United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
CLARENCE R. HULL, JR. No. 187983, Plaintiff,
DAVIDSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, et al., Defendants.
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
an inmate of the Hardeman County Correctional Facility in
Whiteville, Tennessee, brings this pro se, in forma
pauperis action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the
Davidson County Sheriff's Office and “A.B.L.
Kitchen Staff, ” alleging violations of the
Plaintiff's federal civil rights. (Doc. No. 1). As
relief, the Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages and damages
for his pain and suffering. (Id. at p. 6).
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.
complaint alleges that, while the Plaintiff was an inmate of
the Davidson County Sheriff's Office in Nashville,
Tennessee, he worked in the Criminal Justice Center kitchen
where he was required to wear boots for safety reasons. On
December 17, 2015,  an unnamed corrections officer told the
Plaintiff that he had to report to work duty in the kitchen.
The Plaintiff told the corrections officer that he did not
have the required work boots to wear for kitchen duty. The
unidentified corrections officer told the Plaintiff that
“if [he] didn't go [to work] he would write [the
Plaintiff] up for refusal to work then [the Plaintiff] would
be moved to another pod.” (Doc. No. 1 at p. 5).
Plaintiff complied and reported for kitchen duty while
wearing Crocs. Upon reporting for duty, A.B.L. manager Randy
l/n/u told the Plaintiff that he was short-staffed and needed
the Plaintiff to work and “they would take care of [his
shoe issue].” (Id. at p. 7). Randy l/n/u
directed the Plaintiff to bag cookies for lunch, which the
that day, Randy l/n/u directed the Plaintiff to help the
cooks because they were running behind. The Plaintiff
protested, stating again that he did not have appropriate
footwear. Randy l/n/u told the Plaintiff that he would be
“written up for ‘Refusing a direct
order'” if he did not do as directed. (Id.
at pp. 7-8). The Plaintiff complied and assisted Randy and
another cook with a hot pan. The contents of the pan spilled,
and scalding green bean juice fell onto the Plaintiff's
left foot, which was largely exposed due to the holes in his
Crocs. Randy l/n/u then directed the Plaintiff to see a
nurse, but A.B.L. employee Ms. f/n/u Dickson told the
Plaintiff “to put some butter on it” and go back
to work. (Id. at p. 9). Confusion and disagreement
ensued over when and who should complete an incident report
form. However, after observing the Plaintiff's injuries,
A.B.L. employee Jasmine l/n/u then escorted the Plaintiff to
an office with a medical room attached to it, called for a
nurse, and nurse f/n/u Roundtree gave the Plaintiff Tramadol
(medication), placed an ice pack on the Plaintiff's foot,
rubbed Silvadine on the Plaintiff's foot, and bandaged
following day, the Plaintiff was brought by a corrections
officer to see a different nurse, who, after examining the
Plaintiff's foot, told him that he had third-degree burns
and needed additional treatment. She called Dr. f/n/u Simmons
into work early and Dr. Simmons examined the ...