United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division
CORDELL R. VAUGHN, Plaintiff,
PERRY COUNTY, ET AL., Defendants.
ORDER DENYING MOTIONS TO COMPEL DISCOVERY, DISMISSING
AMENDED COMPLAINT, CERTIFYING AN APPEAL WOULD NOT BE TAKEN IN
GOOD FAITH AND NOTIFYING PLAINTIFF OF APPELLATE FILING
D. TODD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
September 25, 2015, the pro se prisoner Plaintiff,
Cordell R. Vaughn ("Vaughn"), filed a complaint
pursuant to 42 U.S.C § 1983 accompanied by a motion to
proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF Nos. 1 & 2.) The
Court subsequently granted leave to proceed in forma
pauperis and assessed the civil filing fee pursuant to
the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(a)-(b). (ECF No. 4) On August 4, 2016, the Court issued
an order that, inter alia, dismissed Vaughn's
complaint and granted leave to amend. (ECF No. 7.) Vaughn
filed an amended complaint on September 12, 2016. (ECF No.
8.) The Clerk shall record Tommy Hickerson, former Sheriff of
Perry County, Tennessee; Sergeant Robert Dilingham; and
Deputy Nick Weems as additional Defendants. Defendants
Hickerson, Dilingham and Weems are sued in their individual
and official capacities.
amended complaint largely repeats the allegations included in
his original complaint; however, he clarifies the dates of
the events in question. Vaughn alleges that on February 17,
2005, he was removed from his house at 237 Pine Street in
Linden, Tennessee, and taken to the hospital by
EMTs. (ECF No. 8 ¶ 1, at 2.) On the same
date and time, Defendant Dillingham responded to call
regarding a disturbance at 237 Pine Street. (Id.
¶ 2.) Defendant Dilingham was notified there were shots
recently fired from Vaughn's home and later learned there
was a female on the ground in the backyard. (Id.
¶3.) Defendant Weems searched Vaughn's residence and
looked for anyone that was a potential threat to them.
(Id. ¶ 4.) At that time, Defendants Dillingham
and Weems seized various items of private property from
Vaughn's residence. (Id. ¶ 5.)
states the property seized by the Defendants was
"allegedly" entered and placed into the police
station evidence locker as part of an ongoing investigation
against Vaughn; however, he contends that not all the
property was placed into the evidence locker. (Id.
¶¶ 6-7, at 3.) Vaughn alleges that other inmates,
supervised by police officers, used his lawnmowers to cut the
jail's lawn and that his grill was used by officers to
cook for the police and jail employees. (Id. ¶
2005 investigation against Vaughn resulted in charges being
brought against him. (Id. ¶ 8.) However, on
July 23, 2014, the charges for receiving stolen property were
dismissed. (Id. ¶ 8; see also Ex. 3,
ECF No. 8-4 at 2.) Thereafter, Vaughn contacted Defendant
Hickerson by letter and asked for return of the seized
property; he included an itemized list of the property.
(Id.; see also Ex. 3, ECF No. 8-4 at 3-4.)
Sheriff Hickerson responded by telling Vaughn that a large
amount of the property seized from Vaughn's residence had
been returned to its rightful owners. (Ex. 4, ECF No. 8-5 at
2.) Vaughn contacted Sheriff Hickerson a second time on May
14, 2015, informing him that Vaughn was the rightful owner of
fourteen of the items that were reportedly returned to their
rightful owners and that if Hickerson did not reply to the
letter in a timely fashion Vaughn would take legal action.
(Ex. 5, ECF No. 8-6 at 2.)
Vaughn alleges that the police did not return his lawnmowers,
grills, and other property. (ECF No. 8 at ¶¶ 12-13,
at 3.) He seeks the return of his property or reimbursement
for his property in the amount of $2, 149. (Id. at
Screening and Standard
Court is required to screen prisoner complaints and to
dismiss any complaint, or any portion thereof, if the
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see also 28 U.S.C. §
assessing whether the complaint in this case states a claim
on which relief may be granted, the court applies standards
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), as stated in
Ashcroft v. Iqbal,556 U.S. 662, 677-79 (2009), and
in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,550 U.S. 544,
555-57 (2007). Hill v. Lappin,630 F.3d 468, 470-71
(6th Cir. 2010). "Accepting all well-pleaded allegations
in the complaint as true, the Court 'consider[s] the
factual allegations in [the] complaint to determine if they
plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief" Williams
v. Curtin,631 F.3d 380, 383 (6th Cir. 2011) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 681) (alteration in original).
"[P]leadings that... are no more than conclusions ...
are not entitled to the assumption of truth. While legal
conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they
must be supported by factual allegations."
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679; see also Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555 n.3 ("Rule 8(a)(2) still requires a
'showing, ' rather than a blanket assertion, of
entitlement to ...