United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, is an inmate at the
Metro Davidson County Detention Facility (MDCDF) in
Nashville. He brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 against the Corrections Corporation of America, the
corporate entity under contract to operate the
MDCDF; Feleg Amaniel, a guard at the facility;
Todd Thomas, Warden of the MDCDF; and two other members of
the Warden's staff; seeking injunctive relief and
June, 2016, Officer Amaniel allegedly used a broom stick to
sexually assault the Plaintiff. A nurse examined the
Plaintiff after the assault. An internal investigation of the
incident determined that the Plaintiff's claim was
unfounded. Id. at pgs. 9-10. Nevertheless, a
criminal investigation of the incident by law enforcement
appears to be ongoing.
Plaintiff alleges that the assault occurred because a
shortage of staff created an unsafe environment. Id.
at pgs. 17 and 21. The Plaintiff further claims that the
defendants are at fault because he was not transferred to
another housing unit during the investigation (Id.
at pg. 19), the defendants did not fully cooperate with the
investigation (“CCA has tried to cover this up by
withholding evidence in criminal investigation and telling
lies ...”)(Id. at pg. 16), an inexperienced
nurse was allowed to conduct the post-assault examination
(Id. at pg. 20), and he was placed in segregation for
three days without a blanket. Id. at pg. 17.
establish a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Plaintiff
must plead and prove that the defendants, while acting under
color of state law, deprived him of some right or privilege
secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States.
Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 535 (1981).
officials have a duty to protect inmates from violence at the
hands of others. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825,
833 (1994)(prison officials must take reasonable measures to
guarantee the safety of inmates). Logically, a shortage of
staff can create an unsafe environment for both staff and
inmates alike. An unsafe environment suggests that the
Corrections Corporation of America, and perhaps even Warden
Thomas, have been deliberately indifferent to the health and
safety of those prisoners in their custody. Thus, the
Plaintiff has stated a claim for relief from these particular
Plaintiff has sued Officer Amaniel for his alleged misconduct
in his official capacity only. See Doc. No. 1 at pg.
2. Because the Plaintiff in an official capacity action seeks
damages not from the individually named defendant but from
the entity for which the defendant is an agent, Pusey v.
City of Youngstown, 11 F.3d 652, 657 (6th
Cir.1993), “an official capacity suit is, in all
respects other than name, to be treated as a suit against the
entity.” Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 166
(1985). In essence, then, the Plaintiff's claim of a
sexual assault is a claim against the Corrections Corporation
of America rather than against Officer Amaniel himself. As a
consequence, the official capacity claim against Officer
Amaniel shall be dismissed.
Plaintiff asserts that the defendants are liable for failing
to assign him to another housing unit during the criminal
investigation, for failing to fully cooperate with the
investigation, for allowing an inexperienced nurse to examine
him after the assault, and for allowing him to be placed in
segregation for three days without a blanket.
these allegations suggest a violation of the
Plaintiff‘s constitutional rights. The Plaintiff has no
right to be transferred to a housing unit of his choice.
See Olim v. Wakinekona, 461 U.S. 238, 245-46)(a
prisoner has no constitutional right to be confined in a
particular institution or to enjoy a particular
classification). Nor does he have a right requiring the
defendants to cooperate with the investigation, provide him
with a more experienced nurse when there has been no claim
that he was injured by the medical staff then in place, or
that the lack of a blanket in segregation for three days
during the summer months in any way caused him
claim of an unsafe environment brought about by a staffing
shortage is a matter that should be developed further and can
best be answered by Corrections Corporation of America and
Warden Thomas. The remaining claims against the remaining
defendants do not withstand preliminary review and will be
dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
appropriate order will be entered.
 The Corrections Corporation of America
has rebranded its corporate enterprise under the name of