United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
DONALD E. MOORE, Plaintiff,
ANDERSON COUNTY DETENTION FACILITY, Defendant.
S. MATTICE, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Court is in receipt of a pro se prisoner's complaint
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 [Doc. 1] and two motions for
leave to proceed in forma pauperis [Docs. 2 and 4].
For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motions for
leave to proceed in forma pauperis [Docs. 2 and 4]
will be GRANTED, no process shall issue, and this action will
be DISMISSED for failure to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted under § 1983.
appears from the motions for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis [Docs. 2 and 4] that Plaintiff lacks sufficient
financial resources to pay the filing fee. Accordingly,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, Plaintiff's motions
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [Docs. 2 and
4] will be GRANTED.
Plaintiff is incarcerated in the Anderson County Detention
Facility, he will be ASSESSED the civil filing fee of
$350.00. The custodian of Plaintiff's inmate trust
account at the institution where he now resides will be
DIRECTED to submit to the Clerk, U.S. District Court, 800
Market Street, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902, as an initial
partial payment, whichever is the greater of: (a) twenty
percent (20%) of the average monthly deposits to
Plaintiff's inmate trust account; or (b) twenty percent
(20%) of the average monthly balance in his inmate trust
account for the six-month period preceding the filing of the
complaint. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1)(A) and (B).
Thereafter, the custodian of Plaintiff's inmate trust
account at the institution where he now resides shall submit
twenty percent (20%) of Plaintiff's preceding monthly
income (or income credited to 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. 28 U.S.C.
Clerk will be DIRECTED to send a copy of this Memorandum and
Order to the Sheriff of Anderson County to ensure that the
custodian of Plaintiff's inmate trust account complies
with the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act with regard to
payment of the filing fee. The Clerk will also be DIRECTED to
forward a copy of this Memorandum and Order to the
Court's financial deputy.
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”),
district courts must screen prisoner complaints and shall, at
any time, sua sponte dismiss any claims that are
frivolous or malicious, fail to state a claim for relief, or
are against a defendant who is immune. See, e.g., 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915(A); Benson v.
O'Brian, 179 F.3d 1014 (6th Cir. 1999). The
dismissal standard articulated by the Supreme Court in
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) and in
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554 (2007)
“governs dismissals for failure state a claim under [28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A] 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 an initial review
under the PLRA, 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). Courts liberally construe pro se pleadings
filed in civil rights cases and hold them to a less stringent
standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Haines
v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972).
order to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must establish that he was deprived of a federal
right by a person acting under color of state law. Braley
v. City of Pontiac, 906 F.2d 220, 223 (6th Cir. 1990)
(stating that “Section 1983 does not itself create any
constitutional rights; it creates a right of action for the
vindication of constitutional guarantees found
Allegations of the Complaint
alleges that on April 17, 2017, he received a letter from his
attorney that was postmarked April 3, 2017 [Doc. 1 p. 3-4].
Plaintiff states that the letter was not only two weeks from
the postmark date, it also had been opened outside of his
presence and taped shut [Id. at 4]. Plaintiff
asserts that this was a violation of his right to
confidential correspondence with his attorney and could have
jeopardized Plaintiff's legal case and representation
[Id.]. As relief, Plaintiff states that he wants to
have an attorney appointed and to file a lawsuit against
Anderson County Detention Facility [Id. at 5].
allegation that his mail was delayed and opened outside of
his presence on one occasion is insufficient to state a claim
for violation of his constitutional rights. Johnson v.
Wilkinson, 229 F.3d 1152, at *2 (6th Cir. August 11,
2000) (holding that one isolated incident of interference
with mail did not violate constitutional rights) (citing
Gardner v. Howard, 109 F.3d 427, 431 (8th Cir. 1997)).
to the extent that Plaintiff alleges that this mail incident
deprived him of his right of access to the Courts, Plaintiff
has not set forth any facts from which the Court can
plausibly infer that Plaintiff was prejudiced by the alleged
incident as required to state such a claim. Pilgrim v.
Littlefield, 92 F.3d 413, 416 (6th Cir. 1996) (holding
that a plaintiff “must plead and ...