United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
ORDER DISMISSING CLAIMS AND GRANTING LEAVE TO
THOMAS ANDERSON, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
11, 2016, Plaintiff Develle Johnson, who at the time of
filing was incarcerated at the Shelby County Criminal Justice
Complex in Memphis, Tennessee, filed pro se a
Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 accompanied by a
motion to proceed in forma pauperis. On July 15,
2016, the Court granted Johnson leave to proceed in forma
pauperis and assessed the civil filing fee pursuant to
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(a)-(b). The Clerk shall record the
defendants as Shelby County and Aramark Food Service.
alleges that Shelby County and Aramark Food Service
(“Aramark”) served him such poor food and drink
that he became sick and began to suffer from headaches and
dizziness. Johnson seeks a court order directing the County
and Aramark to improve the quality of the nutrition served to
inmates at the jail.
Court is required to screen prisoner complaints and to
dismiss any complaint, or any portion thereof, if the
frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted; or
seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see also 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
assessing whether the Complaint in this case states a claim
on which relief may be granted, the Court applies the
standards for pleadings 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'”) (internal quotation
omitted); Young Bok Song v. Gipson, 423 F. App'x
506, 510 (6th Cir. 2011) (“[W]e decline to
affirmatively require courts to ferret out the strongest
cause of action on behalf of pro se
filed his Complaint on the court-supplied form for actions
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Section 1983 provides:
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or
the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be
subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person
within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any
rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution
and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action
at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for
redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial
officer for an act or omission taken in such officer's
judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted
unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory
relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any
Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of
Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege two elements: (1) a deprivation of rights secured by
the “Constitution and laws” of the United States
(2) committed by a defendant acting under color of state law.
Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 150
(1970). In this case Johnson alleges that Defendant failed to
serve wholesome food or beverages to inmates and detainees at
the Shelby County Jail. The Eighth Amendment requires prison
officials to provide inmates with a diet that is
nutritionally adequate for the ...