social life program because of fighting. ( Id. ) Plaintiff complains that Defendant Hale refused to overturn Defendant Cosby's decision. ( Id. ) Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Devers failed to investigate the incident. ( Id. )

The Court is required to screen prisoner complaints and to dismiss any complaint, or any portion thereof, if the complaint-

(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

In assessing whether the complaint in this case states a claim on which relief may be granted,

[t]he court must construe the complaint in the light most favorable to plaintiffs, accept all well-pled factual allegations as true and determine whether plaintiffs undoubtedly can prove no set of facts consistent with their allegations that would entitle them to relief.... Though decidedly liberal, this standard does require more than bare assertions of legal conclusions.... Plaintiffs' obligation to provide the "grounds" of their entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of the cause of action. The factual allegations, assumed to be true, must do more than create speculation or suspicion of a legally cognizable cause of action; they must show entitlement to relief.... To state a valid claim, a complaint must contain either direct or inferential allegations respecting all the material elements to sustain recovery under some viable legal theory.

League of United Latin Am. Citizens v. Bredesen, 500 F.3d 523, 527 (6th Cir. 2007) (citations omitted; emphasis in original); see also Minadeo v. ICI Paints, 398 F.3d 751, 762-63 (6th Cir. 2005) (complaint insufficient to give notice of statutory claim); Savage v. Hatcher, 109 F.Appx. 759, 761 (6th Cir. 2004); Coker v. Summit County Sheriff's Dep't, 90 F.Appx. 782, 787 (6th Cir. 2003) (affirming dismissal of pro se complaint where plaintiff "made bare bones, ' conclusory assertions that do not suffice to state a cognizable constitutional claim"); Foundation for Interior Design Educ. Research v. Savannah College of Art & Design, 244 F.3d 521, 530 (6th Cir. 2001) (the complaint must "allege a factual predicate concrete enough to warrant further proceedings'") (citation omitted); Mitchell v. Community Care Fellowship, 8 F.Appx. 512, 513 (6th Cir. 2001); Lewis v. ACB Bus. Servs., Inc., 135 F.3d 389, 406 (6th Cir. 1998); Scheid v. Fanny Farmer Candy Shops, Inc., 859 F.2d 434, 436 (6th Cir. 1988) ("[M]ore than bare assertions of legal conclusions is ordinarily required to satisfy federal notice pleading requirements.").

To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, [1] a plaintiff must allege two elements: (1) a deprivation of rights secured by the "Constitution and laws" of the United States (2) committed by a defendant acting under color of state law. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 150 (1970).

An inmate does not have a protected right to be assigned to a particular prison, security classification, housing assignment, or in freedom from administrative segregation and isolation. Olim v. Wakinekona, 461 U.S. 238 (1983); Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215 (1976); Montanye v. Haymes, 427 U.S. 236 (1976). See Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 484-87 (1995) (confinement in particular part of prison or jail does not implicate due process absent "atypical and significant hardship" "in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life"). The allegation that Plaintiff was denied a cell change when he developed problems with his cellmate does not amount to an allegation of "atypical and significant hardship" "in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life" and thus do not allege the deprivation of any liberty interest. See, e.g., Mackey v. Dyke, 111 F.3d 460, 462-63 (6th Cir. 1997). Plaintiff fails to state a claim against Defendant J. Bass for the denial of a cell change.

The Constitution also does not provide Plaintiff with a legally enforceable right to participate in programs that will allow him to earn sentence credits. Prisoners have no constitutional right to discretionary release on parole before the expiration of their sentences, Greenholtz v. Inmates of Neb. Penal & Corr. Complex, 442 U.S. 1, 7 (1979); Inmates of Orient Corr. Inst. v. Ohio State Adult Parole Auth., 929 F.2d 233, 235 (6th Cir. 1991), and "[p]risoners have no liberty interest in opportunities to earn good time credits, " Martin v. O'Brien, 207 F.Appx. 587, 589-90 (6th Cir. 2006). Prisoners also do not have a liberty interest in participation in prison rehabilitation programs. See Moody v. Daggett, 429 U.S. at 89 n.9; Manning v. Unknown Parties, 56 F.Appx. 710, 711 (6th Cir. 2003) (parole board's recommendation that inmate complete a program on impulse control did not create a liberty interest requiring his admission into the program); Harrington v. Smokoska, No. 92-1912, 1992 WL 376855, at *2 (6th Cir. Dec. 18, 1992) (affirming dismissal of claim for inmate's removal from halfway house program, stating "[t]here is no liberty interest in being placed in a community residential program or within any particular prison in the state of Michigan"); Jones v. Nichols, No. 90-3068, 1990 WL 151047, at *1 (6th Cir. Oct. 9, 1990) (affirming dismissal of claim that inmate was denied credit for barber training classes, stating "[t]here is no constitutional right to vocational or educational programs in prisons. Nor does Jones have a state created liberty interest in such programs subject to due process protection.") (citations omitted); Molenkamp v. Brown, No. 90-1022, 1990 WL 75225, at *1 (6th Cir. June 6, 1990) ("Molenkamp has no liberty interest in participation in the community release program subject to due process protection, as participation in the program rests within the discretion of prison authorities."); Canterino v. Wilson, 869 F.2d 948, 953 (6th Cir. 1989) (no liberty interest in study and work-release programs); Frantz v. Mich. Dep't of Corr., No. 1:11-cv-584, 2011 WL 3100564, at *7 (W.D. Mich. July 25, 2011) ("Federal courts have consistently found that inmates have no constitutionally protected liberty interest in prison employment, vocation, rehabilitation, and educational programs based on the Fourteenth Amendment.") (collecting cases); Bush v. Hogsten, No. 6:11-CV-00167-KSF, 2011 WL 2682971, at *3 (E.D. Ky. July 11, 2011) (dismissing habeas petition requesting placement in federal Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program, explaining that "it is well settled ...

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