United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Columbia Division
KEVIS HARPER, et al., No. 168040, Plaintiffs
TONY PARKER, et al. Defendants.
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Harper and Michael Mills, inmates of the Turney Center
Correctional Complex in Only, Tennessee, along with Nico
Farmer, an inmate of the West Tennessee State Prison in
Henning, Tennessee, filed this joint pro se action
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Tony Parker, CCA, Cherry
Lindamood, SCCC Pevahouse Disciplinary, Geneva Roberts, Ronda
Staggs, Leigh Staggs, f/n/u Vasqnillova, Don Bright, f/n/u
Tanner, f/n/u Bridges, and f/n/u Schultz, alleging violations
of his federal civil rights. (Doc. No. 1). They also filed a
motion for injunctive relief (Doc. No. 2), a motion for class
certification (Doc. No. 3), and a motion for release of
medical records and production of incident reports. (Doc. No.
Motion to Amend
Court construed the Plaintiffs' submission entitled
“Civil Rights 42 U.S.C. 1983" on April 5, 2017
(Doc. No. 15) as a motion to amend the complaint. (Doc. No.
18). See LaFountain v. Harry, 716 F.3d 944, 951
(6th Cir. 2013)(a district court can allow a
plaintiff to amend his complaint even when the complaint is
subject to dismissal under the Prison Litigation Reform
Act's screening requirements for prisoner and in
forma pauperis suits).
15(a) (2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states that
leave to amend should be freely given “when justice so
requires.” In deciding whether to grant a motion to
amend, courts should consider undue delay in filing, lack of
notice to the opposing party, bad faith by the moving party,
repeated failure to cure deficiencies by previous amendments,
undue prejudice to the opposing party, and futility of
amendment. Brumbalough v. Camelot Care Ctrs., Inc.,
427 F.3d 996, 1001 (6th Cir. 2005). “Amendment of a
complaint is futile when the proposed amendment would not
permit the complaint to survive a motion to dismiss.”
Miller v. Calhoun Cnty., 408 F.3d 803, 817 (6th
Cir.2005) (citing Neighborhood Dev. Corp. v. Advisory
Council on Historic Pres., 632 F.2d 21, 23 (6th
proposed amendment complaint (Doc. No. 15) is largely
identical to the original complaint (Doc. No. 1). There
appears to be no undue prejudice to the opposing parties by
permitting the Plaintiffs to amend their complaint at this
time; no Defendant has been served. Moreover, as explained
below, the amendment is not futile in all respects. The Court
therefore will grant the motion to amend and screen the
amended complaint, as informed by the original complaint,
pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and
PLRA Screening Standard
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).
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)).
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).
Section 1983 Standard
bring their claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 that
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.
complaint alleges generally that the conditions of
confinement for administratively segregated “protective
custody” inmates housed at the South Central
Correctional Facility are inferior to the conditions of
confinement for other inmates held at the same facility and
include, but are not limited to, the presence of rats,
unsanitary ripped mattresses, moldy showers and cells,
exposed electrical wiring, asbestos, and inadequate heat.
(Doc. No. 1 at 2; Doc. No. 15 at). In addition, the complaint
alleges that, as punishment and in retaliation for
complaining about the conditions of their confinement, the
segregated inmates are not receiving ...