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Daven Decarlo Turner, No. 237292 v. Baines

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

May 5, 2017

DAVEN DECARLO TURNER, No. 237292, Plaintiff
v.
R. BAINES, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM

          WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Daven Decarlo Turner, an inmate of the Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility in Nashville, Tennessee, filed this pro se, in forma pauperis action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against R. Baines, J. Rychen, and D. Hall, alleging violations of the Plaintiff's civil rights.[1] (Doc. No. 1). As relief, the Plaintiff seeks the opportunity to earn sentence credits to which he alleges he is entitled and asks “that the Defendants in their official capacities cover and pay for all filing fees, court costs, and attorney's fees concerning this case.” (Id. at 1).

         The 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.

         I. PLRA Screening Standard

         Under 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).

         The 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)).

         Although 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).

         II. Section 1983 Standard

         Plaintiff brings his complaint 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.

         III. Alleged Facts

         The complaint alleges that the Plaintiff, an inmate of the Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility in Nashville, Tennessee, is housed in protective custody. According to the complaint, protective custody inmates do not receive “2 day for 1" sentencing credits or “good behavior” credits because those credits are only available to inmates housed in general population. In addition, general population inmates are afforded many opportunities to participate in educational and rehabilitative programs and are permitted to hold jobs whereas protective custody inmates have access to fewer programs and cannot hold jobs. The Plaintiff believes that the current arrangement is cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Constitution. (Doc. No. 1 at 3).

         IV. Analysis

         Prisoners have no constitutionally cognizable right to participate in rehabilitative or educational programs. See Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 348 (1981); Moody v. Daggett, 429 U.S. 78, 88 n.9 (1976); Canterino v. Wilson, 869 F.2d 948, 952-54 (6th Cir. 1989); Kenner v. Martin, 648 F.2d 1080, 1081 (6th Cir. 1981)(per curiam); Carter v. Corrs. Corp. of Am., No. 98-6336, 1999 WL 427352, at *1 (6th Cir. June 15, 1999). Thus, as to the Plaintiff's allegations, the complaint fails to state an Eighth Amendment claim for cruel and unusual punishment upon which relief can be granted, and that claim must be dismissed.

         A prisoner does not have a constitutional right to a particular job, or to any job at all for that matter. See Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 348 (1981); Bishop v. Wood, 426 U.S. 341 (1976); Newsom v. Norris, 888 F.2d 371, 374 (6th Cir. 1989); Ivey v. Wilson, 832 F.2d 950, 955 (6thCir.1987). Rather, prison administrators may assign inmates ...


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