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Simmons v. Carroll County

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

July 21, 2015

NICHOLAS J. SIMMONS, Plaintiff,
v.
CARROLL COUNTY, et al., Defendants.

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITHOUT PREJUDICE AND ORDER GRANTING LEAVE TO AMEND

JAMES D. TODD, District Judge.

I. FACTUAL & PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On September 2, 2014, Plaintiff Nicholas Simmons, [1] who is confined as an inmate of Carroll County Jail in Huntingdon, Tennessee, filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 accompanied by a motion asking leave to proceed in forma pauperis . (ECF Nos. 1 & 2). In an order issued September 3, 2014, the Court granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis and assessed the civil filing fee pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1006 ("PLRA"), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(a)-(b). (ECF No. 4). The Clerk shall record the defendants as Carroll County, Dr. Lee Carter, Mark Bouges, Nurse Donna, Frank Rezak, G. Barker, Corporal Viki, and Michael Vernon.

Plaintiff Simmons alleges that he had a blackout after being put on the medication "Hidol" by "the nurse." (Comp. 2, ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff alleges that when he awoke, Mark Bouges and Dean, who is not a party to this action, were standing over the plaintiff. ( Id .) Plaintiff alleges he was taken to the suicide tank where he fell asleep again and hit his head very hard. ( Id .) Plaintiff alleges that, when he woke up, he was told by Jessica Simmons, who is not a party to this action, and Mark Bouges to go to sleep. ( Id .) Plaintiff believes that, if he had a concussion and went to sleep, then he might not have woken up. ( Id .)

II. ANALYSIS

A. Screening and Standard

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, the standards under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), as stated in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-79 (2009), and in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57 (2007), are applied. Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010). "Accepting all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true, the Court consider[s] the factual allegations in [the] complaint to determine if they plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief.'" Williams v. Curtin, 631 F.3d 380, 383 (6th Cir. 2011) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 681) (alteration in original). "[P]leadings that... are no more than conclusions... are not entitled to the assumption of truth. While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679; see also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 n.3 ("Rule 8(a)(2) still requires a showing, ' rather than a blanket assertion, of entitlement to relief. Without some factual allegation in the complaint, it is hard to see how a claimant could satisfy the requirement of providing not only fair notice' of the nature of the claim, but also grounds' on which the claim rests.").

"A complaint can be frivolous either factually or legally. Any complaint that is legally frivolous would ipso facto fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Hill, 630 F.3d at 470 (citing Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325, 328-29 (1989)).

Whether a complaint is factually frivolous under §§ 1915A(b)(1) and 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) is a separate issue from whether it fails to state a claim for relief. Statutes allowing a complaint to be dismissed as frivolous give "judges not only the authority to dismiss a claim based on an indisputably meritless legal theory, but also the unusual power to pierce the veil of the complaint's factual allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are clearly baseless." Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327, 109 S.Ct. 1827 (interpreting 28 U.S.C. § 1915). Unlike a dismissal for failure to state a claim, where a judge must accept all factual allegations as true, Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50, a judge does ...

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