United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Court is in receipt of a pro se prisoner Complaint
(Doc. No. 1) brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and
an Application to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. No. 2).
is a pre-trial detainee at the Giles County Jail in Pulaski,
Tennessee. It appears from his Application that the Plaintiff
lacks sufficient financial resources from which to pay the
fee required to file the Complaint. Accordingly,
Plaintiff's Application to proceed in forma pauperis is
GRANTED. The Clerk is directed to file the Complaint in forma
pauperis. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).
Plaintiff is herewith ASSESSED the civil filing fee of
$350.00. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1)(A) and (B),
the custodian of the Plaintiff's inmate trust account at
the institution where he now resides is directed to submit to
the Clerk of Court, as an initial partial payment, whichever
is greater of:
(a) twenty percent (20%) of the average monthly deposits to
the Plaintiff's inmate trust account; or
(b) twenty percent (20%) of the average monthly balance in
the Plaintiff's inmate trust account for the prior six
the custodian shall submit twenty percent (20%) of the
Plaintiff's preceding monthly income (or income credited
to the Plaintiff's trust account for the preceding
month), but only when such monthly income exceeds ten dollars
($10.00), until the full filing fee of three hundred fifty
dollars ($350.00) as authorized under 28 U.S.C. §
1914(a) has been paid to the Clerk of Court. 28 U.S.C. §
Plaintiff brings this action against the Giles County Jail;
Kyle Helton, Sheriff of Giles County; and Teresa Maddox,
Administrator of the Giles County Jail; complaining about
conditions of his confinement. More specifically, the
Plaintiff alleges that he has been denied a kosher diet in
violation of his religious beliefs (Doc. No. 1 at 5); that
when three fellow inmates “rushed” him and
demanded money or favors, he was punished with segregation
for two and a half weeks rather than his assailants
(Id.); that Officer Martin placed him in jeopardy by
telling the inmates in his housing unit that they were not
going outside for recreation because of the Plaintiff
(Id. at 6); that he has been forced to use bed
sheets and towels with black mold on them (Id.);
that he has never been given a free phone call
(Id.); that Officer James threatened him with
lockdown because the Plaintiff would not submit to a T.B.
inoculation (Id.); and that when the Plaintiff
suffered a “panic attack”, nurse Amanda
“knew about it and did nothing” (Id.).
addition, the Plaintiff complains about dust and mold in the
vents; bugs “coming out of the drains”, improper
ventilation (“sewage smell in the
pod”)(Id.); Plaintiff was forced to sleep on
the floor for nearly three months (Id. at 7); there
is no equipment for outdoor recreation (Id.); the
food is nutritionally inadequate (Id.); and there
are no newspapers available to the inmates (Id.).
preliminary matter, the Court notes that the Plaintiff has
named the Giles County Jail as a defendant. A county jail or
workhouse, though, is not a person that can be sued under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Grimmett v. Wilson County Jail,
2015 WL 787228 (M.D. Tenn.); Staggs v. Lewis County
Jail, 2009 WL 3877682 (M.D. Tenn.). Therefore, the
claims against this defendant are hereby DISMISSED. 28 U.S.C.
remaining defendants, Sheriff Helton and Administrator
Maddox, are supervisory personnel. They are never mentioned
by the Plaintiff in his Statement of Facts (Doc. No. 1 at
5-7). The Plaintiff can not sue a defendant solely because of
his/her status as a supervisor. 42 U.S.C. § 1983 will
not support a claim posed on a respondeat superior theory of
liability. Polk County v. Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 325
(1981). Where there is no allegation of participation, either
directly or indirectly, by a supervisor in an allegedly
wrongful act, the Complaint fails to state a cause of action
against that defendant upon which relief can be granted.
See Dunn v. Tennessee, 697 F.2d 121, 128 (6th
Cir.1982), cert. denied, 460 U.S. 1086 (1983).
are no factual allegations in the Complaint from which the
Court could infer that Sheriff Helton and Administrator
Maddox participated in any way in Plaintiff's placement
in segregation for two and a half weeks, Officer Martin's
attempt to place Plaintiff's life in jeopardy, Officer
James' threat to place Plaintiff in lockdown, nurse
Amanda's refusal to treat the Plaintiff's
“panic attack” and the denial of a free phone
call. Because the remaining defendants were not involved in
these alleged acts of misconduct, these claims are also
DISMISSED. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
Eighth Amendment imposes upon a county an obligation to
provide its prisoners with reasonably adequate food,
clothing, shelter, sanitation, recreation and medical care.
Grubbs v. Bradley, 552 F.Supp. 1052, 1119-1124 (M.D.
Tenn.1982). The failure to provide such necessities is a
violation of an inmate's right to be free from cruel and
unusual punishment. Bellamy v. Bradley, 729 F.2d 416
(6th Cir.1984). Sheriff Helton and Administrator Maddox,
as supervisory personnel, are expected to act on behalf of
the county to provide the Plaintiff with such necessities.
The Plaintiff has alleged several deficiencies in the food,
shelter, sanitation and ventilation at the Giles County Jail.
Thus, the Court finds that the Plaintiff has stated a
colorable conditions of confinement claim for relief against
Sheriff Helton and Administrator Maddox.
the Clerk is instructed to send the Plaintiff a service
packet (a blank summons and USM 285 form) for Sheriff Helton
and Administrator Maddox. The Plaintiff will complete the
service packets and return them to the Clerk's Office
within twenty one (21) days of the date of receipt of ...