United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Columbia Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Court is in receipt of Muhammed Muhammed's pro
se prisoner Complaint (Doc. No. 1) brought pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983, and an Application to proceed in forma
pauperis (Doc. No. 2).
is an inmate at the South Central Correctional Center
(“SCCC”) in Clifton, Tennessee. It appears from
his Application that the Plaintiff lacks sufficient financial
resources from which to pay the fee required to file the
Complaint. Accordingly, Plaintiff's Application is
GRANTED. The Clerk shall file the Complaint in forma
pauperis. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).
Plaintiff is herewith ASSESSED the civil filing fee of
$350.00. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1)(A) and (B),
the custodian of the Plaintiff's inmate trust account at
the institution where he now resides is directed to submit to
the Clerk of Court, as an initial partial payment, whichever
is greater of:
(a) twenty percent (20%) of the average monthly deposits to
the Plaintiff's inmate trust account; or
(b) twenty percent (20%) of the average monthly balance in
the Plaintiff's inmate trust account for the prior six
the custodian shall submit twenty percent (20%) of the
Plaintiff's preceding monthly income (or income credited
to the Plaintiff's trust account for the preceding
month), but only when such monthly income exceeds ten dollars
($10.00), until the full filing fee of three hundred fifty
dollars ($350.00) as authorized under 28 U.S.C. §
1914(a) has been paid to the Clerk of Court. 28 U.S.C. §
Plaintiff brings this action against Tony Parker,
Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Correction;
Cherry Lindamood, Warden at SCCC; Geneva Roberts, an Internal
Affairs officer at SCCC; Rhonda Staggs, a Unit Manager at
SCCC; Leigh Staggs, the Grievance Chairperson at SCCC; Hank
Inman, the Security Threat Group Coordinator at SCCC; Ryan
Deatherage, the Chief of Unit Management; Jessie James, a
counselor at SCCC; Jason Woodall, described by the Plaintiff
as Commissioner of Core Civic (Doc. No. 1 at 6); and Cole
Turman, the TDOC Liaison at SCCC; seeking damages.
alleges that Hank Inman “got some information from a
confidential informant” that the Plaintiff's life
was in danger. (Id. at 7). As a consequence, on
November 7, 2016, the Plaintiff was placed in protective
custody. (Id. at 8). Apparently, he has remained in
protective custody since that date.
Plaintiff raises three claims for the Court's
consideration. First, he alleges that he is being forced to
remain in protective custody in violation of his
constitutional rights. Second, he claims that a policy has
been initiated that restricts his contact with an attorney to
written correspondence only, in violation of his right of
access to the courts. Finally, he asserts that the conditions
of his confinement in protective custody are harsh and rise
to the level of cruel and unusual punishment. More
specifically, the Plaintiff alleges that he is forced to use
a small shower with out lighting (live wires hanging from the
ceiling in the shower), his cell is covered with mold, he is
denied visitation and is only allowed one telephone call per
prisoner has no inherent constitutional right to be released
from protective custody upon request. Howard v.
Grinage, 6 F.3d 410, 412 (6th Cir. 1993),
effectively overruled on other grounds by Sandin v.
Conner, 515 U.S. 472 (1995); see also Meachum v.
Fano, 427 U.S. 215, 224 (1976)(a prisoner has no
protected liberty interest in a particular security
classification). It is enough that the Plaintiff's
segregation does not, in and of itself, pose an atypical and
significant hardship on him in relation to the ordinary
incidents of prison life. Sandin, 515 U.S. at 484.
Plaintiff acknowledges that prison officials had a legitimate
reason for placing him in protective custody. There has been
no showing that the threat to the Plaintiff that resulted in
his segregation no longer exists. He does not suggest that he
has been denied any procedural due process required by his
segregation. Therefore, the Plaintiff's continued
confinement in protective custody does not state a claim upon
which relief can be granted. As a result, this claim is
DISMISSED. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
Plaintiff next claims that the initiation of a policy that
restricts his contact with an attorney is violative of his
right of access to the courts. To state a claim for §
1983 relief, the Plaintiff must plead and prove that the
defendants, while acting under color of state law, deprived
him of some right guaranteed by the Constitution or laws of
the United States. Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527,
prisoner has a First Amendment right of access to the courts.
Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817, 821-823 (1977). To
insure the meaningful exercise of this right, prison
officials are under an affirmative obligation to provide
inmates with access to an adequate law library, Walker v.
Mintzes, 771 F.2d 920 (6th Cir.1985), or some alternate
form of legal assistance. Procunier v. Martinez, 416
U.S. 396, 419 (1974). It is not enough, however, for the
Plaintiff to simply allege that an adequate law library or
some alternate form of legal assistance has not been made
available to him. He must also show that the defendants'
conduct in some way prejudiced the filing or prosecution of a
legal matter. Walker, 771 F.2d at 932; Kensu v.
Haigh, 87 F.3d 172, 175 (6th Cir.1996).
instance, the Plaintiff has alleged no such prejudice arising
from the initiation of the new policy. In the absence of any
prejudice, the Plaintiff has failed to state an actionable
claim for relief. His right of access to the ...