Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

James v. The City of Knoxville, TN

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Greeneville

December 5, 2016

STANLEY A JAMES, Plaintiff,
v.
THE CITY OF KNOXVILLE, TN, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          THOMAS W. PHILLIPS UNITED STATES SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Acting pro se, Stanley James, an inmate confined in the Hardeman County Correctional Facility, has submitted this civil rights complaint for damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 [Doc. 2], as well as an application for leave to proceed without payment of fees or costs [Doc. 1] and a motion to admit exhibits as evidence [Doc. 3].

         Plaintiff claims that The City of Knoxville (“Defendant”) “fail[ed] to adequately train its police officers regarding the Constitutional rights of criminal defendants” [Doc. 2 p. 5]. For the reasons set forth herein, Plaintiff's application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis will be GRANTED. However, no service shall issue, and this complaint will be sua sponte DISMISSED and Plaintiff's remaining motion will therefore be DENIED.

         I. The Filing Fee

         Based on the financial data provided by Plaintiff, his application to proceed without prepayment of fees [Doc. 1] is GRANTED. Nonetheless, because Plaintiff is an inmate, he is ASSESSED the filing fee of three hundred and fifty dollars ($350). McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 607 (6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007). The custodian of Plaintiff's inmate trust account at the institution where he now resides shall submit, as an initial partial payment, whichever is the greater of: (a) twenty percent (20%) of the average monthly deposits to Plaintiff's inmate trust account; or (b) twenty percent (20%) of the average monthly balance in his inmate trust account for the six-month period preceding the filing of the complaint. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1)(A) and (B). Thereafter, the trust account custodian shall submit twenty percent (20%) of Plaintiff's preceding monthly income (or income credited to his trust account for the preceding month), but only when such monthly income exceeds $10.00, until the full filing fee of $350 has been paid to the Clerk's Office. McGore, 114 F.3d at 607.

         Payments should be sent to: Clerk, USDC; 220 W. Depot St., Suite 200; Greeneville, TN 37743. To ensure compliance with the fee-collection procedure, the Clerk is DIRECTED to mail a copy of this order to the custodian of inmate accounts at the institution where Plaintiff is now confined. The Clerk is also DIRECTED to furnish a copy of this order to the Court's financial deputy. This order shall be placed in Plaintiff's prison file and follow him if he is transferred to another correctional institution.

         II. Screening the Complaint

         Under the PLRA, district courts must screen prisoner complaints and sua sponte dismiss those that are frivolous or malicious, fail to state a claim for relief, or are against a defendant who is immune. See, e.g., Benson v. O'Brian, 179 F.3d 1014 (6th Cir. 1999).

         In screening this complaint, the Court bears in mind that pro se pleadings filed in civil rights cases must be liberally construed and held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). Still, the pleading must be sufficient “to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face, ” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007), which simply means that the factual content pled by a plaintiff must permit a court “to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged, ” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).

         The “facial plausibility” standard does not require “detailed factual allegations, but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Id. at 678 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). The standard articulated in Twombly and Iqbal “governs dismissals for failure to state a claim under [28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A] because the relevant statutory language tracks the language in Rule 12(b)(6).” Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010).

         To state a claim under § 1983, Plaintiff must allege and show: (1) that he was deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States; and (2) that the deprivation was caused by a person acting under color of state law. Black v. Barberton Citizens Hosp., 134 F.3d 1265, 1267 (6th Cir. 1998). Both parts of this two-part test must be satisfied to support a claim under § 1983. See Christy v. Randlett, 932 F.2d 502, 504 (6th Cir. 1991).

         Plaintiff brings this § 1983 complaint against the City of Knoxville, asserting that the City failed to adequately train its police officers which resulted in investigator, Andrew Boatmuan and Lieutenant Kenny Miller concealing exculpatory material evidence in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) and its progeny.

         III. Claims Barred by Heck v. Humphrey

         Plaintiff's claim that Investigator Boatmuan and Lieutenant Miller withheld material, discoverable evidence is barred by Heck because the claim necessarily implies the invalidity of Plaintiff's convictions and sentences. Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). Under Heck, a plaintiff cannot pursue a ยง 1983 claim that, if successful, would necessarily imply the invalidity of a previous conviction or sentence, unless the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.