Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Jones v. Centurion

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee

August 21, 2017

TOMMY EARL JONES, Plaintiff,
v.
CENTURION, et al., Defendants.

          REEVES JUDGE

          ORDER

          SHIRLEY JUDGE

         On June 13, 2016, Plaintiff Tommy Earl Jones, a pro se prisoner, initiated this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 [Doc. 2]. Now before the Court are Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. 1], two motions to voluntarily dismiss particular defendants and proposed defendants [Docs. 18, 19], and two supplemental briefs [Docs. 6, 7], which the Court construes, respectively, as a motion to amend pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) and a motion to supplement pursuant to Rule 15(d). Also before the Court are a motion for summary judgment filed by Defendant Sonia Teles [Doc. 10], and a motion to dismiss and motion for leave to file documents under seal filed by Defendants Curry Butler, Steven Wheeler, and Centurion [Docs. 14, 16].

         For the reasons set forth herein, the Court will GRANT Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. 1], DENY AS PREMATURE the motions filed by Defendants Teles, Butler, Wheeler, and Centurion [Docs. 10, 14, 16], GRANT Plaintiff's motion to voluntarily dismiss Butler and Wheeler [Doc. 18], DENY Plaintiff's construed motion to amend his Complaint [Doc. 6], DENY AS MOOT Plaintiff's motion to dismiss Andrews and Sator from this action [Doc. 19], and DENY Plaintiff's construed motion to supplement his Complaint [Doc.7]. Finally, the Court will DISMISS this action for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915(A).[1]

         I. MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED IFP

         Plaintiff has moved for leave to proceed in forma pauperis in his instant suit [Doc. 1]. Pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996 (“PLRA”), a prisoner may not bring a civil action in forma pauperis:

if the prisoner has, on 3 or more prior occasions, while incarcerated or detained in any facility, brought an action . . . that was dismissed on the grounds that it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, unless the prisoner is under imminent danger of serious physical injury.

28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).

         Prior to filing the instant lawsuit, Plaintiff has filed at least three civil rights actions that were dismissed on the grounds set forth in § 1915(g). See Jones v. Raye, Case No. 3:12-cv-1230, Doc. 8 (M.D. Tenn. Nov. 27, 2012) (dismissed for failure to state a claim); Jones v. Sator, Case No. 3:12-cv-519, Doc. 4 (M.D. Tenn. May 30, 2012) (dismissed for failure to state a claim); Jones v. Wall, Case No. 3:09-cv-1037, Doc. 4 (M.D. Tenn. Nov. 3, 2009) (dismissed for failure to state a claim). Accordingly, Plaintiff has accumulated “three strikes” under § 1915(g), and he may not proceed in forma pauperis in the instant action unless he can establish that he is in “imminent danger of serious physical injury.”

         A plaintiff asserting that he qualifies for the imminent danger exception must allege a threat or prison condition that is “real and proximate, ” and the danger of serious physical injury from that threat or condition “must exist at the time the complaint is filed[.]”[2] Vandiver v. Prison Health Servs, Inc., 727 F.3d 580, 585 (6th Cir. 2013). The allegations in the complaint “must be sufficient to allow a court to draw reasonable inferences that the danger exists.” Id.

         The Sixth Circuit has specifically addressed the applicability of the imminent danger exception to a plaintiff alleging a danger of serious harm due to failure to treat a chronic illness:

“[A] plaintiff who alleges a danger of serious harm due to a failure to treat a chronic illness or condition satisfies the imminent-danger exception under § 1915(g), as incremental harm that culminates in a serious physical injury may present a danger equal to harm that results from an injury that occurs all at once. We reject the notion that the inclusion of the word “imminent” in § 1915(g) allows us to grant IFP status only after a plaintiff's condition has deteriorated such that the next instance of maltreatment would result in a serious physical injury. Imposing such a restriction would ignore the progressive and worsening nature of injuries often associated with chronic illness and would result in unnecessary suffering by those afflicted with these conditions. We thus believe that for the purposes of § 1915(g), an individual afflicted with a chronic illness that left untreated would result in serious injury faces imminent danger when the illness is left untreated.

Id. at 587.

         In two other cases, district courts have allowed this Plaintiff's claims to proceed based on the imminent danger exception to the three-strike rule. See Jones v. Clement, Case No. 3:16-cv-257-PLR-CCS, Doc. 24 (E.D. Tenn. Feb. 22, 2017); Jones v. Benitez, Case No. 2:15-cv-2082, Doc. 5 (W.D. Tenn. June 24, 2015). Specifically, this Court previously found that Plaintiff had “sufficiently alleged that he faced an imminent danger of serious physical injury” due to allegations that he was inadequately treated for pain related to his Crohn's disease, a chronic illness. See Jones v. Clement, Case No. 3:16-cv-257-PLR-CCS, Doc. 24. Because this case also involves allegations related to Plaintiff's treatment for Crohn's disease (or lack thereof), the Court again must find that Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged that he faced imminent danger of serious physical injury from his mistreatment and unaddressed pain at the time he filed the instant Complaint. Plaintiff has thus demonstrated that he is entitled to exemption from the three-strike rule in this case.

         It appears from the motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis that Plaintiff lacks sufficient financial resources to pay the $350.00 filing fee. Accordingly, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. 1] will be GRANTED.

         Because Plaintiff is an inmate at the Northeast Correctional Complex, he is herewith ASSESSED the civil filing fee of $350.00. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1)(A) and (B), the custodian of Plaintiff's inmate trust account at the institution where he now resides is directed to submit to the Clerk, U.S. District Court, 800 Market Street, Knoxville, Tennessee, 37902, as an initial partial payment, whichever is 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 Plaintiff's inmate trust account for the six-month period preceding the filing of the complaint.

         Thereafter, the custodian 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. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).

         The Clerk is DIRECTED to send a copy of this Memorandum and Order to the Warden of Northeast Correctional Complex, the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Correction, and the Attorney General for the State of Tennessee to ensure that the custodian of Plaintiff's inmate trust account complies with that portion of the Prison Litigation Reform Act relating to payment of the filing fee. The Clerk is further DIRECTED to forward a copy of this Memorandum and Order to the Court's financial deputy.

         II. PLAINTIFF'S ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.