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York v. State

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

July 21, 2015

CHARLES YORK, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE, et al., Defendants.

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITHOUT PREJUDICE AND ORDER GRANTING LEAVE TO AMEND

JAMES D. TODD, District Judge.

I. FACTUAL & PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On July 9, 2014, Plaintiff Charles York, Tennessee Department of Correction ("TDOC") prisoner number 357833, who is currently an inmate at the South Central Correctional Center ("SCCC") in Clifton, Tennessee, filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and paid the filing fee. (ECF Nos. 1 & 2.) The Clerk shall record the Defendants as the State of Tennessee, [1] Commissioner Derrick Schofield, and WTSP Warden Jerry Lester.[2]

Plaintiff's filing alleges that on August 5, 2013, he sustained unspecified serious physical and emotional injuries from by an attack by inmates classified at a higher security level. (Compl. 3 ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff, who was a minimum security level was housed with inmates with a close custody level. ( Id. ). Plaintiff alleges that Defendants acted with "deliberate indifference when they allowed unknown inmates to enter his cell and rob, assault (beat) and sexually assault the Plaintiff." ( Id. 4). Plaintiff is asking for punitive and compensatory damages against each named defendant. ( 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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