United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
WAFORD BRYANT, No. 448777, Plaintiff,
BRUCE WESTBROOKS, et al., Defendants.
T. Nixon, Senior United States District Judge
Waford Bryant, an inmate of the Riverbend Maximum Security
Institution in Nashville, Tennessee, brings this pro se,
in forma pauperis action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against Warden Bruce Westbrooks, Captain and Chief of
Security Earnest Lewis, Medical Administrator Adriane
Hawkins, Dr. f/n/u Sibberry, and Corporal B. McClure,
alleging violations of the Plaintiff's civil rights.
(Docket No. 1). All defendants are sued in their individual
and official capacities. (Id. at p. 5). The
Plaintiff seeks nominal, compensatory, and punitive damages,
as well as an injunction requiring the Defendants to prove
the Plaintiff with proper medical treatment. (Id. at
Plaintiff's complaint is before the Court for an initial
review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and
Standard of Review
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), this Court must
conduct an initial screening of a prisoner's pro
se complaint against a governmental entity or official.
The Court must dismiss the complaint sua sponte
before service on any defendant if the complaint asserts
claims that are frivolous or malicious, fails to state claims
upon which relief can be granted, or seeks damages from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A.
Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983 creates a cause of action
against any person who, acting under color of state law,
abridges “rights, privileges, or immunities secured by
the Constitution and laws . . . .” To state a claim
under § 1983, the 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.
Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 535
(1981)(overruled in part by Daniels v. Williams, 474
U.S. 327, 330 (1986)); Flagg Bros. v. Brooks, 436
U.S. 149, 155-56 (1978); 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).
complaint alleges that, while incarcerated at the Riverbend
Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, Tennessee, on May
13, 2016, Defendant Dr. Sibbery wrote an order directing the
Plaintiff, who suffers from a mental illness, to be
transported to an off-premises hospital after an x-ray
revealed that the Plaintiff had a foreign object lodged in
his stomach. (Docket No. 1 at p. 7). However, despite Dr.
Sibbery's order, Warden Westbrooks ordered Defendant
Lewis not to transport the Plaintiff to the hospital, and
Lewis complied. (Id. at pp. 7-8).
to the complaint, on May 26, 2016, the Plaintiff was
transported to the Nashville General Hospital emergency room
where, after an examination and testing, the emergency room
physician told the Plaintiff that the foreign object had
perforated his bowel and caused an infection, necessitating
immediate, emergency surgery. (Id. at p. 7).
complaint further alleges that, on August 13, 2016, Dr.
Sibbery failed to provide any medical treatment for the
Plaintiff after an x-ray revealed a foreign object in the
Plaintiff's stomach. (Id.) On that same day, the
nursing supervisor and the Plaintiff's mental health
doctor (both names unknown) placed the Plaintiff on suicide
watch for forty-eight hours during which time the Plaintiff
was placed in a four-point restraint and was provided with no
mattress. (Id. at pp. 7-8). The complaint alleges
that, during this time, the Plaintiff grew more ill and,
three days later, various medical professionals examined and
tested the Plaintiff. (Id. at p. 8). The tests
revealed that the Plaintiff had an infection, which he
believes could have been avoided had the Defendants treated
him properly rather than placing him on suicide watch.
complaint alleges the Plaintiff filed grievances concerning
these incidents but that Defendant McClure did not address
the grievances properly. (Id. at pp. 10-11).
some of the Plaintiff's Section 1983 claims are premised
on a Defendant's response, or lack of response, to the
Plaintiff's grievances. Although the Plaintiff may feel
that his grievances were not taken seriously or handled
properly, a Plaintiff cannot premise a § 1983 claim on
allegations that the an institution's grievance procedure
was inadequate and/or unresponsive because there is no
inherent constitutional right to an effective jail grievance
procedure in the first place. See Hewitt v. Helms,
459 U.S. 460, 467 (1983)(overruled in part on other grounds
by Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472 (1995));
Antonelli v. Sheahan, 81 F.3d 1422, 1430
(7th Cir. 1996); Adams v. Rice, 40 F.3d
72, 75 (4th Cir. 1994); Flick v. Alba,
932 F.2d 728, 729 (8th Cir. 1991). Since a
prisoner does not have a constitutional right to an effective
or responsive grievance procedure, the Plaintiff's claims
based on any Defendant's failure to respond to
Plaintiff's grievances do not state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. Any such claims will be dismissed.
the Eighth Amendment “imposes duties on [prison]
officials, who must provide humane conditions of confinement;
prison officials must ensure that inmates receive adequate
food, clothing, shelter, and medical care, and must
‘take reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of
the inmates.'” Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S.
825, 832 (1994)(collecting cases); Grubbs v.
Bradley, 552 F.Supp. 1052, 1119-1124 (M.D. Tenn. 1982).
The failure to provide such necessities is a ...