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Crowder v. Boyce

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

July 28, 2015

TIMOTHY CROWDER, Plaintiff,
v.
DEPUTY JAILER BOYCE, et. al., Defendants.

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND GRANTING LEAVE TO AMEND

JAMES D. TODD, District Judge.

On December 10, 2014, Plaintiff Timothy Crowder ("Crowder"), an inmate at the Shelby County Criminal Justice Complex ("Jail") in Memphis, 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 December 11, 2014, the Court granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis and assessed the civil filing fee pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("PLRA"), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(a)-(b). (ECF No. 4). The Clerk shall record the defendants as Deputy Jailer First Name Unknown ("FNU") Boyce, Johnnie Trenell, and Deputy Jailer FNU Frazier.

I. THE COMPLAINT

Crowder alleges that on August 11, 2014, he was attacked by a fellow inmate, Defendant Trenell. (ECF No. 1 at 2.) Crowder alleges that the attack occurred because Defendants Boyce and Frazier did not follow proper procedure when opening and closing housing unit doors. ( Id. ) Crowder also alleges that Deputy Frazier did not notice or acknowledge that inmate Trenell had6> tennis shoes on for 30 to 45 minutes prior to the attack. ( Id. ) Crowder requests the officers be re-trained and that he be compensated for trauma and injuries resulting from the attack. ( Id. at 3)

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 court applies the standards under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 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). 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 could5> 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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