United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Columbia Division
Honorable Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr., Chief District Judge.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BARBARA D. HOLMES United States Magistrate Judge.
Order entered December 20, 2016 (Docket Entry No. 3), the
Court referred this pro se and in forma
pauperis prisoner civil rights action to the Magistrate
Judge for pretrial proceedings under 28 U.S.C. §§
636(b)(1)(A) and (B), Rule 72(b) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, and the Local Rules of Court.
pending is the motion to dismiss filed by Rhonda Staggs,
Rhonda Riley, and Cherry Lindamood (Docket Entry No. 19), to
which no response in opposition has been filed. For the
reasons set forth below, the undersigned Magistrate Judge
respectfully recommends that the motion be granted.
Matthews (“Plaintiff”) is an inmate of the
Tennessee Department of Correction (“TDOC”)
currently confined at the Hardeman County Correctional
Facility. He filed this lawsuit pro se and in
forma pauperis on December 12, 2016, seeking relief
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of his
constitutional rights alleged to have occurred during his
prior confinement at the South Central Correctional Facility
(“SCCF”) in Clifton, Tennessee. Upon the
Court's initial review of the lawsuit under 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A, Plaintiff was found to
have alleged an arguable Eighth Amendment claim based upon
allegations that he was denied constitutionally adequate
medical care. All other claims alleged by Plaintiff,
including claims for the unlawful deprivation of property,
were dismissed for failure to state a colorable claim for
relief under Section 1983. See Docket Entry No. 3 at
answer was filed on behalf of Defendant CoreCivic (formerly
doing business as Corrections Corporation of America).
See Docket Entry No. 18. In lieu of an answer,
Defendants Rhonda Staggs, Rhonda Riley, and Cherry Lindamood
(hereinafter referred to collectively as the
“Individual Defendants”) have filed the pending
motion to dismiss. The Individual Defendants argue that they
should be dismissed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. Specifically, they contend that the
only factual allegation made against them in the Complaint
pertain to the wrongful deprivation of property claims that
were dismissed upon initial review and that there are no
factual allegations made against them that support their
individual liability with respect to Plaintiff's
inadequate medical care claim. See Memorandum in
Support (Docket Entry No. 20) at 3. They further argue
against the viability of either a Fourteenth Amendment
deprivation of property claim or a state law claim brought
pursuant to discretionary supplemental jurisdiction under 28
U.S.C. § 1367. Id. at 4-6.
Order entered March 14, 2017 (Docket Entry No. 32), the Court
notified Plaintiff of the motion to dismiss and gave him a
deadline of April 21, 2017, to file a response. To date,
Plaintiff has not filed a response to the
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion to dismiss filed under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure is reviewed under the standard that
the Court must accept as true all of the well-pleaded
allegations contained in the complaint and construe the
complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Morgan v. Church's Fried Chicken, 829 F.2d 10,
11-12 (6th Cir. 1987). Although a complaint need not contain
detailed factual allegations, the factual allegations
supplied must be enough to show a plausible right to relief.
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
555-61, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007) (abrogating
Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 78 S.Ct. 99, 2 L.Ed.2d
80 (1957)). See also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). 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.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. In review of the sufficiency
of the complaint, the Court need not accept as true legal
conclusions or unwarranted factual inferences. See
Gregory v. Shelby County, 220 F.3d 433, 446 (6th Cir.
motion to dismiss should be granted. A defendant cannot be
held individually liable under Section 1983 for
constitutional violations absent a showing that the defendant
was personally involved in some manner in the allegedly
unconstitutional conduct. Miller v. Calhoun County,
408 F.3d 803, 817, n.3 (6th Cir. 2005); Hardin v.
Straub, 954 F.2d 1193, 1196 (6th Cir. 1992). Although
the Complaint contains specific factual allegations against
the Individual Defendants pertaining to the dismissed
wrongful deprivation of property claims, see Docket
Entry No. 1 at 4-5, the Complaint's fairly brief factual
allegations concerning Plaintiff's medical care are
devoid of any allegations of involvement by the Individual
Defendants in his medical care. Id. at 10. There are
simply no allegations made by Plaintiff supporting a claim
that these three Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment
right to adequate medical care. Additionally respondeat
superior is not a basis for liability under Section
1983, see Monell v. Department of Soc. Servs., 436
U.S. 658, 691, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978);
Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 371-72, 375-77, 96
S.Ct. 598, 46 L.Ed.2d 561 (1976), and the Individual
Defendants cannot be held personally liable under Section
1983 merely because they hold supervisory positions at the
SCCF. See Phillips v. Roane Cnty., Tenn., 534 F.3d
531, 543 (6th Cir. 2008); Shehee v. Luttrell, 199
F.3d 295, 300 (6th Cir. 1999), cert. denied, 530
U.S. 1264, 120 S.Ct. 2724, 147 L.Ed.2d 988 (2000); Hays
v. Jefferson Cnty., 668 F.2d 869, 872 (6th Cir. 1982).
on the foregoing, the undersigned Magistrate Judge
respectfully RECOMMENDS that the motion to dismiss (Docket
Entry No. 19) filed by Defendants Rhonda Staggs, Rhonda
Riley, and Cherry Lindamood be ...