United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Columbia Division
ZACHARY BILL CHAFFINS, No. 458927, Plaintiff,
CHERRY LINDAMOOD, et al., Defendants.
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Bill Chaffins, an inmate of the South Central Correctional
Facility in Clifton, Tennessee, filed this pro se, in
forma pauperis action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against Cherry Lindamood, Jason Medlin, Brandon Maloney, Ryan
Deathrige, Rhonda Staggs, Cookie Staggs, and Jesse James,
alleging violations of the Plaintiff's civil rights.
(Doc. No. 1). As relief, the Plaintiff seeks injunctive
relief and damages. (Id. at 5).
complaint is before the Court for an initial review pursuant
to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.
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
brings his complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Title
42 U.S.C. § 1983 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. § 1983.
complaint alleges that, while an inmate of the South Central
Correctional Facility, the Plaintiff has been held in
segregation for eleven months during which time he has not
been permitted to make telephone calls to his attorney,
attend religious services, practice his religion, wear shoes
including when outdoors during inclement weather, watch
television, or utilize a law library. His visits with family
are limited to once a month and must be scheduled in advance.
According to the complaint, the Plaintiff has received no
disciplinary infractions and should not have been housed in
segregation with these restrictions. The complaint further
alleges that the conditions of confinement at the facility
are unsafe and include mold in the cells and exposed live
wires in the showers.
complaint also alleges that the Plaintiff has filed formal or
informal grievances concerning his segregation that were
ignored by Defendants Lindamood, Maloney, James, C. Staggs,
R. Staggs, Medlin, and Deathridge. According to the
complaint, after the Plaintiff aired his grievances, Officer
f/n/u Bright “jerked [the Plaintiff] out of bed . . .
and told [him] he'd better keep his mouth shut.”
(Doc. No. 1 at 4-5, 7-9).
Section 1983 official capacity claims for ...