United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Columbia Division
TAMIR T. CLARK, No. 421853, Plaintiff,
DANNY DODD, Defendants.
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
T. Clark, an inmate of the South Central Correctional
Facility in Clifton, Tennessee, brings this pro se, in
forma pauperis action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against Assistant Warden Danny Dodd, Unit Manager Kristen
Buttram, and Chief of Unit Management Ryan Deatherage,
alleging violations of the Plaintiffs federal civil rights.
(Doc. No. 1).
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 1915 A 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. § 1915 A(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
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 South Central Correctional Facility, on July 27, 2016,
the facility received a package for the Plaintiff consisting
of one prayer rug, one prayer cap, one Holy Quran, and three
ounces of prayer oil. This package was ordered by Tammy
Collins from a religious vendor named Madina Industrial
Corporation and sent to the Plaintiff by Tammy Collins. The
complaint alleges that the package was sent in accordance
with Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) policy #118.01
and in accordance with the Religious Property Memo approved
by the Commissioner of the Department of Correction. (Doc.
No. 1 at 1).
to the complaint, the Plaintiff did not receive his package.
After more than a week had passed, the Plaintiff wrote a
letter to the Assistant Warden Danny Dodd to inquire as to
the location of the Plaintiff s package. On August 15, 2016,
Dodd responded that the package was in his office and
"under review." (Id.) On August 17, 2016,
Property Room Supervisor f/n/u Riley sent the Plaintiff a
memo stating that his package "was sent back because it
was not an approved vendor of the Tennessee Department of
Correction." (Id. at 2).
the complaint alleges that, on January 26, 2017, Unit Manager
Kristen Buttram and Chief of Unit Management Ryan Deatherage
conducted an inspection of the Plaintiffs cell during which
time the Plaintiff told them that he had been living "in
a 'black mold' infested cell for almost six months
and that it was starting to affect [the Plaintiff s]
health." (Id.) The complaint alleges that
Buttram and Deatherage "ran out [of] the cell and since
then they have never made an attempt to correct the problem
or remove [the Plaintiff] out [of] the cell."