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Brown v. Warren County Jail

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

March 15, 2017

JASON MAC BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
WARREN COUNTY JAIL; NURSING STAFF and ADMINISTRATION; EDDIE KNOWLES, Adm’r; JACKIE MATHENY, Sheriff; DAVE SNOWDEN, Corr. Officer; CHRISTY L/N/U, Nurse; JOE L/N/U, Nurse; and CAROL L/N/U, Nurse, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          HARRY S. MATTICE, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Acting pro se, Jason Mac Brown brings this civil rights complaint for injunctive and monetary relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that he has been subjected to unconstitutional conditions and treatment at the Warren County Jail in McMinnville, Tennessee, where he is confined [Doc. 1]. Defendants are the Warren County Jail (“WCJ”); the WCJ Nursing Staff and Administration; Eddie Knowles, WCJ Administrator; Jackie Matheny, Warren County Sheriff; and Dave Snowden, a WCJ correctional officer who works the night shift. In the body of the complaint, Plaintiff indicates that Christy L/N/U, Joe L/N/U, and Carol L/N/U are the members of the Nursing Staff whom he is suing in their official capacities as nurses, though he has not identified them as Defendants in the caption of his pleading.

         Because the Middle District, where this action was filed originally, assessed the filing fee before transferring the case to this Court [Doc. 3],the Court turns first to the contentions in the complaint.

         I. PLAINTIFF’S ALLEGATIONS

         The complaint contains the assertions which follow. Plaintiff suffers from hypoglycemia, a disease evidenced by low blood sugar levels [Doc. 1 p.6]. When Plaintiff’s blood sugar levels drop, he suffers from weakness, headaches, and dizziness. However, Plaintiff’s blood sugar levels are tested regularly, the levels range in the 60s, though they can descend to levels in the low 50s [Id.]. Plaintiff has written many times to the nurse and he has even filed grievances complaining about the failure to measure his blood sugar levels on a regular basis [Id.].

         Once, when Plaintiff was in the nursing staff room, he was told to check his own sugar levels [Id.]. However, the medical device for monitoring blood levels was not functioning [Id.]. After this encounter, Plaintiff’s blood levels were not monitored. Because of the medical inattentiveness of the nursing staff, Plaintiff sits in his cell and worries, knowing that his blood sugar level is low and that low blood sugar levels can be dangerous [Id.]. Plaintiff believes that they would let him die and that, if he did not obtain items from the commissary, he really would be in bad shape [Id.]. The medical staff refuses to give an inmate even an aspirin or a Tylenol. Furthermore, the 2,000-calorie per-day diet served at the WCJ is insufficient for Plaintiff because he has low blood sugar [Id.].

         Additionally, the facility has no existing grievance system and an inmate who asks for a grievance is asked why he needs a grievance [Id.]. Plaintiff personally has never seen a grievance form and has used notebook paper to file a grievance. Plaintiff received no response to his notepaper grievance.

         Plaintiff was arrested on February 15, 2013, and was booked into the WCJ and thereafter assigned to cell number 24 in B-Pod [Doc. 1 p.8]. Plaintiff informed a guard, Defendant Dave Snowden, that he had enemies in that cell, but Defendant Snowden responded that the inmates would just have to “get along” with one another [Id.]. Within forty-eight hours, several inmates jumped on Plaintiff and beat him while he was asleep, thus putting him “in imminent danger” [Id.]. Plaintiff asks for an unspecified amount of damages for the cruel and unusual punishment purportedly inflicted on him and for the resulting pain and suffering which he sustained from a bodily injury-an injury for which he has provided no further description [Doc. 1 p.6].

         II. SCREENING and LEGAL STANDARDS

         The Court must now review the complaint to determine whether it states a claim entitling Plaintiff to relief or is frivolous or malicious or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and § 1915A. If so, this suit must be dismissed. In performing this task, the Court bears in mind the rule 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 complaint must be sufficient “to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face,” Bell Atlantic 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 standard articulated in Twombly and Iqbal “governs dismissals for failure to state a claim under [§§ 1915A(b)(1) and 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)] 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).

         In order to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Plaintiff must establish that he was deprived of a federal right by a person acting under color of state law. See Black v. Barberton Citizens Hosp., 134 F.3d 1265, 1267 (6th Cir. 1998); see also Braley v. City of Pontiac, 906 F.2d 220, 223 (6th Cir. 1990) (“Section 1983 does not itself create any constitutional rights; it creates a right of action for the vindication of constitutional guarantees found elsewhere.”).

         The Court examines the claims under these guidelines.

         III. ...


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