United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
TIMOTHY V. HOWELL, No. 502030, Plaintiff,
MIKE BREEDLOVE, et al., Defendants.
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
an inmate of the Cheatham County Jail in Ashland City,
Tennessee, brings this pro se, in forma pauperis
action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Cheatham County
Sheriff Mike Breedlove, Lt. J.J. Hannah, Jail Administrator
Bobby Whitt, Nurse Jessica Plank, and Dr. Donald Kern,
alleging a violation of his civil rights. (Doc. No. 1). As
relief, the Plaintiff seeks “compensation for pain and
suffering.” (Id. at p. 5).
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.
PLRA Screening Standard
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).
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)).
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).
Section 1983 Standard
brings his federal claims 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, a 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.
Motion to Amend
filing his complaint, the Plaintiff filed a “Motion for
Cruel and Unusual Punishment Neglect, Medical
Malpractice.” (Doc. No. 4). The Court construes the
Plaintiff's motion as a motion amend his complaint.
“The court should freely give leave [to amend] when
justice so requires.” Rule 15(a), Fed. R. Civ. P.;
Rose v. Hartford Underwriters Ins. Co., 203 F.3d
417, 420 (6th Cir. 2000). A motion to amend should not be
denied unless there is evidence of undue delay, bad faith,
undue prejudice to the nom-movant, or futility. Ziegler
v. IBP Hog Market, Inc., 249 F.3d 509, 519 (6th Cir.
2001), see Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962).
is no evidence before the Court suggesting any intent on the
part of the Plaintiff to delay or prejudice this action. The
proposed amendments provide additional information regarding
the Plaintiff's allegations. Therefore, the Court will
grant the Plaintiff's motion to amend.
amended complaint alleges that, after one month of being
incarcerated at the Cheatham County Jail in Ashland City,
Tennessee, the Plaintiff began to experience a rash and
severe itching. He noticed that other inmates were
experiencing the same problem. He believes that all of the
Defendants knew the cause of the problem was scabies because
another inmate had scabies and was later transferred to a
different facility. On October 4, 2016, the Plaintiff filed a
grievance about his rash and itching. He subsequently filed
over twenty (20) additional grievances about the problems.
Over the course of three to four months, he went to
“sick call” thirty-one (31) times seeking
treatment for his rash and itching. Defendant Nurse Plank
told the Plaintiff that he did not have scabies, but the
Plaintiff did not believe her. Dr. Kern provided the
Plaintiff with triamcinolone cream 0.025% for his rash and
itching but the Plaintiff believes this cream was not an
appropriate treatment. The Plaintiff also was given
“other medications” for his symptoms, and
Defendant Whitt changed the Plaintiff's detergent for a
brief period of time in an effort to diminish ...