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Leach v. Corrections Corporation of America

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

January 4, 2017

TAZARIUS LEACH, No. 513883,
v.
CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM

          Kevin H. Sharp Chief United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Tazarius Leach, an inmate of the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center in Hartsville, Tennessee, has filed a pro se, in forma pauperis complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against a number of defendants, alleging violations of the plaintiff's federal civil rights and state law. (Docket No. 1). The plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages. (Id. at p. 6).

         The plaintiff's complaint is before the court for an initial review pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.

         I. PLRA Screening Standard

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the court must dismiss any portion of a civil complaint filed in forma pauperis that fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, is frivolous, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Section 1915A similarly requires initial review of any “complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity, ” id. § 1915A(a), and summary dismissal of the complaint on the same grounds as those articulated in § 1915(e)(2)(B). Id. § 1915A(b).

         The Sixth Circuit has confirmed that the dismissal standard articulated by the Supreme Court in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), and Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), “governs dismissals for failure to state a claim under those statutes 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). Thus, to survive scrutiny on initial review, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “[A] district court must (1) view the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and (2) take all well-pleaded factual allegations as true.” Tackett v. M & G Polymers, USA, LLC, 561F.3d 478, 488 (6th Cir. 2009) (citing Gunasekera v. Irwin, 551 F.3d 461, 466 (6th Cir. 2009) (citations omitted)).

         Although pro se pleadings are to be held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Jourdan v. Jabe, 951 F.2d 108, 110 (6th Cir. 1991), the courts' “duty to be ‘less stringent' with pro se complaints does not require us to conjure up [unpleaded] allegations.” McDonald v. Hall, 610 F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979) (citation omitted).

         II. Section 1983 Standard

         The plaintiff brings his claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.[1] 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 two elements: (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. Tahfs v. Proctor, 316 F.3d 584, 590 (6th Cir. 2003); 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         III. Alleged Facts

         The complaint alleges that the plaintiff is an inmate of the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center (TTCC) and is a Stage II insulin-dependent diabetic, a condition documented upon his arrival as a prisoner at the TTCC. (Docket No. 1 at p. 9). According to the complaint, on the following dates, the plaintiff failed to receive at least one of his required doses of insulin: April 28, 2016, April 29, 2016; May 16, 2016; May 17, 2016; May 23, 2016; May 25, 2016; and May 27, 2016. Similarly, on the following dates, the complaint alleges that the plaintiff did not receive a meal specifically designed for insulin-dependent inmates: May 18, 2016 and May 19, 2016.

         On May 20, 2016, the plaintiff needed medical attention but was ignored by C/O Morom and an unnamed C/O. The unnamed C/O told the plaintiff not to push the emergency call button or he would be given a Class A Disciplinary. (Id. at p. 10).

         On May 21, 2016, the plaintiff asked C/O Morquec to call medical for him, but Morque said that the Lt. Ecford was on his way but Ecford never arrived and Morque told the plaintiff that he was not going to do anything further. (Id.)

         On May 23, 2016, the plaintiff asked C/O Mitchell to call medical for him, but the plaintiff was not given his insulin on time and his ...


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