United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
JAMES W. THURMAN, Plaintiff,
JOE GUY,  Defendant.
Court is in receipt of a pro se prisoner's complaint
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 [Doc.1] and a motion for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. 1]. It appears from
the motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis
that Plaintiff lacks sufficient financial resources to pay
the filing fee. Accordingly, Plaintiff's application for
leave to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. 2] will be
GRANTED and as Plaintiff is no longer
incarcerated, he will not be assessed the filing fee. For the
reasons set forth below, however, no process shall issue and
this action will be DISMISSED for failure to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted under §
courts shall, at any time, sua sponte dismiss any
claims filed in forma pauperis that are frivolous or
malicious, fail to state a claim for relief, or are against a
defendant who is immune. See, e.g., 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2)(B) The dismissal standard articulated
by the Supreme Court in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662 (2009) and in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 554 (2007) “governs dismissals for failure
state a claim under [28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B]
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 a review under
this rule, 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).
Courts liberally construe pro se pleadings filed in civil
rights cases and hold them to a less stringent standard than
formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972).
order to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must establish that he was deprived of a federal
right by a person acting under color of state law. Black
v. Barberton Citizens Hosp., 134 F.3d 1265, 1267 (6th
Cir. 1998); O'Brien v. City of Grand Rapids, 23
F.3d 990, 995 (6th Cir. 1994); Russo v. City of
Cincinnati, 953 F.2d 1036, 1042 (6th Cir. 1992); see
also Braley v. City of Pontiac, 906 F.2d 220, 223 (6th
Cir. 1990) (stating that “Section 1983 does not itself
create any constitutional rights; it creates a right of
action for the vindication of constitutional guarantees found
Allegations of the Complaint
substance of Plaintiff's complaint states in entirety, as
“They put a dog that die[d] in with the food in the
jail that we have to eat cruel and unusual punishment I am
asking the court for th[e]m to pay [eight] hundred thousand
and all attorney fee and court fee.”
[Doc. 1 p. 5]. The only Defendant in this action is Joe Guy,
the Sheriff of McMinn County.
Plaintiff has sued Defendant Guy, he does not set forth any
specific allegations against him in the complaint.
Accordingly, it is apparent that Plaintiff seeks to hold
Defendant Guy liable for the allegations of the complaint
because of his position as Sheriff of McMinn County. In a
suit brought under § 1983, however, liability cannot be
imposed solely on the basis of respondeat superior. Polk
Cnty. v. Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 325 (1981); Bellamy
v. Bradley, 729 F.2d 416, 421 (6th Cir. 1984). The law
is well settled that a plaintiff must allege a defendant
official was personally involved in the unconstitutional
activity of a subordinate in order to state a claim against
such a defendant. Dunn v. State of Tennessee, 697
F.2d 121, 128 (6th Cir. 1982). “[Liability cannot be
based solely on the right to control employees.”
Leach v. Shelby Cnty. Sheriff, 891 F.2d 1241, 1246
(6th Cir. 1989). Accordingly, Plaintiff's claim is not
cognizable under § 1983 and this action will be
reasons set forth above, even liberally construing the
complaint in favor of Plaintiff, it fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted under § 1983 and this
action will therefore be DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and ...