United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. TRAUGER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
December 16, 2016, the plaintiff initiated this action with
the pro se filing of a complaint (Docket Entry No.
1) brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and an
application to proceed in forma pauperis (Docket Entry No.
application was deficient in that it did not include a
certified six month statement from the custodian of
plaintiff's inmate trust account. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(2). Therefore, an order (Docket Entry No. 3) was
entered granting the plaintiff thirty (30) days in which to
submit either the full filing fee or the aforementioned
the Court did not receive the filing fee or a certified
statement from the custodian of plaintiff's inmate trust
account within the specified period of time, an order (Docket
Entry No. 6) was entered denying the application to proceed
in forma pauperis. The plaintiff was assessed the filing fee,
a schedule was set up for the collection of the filing fee
from the plaintiff's inmate trust account, and this
action was dismissed for failure to comply with the
instructions of the Court and for want of prosecution.
McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 605
(6th Cir. 1997), abrogated on other
grounds, LaFountain v. Harry, 716 F.3d 944, 951
(6th Cir. 2013).
before the Court is a letter (Docket Entry No. 10) from the
plaintiff. In the letter, the plaintiff avers that she timely
sent to the Court a certified trust fund statement. She
speculates that, because the statement did not include her
case number, it was probably lost. Id. at pg. 1.
Attached to the letter are copies of the plaintiff's
complaint (id. at pgs. 14-20) and application to
proceed in forma pauperis (id. at pgs. 8-13). The
plaintiff asks the Court to “re-file” these
pleadings. Id. at pg. 2. In light of plaintiff's
request, the Court construes her letter as a motion to reopen
the instant action.
a § 1983 prisoner action can proceed in forma pauperis,
the Court is obliged to review the complaint to determine
whether it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a
claim. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
plaintiff brings this action against the Tennessee Department
of Correction; the Tennessee Prison for Women in Nashville;
the Mark Luttrell Correctional Center in Memphis; Tony
Parker, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of
Correction; Lakeisha Barbee, Health Administrator for the
Women's Therapeutic Residential Center in Henning,
Tennessee; MHM/Centurion, the health care provider at both
the Tennessee Prison for Women and the Mark Luttrell
Correctional Center; and two physicians at the Mark Luttrell
Correctional Center; seeking injunctive relief and damages.
to the complaint, the plaintiff suffers from paranoid
schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, a bi-polar
disorder and chronic depression. Docket Entry No. 10 at pg.
18. The plaintiff claims “that her medical treatment
has not been appropriately administered and that she has
suffered permanent damage as a result of improper drug
prescription as well as improper removal of the same
order to establish a claim for relief under § 1983, the
plaintiff must plead and prove that the defendants, while
acting under color of state law, deprived her of some right
or privilege secured by the Constitution or laws of the
United States. Parratt v. Taylor, 101 S.Ct. 1908,
Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.
See Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294 (1991). Under the
holding of Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104
(1976), “deliberate indifference to serious medical
needs of prisoners constitutes the ‘unnecessary and
wanton infliction of pain' .... proscribed by the Eighth
Amendment.” However, not every claim by a prisoner that
she has not received adequate medical care states a violation
of the Eighth Amendment. Id. 429 U.S. at 105. To
state a cognizable medical claim, a prisoner must allege acts
or omissions sufficiently harmful to evidence deliberate
indifference to serious medical needs. It is only such
indifference that can offend “evolving standards of
decency” in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
case, the plaintiff acknowledges that she has been receiving
treatment for her mental health problems. She has identified
two doctors (Dr. K. Colbert and Dr. Jeffers) as defendants
who have prescribed medication for her maladies. Nowhere in
the complaint do the plaintiff's factual allegations
suggest that the defendants have been deliberately
indifferent to her mental health needs. Rather, this dispute
arises over the adequacy of the care provided the plaintiff.
prisoner has received some medical attention and her claim is
a challenge to the adequacy of the care provided, federal
courts are generally reluctant to second guess medical
judgments and constitutionalize claims which sound in state
tort law. Hill v.Jones, 211 F.3d 1269
(6th Cir.2000). Medical malpractice does not
become a constitutional tort merely because the victim is a
prisoner. Estelle, supra at 429 U.S.
105-106. Therefore, the plaintiff has failed to describe
conduct resulting in a violation of federal law. Comstock
v. McCrary, 273 F.3d 693, 703 (6thCir.2001).
a violation of federal law, the plaintiff is unable to prove
every element of a § 1983 cause of action. Consequently,
the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). A reopening of this
case, therefore, would be futile. Accordingly, the plaintiffs
motion to reopen is hereby DENIED for that reason.
appeal of this ruling would not be taken in good faith.
Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 445-446
(1962). Therefore, the plaintiff is NOT certified to pursue
an appeal of ...