United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
ORDER DISMISSING CLAIMS ORDER GRANTING LEAVE TO
THOMAS ANDERSON CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
April 22, 2016, Plaintiff Eldra Bacchus
(“Bacchus”), who is currently an inmate at the
Shelby County Criminal Justice Center (“the
jail”) in Memphis, Tennessee, filed A Pro Se Complaint
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, accompanied by a motion to
proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF Nos. 1 & 2.) The
Court granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis and
assessed the civil filing fee pursuant to the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(a)-(b). (ECF No. 4.) The Clerk shall record
the defendant as Nurse First Name Unknown (“FNU”)
alleges that during the 2:00-10:00 shift he asked Officer
Jones, who is not a party to this action, to inform Defendant
Pinkens that he was bitten by a spider. (Compl. at 2, ECF No.
1.) Bacchus told Defendant Pinkens that he was light-headed,
dizzy, and in severe pain. Defendant Pinkens told Bacchus to
put in a sick call and refused to call a code white, which it
seems would have allowed Bacchus to see a doctor immediately.
(Id.) Bacchus contends that he later developed a
hole in his leg, his leg is swollen, and he cannot sleep on
his right side because of the pain shooting through his leg.
(Id.) Bacchus alleges that Defendant Pinkens could
have gotten him outside medical treatment to help him instead
of making him wait two or three days for sick call to
respond. (Id.) Bacchus seeks $50, 000 to $60, 000 in
compensation for pain and suffering and future medical
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 Pro Se Complaint in this case states a
claim on which relief may be granted, the court applies the
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 relief. Without some factual
allegation in the complaint, it is hard to see how a claimant
could satisfy the requirement of providing not only
‘fair notice' of the nature of the claim, but also
‘grounds' on which the claim rests.”).
complaint can be frivolous either factually or legally. Any
complaint that is legally frivolous would ipso facto
fail to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” Hill, 630 F.3d at 470 (citing
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325, 328-29
Whether a complaint is factually frivolous under §§
1915A(b)(1) and 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) is a separate issue from
whether it fails to state a claim for relief. Statutes
allowing a complaint to be dismissed as frivolous give
“judges not only the authority to dismiss a claim based
on an indisputably meritless legal theory, but also the
unusual power to pierce the veil of the complaint's
factual allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual
contentions are clearly baseless.” Neitzke,
490 U.S. at 327, 109 S.Ct. 1827 (interpreting 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915). Unlike a dismissal for failure to state a
claim, where a judge must accept all factual allegations as
true, Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50, a judge does not
have to accept “fantastic or delusional” factual
allegations as true in prisoner complaints that are reviewed
for frivolousness. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327-28, 109
Id. at 471.
se complaints are to be held ‘to less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, ' and
should therefore be liberally construed.”
Williams, 631 F.3d at 383 (quoting Martin v.
Overton, 391 F.3d 710, 712 (6th Cir. 2004)). Pro
se litigants and prisoners are not exempt from the
requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989);
see also Brown v. Matauszak, No. 09-2259, 2011 WL
285251, at *5 (6th Cir. Jan. 31, 2011) (affirming dismissal
of pro se complaint for failure to comply with
“unique pleading requirements” and stating
“a court cannot ‘create a claim which [a
plaintiff] has not spelled out in his pleading'”)
(quoting Clark v. Nat'l Travelers Life Ins. Co.,
518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir. 1975)) (alteration in
original); Payne v. Sec'y of Treas., 73 F.
App'x 836, 837 (6th Cir. 2003) (affirming sua
sponte dismissal of complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2) and stating, “[n]either this court nor the
district court is required to create Payne's claim for
her”); cf. Pliler v. Ford, 542 U.S. 225, 231
(2004) (“District judges have no obligation to act as
counsel or paralegal to pro se litigants.”);
Young Bok Song v. Gipson, 423 F. App'x 506, 510
(6th Cir. 2011) (“[W]e decline to affirmatively require
courts to ferret out the strongest cause of action on ...