United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
DANNY E. ROGERS, Plaintiff,
JAMES M. HOLLOWAY, et al., Defendants.
ORDER DENYING PENDING MOTIONS, DISMISSING CLAIMS,
CERTIFYING AN APPEAL WOULD NOT BE TAKEN IN GOOD FAITH AND
NOTIFYING PLAINTIFF OF APPELLATE FILING FEE
THOMAS ANDERSON, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
February 8, 2016, Plaintiff Danny E. Rogers, an inmate at the
South Central Correctional Facility (“SCCF”) in
Clifton, Tennessee, filed pro se a Complaint
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 accompanied by a motion to
proceed in forma pauperis. Rogers's Complaint
contains allegations against defendants at the West Tennessee
State Penitentiary (“WTSP”) in Henning,
Tennessee. On May 12, 2016, the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Tennessee granted Rogers leave to
proceed in forma pauperis, assessed the civil filing
fee pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(a)-(b), and
transferred this matter to this Court for all further
proceedings. The Clerk shall record the defendants as Former
Warden James M. Holloway (“Holloway”), Assistant
Warden of Security Stanley Dickerson
(“Dickerson”), Lieutenant Scott Wilson
(“Wilson”), and Correction Officer
(“C/O”) First Name Unknown (“FNU”)
Scrubs (“Scrubs”). All defendants are sued in their
individual and official capacities.
alleges that on July 24, 2015, he was assigned to Unit 10,
Bravo Pod, where Scrubs was the assigned pod officer and
Wilson was the unit manager. Rogers alleges Scrubs had the
responsibility of opening and closing the Bravo Pod front
door, allowing inmates to enter and leave the pod. Scrubs was
also responsible for monitoring color coded wrist bands which
identified each inmate's assigned housing unit and pod.
date, an inspection of uniforms and cells was conducted by
Wilson. During inspection, inmates were required to stand
with their hands down at their sides and their cell doors
open. Rogers alleges that at the end of the inspection, three
known gang members assaulted him. (Id.) Two of the
assailants wore white bands identifying them as being housed
in Bravo Pod, while the third wore a green band identifying
his pod assignment as Alpha Pod. (Id.) The inmate
from Alpha Pod held Rogers while the other inmates stabbed
him in the left shoulder and lower back, puncturing
Roger's lung. (Id.) The Complaint alleges that
Scrubs stood and watched the incident for ten to fifteen
seconds before pushing the emergency panic button, and that
he also failed to use his can of mace to break up the
assault. (Id.) WTSP medical staff examined
Rogers's injuries to determine the seriousness of his
wounds and transferred Rogers to the nearest hospital for
treatment for his collapsed lung. (Id. at 7.)
on these factual allegations, Rogers contends that Scrubs and
Wilson failed to monitor the inmates' identification
bands and thereby failed to prevent the assault.
(Id.) According to Rogers, each defendant knew WTSP
was a violent and dangerous institution with a history of
inmates assaulting staff and other inmates, and that inmates
housed in Unit 10 Alpha Pod and Bravo Pod were the most
problematic. (Id. at 8.) Rogers further alleges that
Defendants Holloway and Dickerson put Unit 10 under
“strict control movement” for purposes of control
and monitoring. However, Holloway and Dickerson made the
decision to remove from the unit officers who had received
specialized strike force training. Rogers contends this
decision caused the problems in Unit 10 to reoccur.
(Id.) Rogers additionally alleges that he filed a
grievance on January 16, 2015, detailing problems with gang
members in the penitentiary and that Dickerson was aware of
this issue. (Id. at 9, see also Grievance
No. 10078, ECF No. 1-3 at 3-5.) On February 3, 2015, Rogers
also wrote a letter to Holloway about officials allowing
inmates to be in housing units to which they were not
assigned. (Id., see also ECF No. 1-4.) Rogers seeks
compensatory and punitive damages against each Defendant
(Id. at 10.)
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 Complaint in this case states a claim
on which relief may be granted, the Court applies the
pleading standards under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6), announced in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 677-79 (2009) and 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.”).
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, 415 F. App'x 608,
612-13 (6th Cir. 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'”); Young Bok ...