United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
ORDER DENYING PENDING MOTIONS, DISMISSING CLAIMS, AND
GRANTING LEAVE TO AMEND
THOMAS ANDERSON CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
February 27, 2017, Plaintiff Willie Tolbert, an inmate at the
West Tennessee State Penitentiary (“WTSP”) in
Henning, Tennessee, filed pro se a Complaint
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 accompanied by a motion to
proceed in forma pauperis. The Court granted Tolbert
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).
(ECF No. 7.) The Clerk shall record the Defendants in this
case as the Tennessee Department of Correction
(“TDOC”); Nattely Voss, Medical Director; Denise
Clenna, Nurse; Tony Parker, TDOC Commissioner; Shawn
Phillips, Morgan County Correctional Complex
(“MCCX”) Warden; C/O First Name Unknown
(“FNU”) Glover; C/O FNU Beevis; Williams Reburn,
III; Jonathan Lebo, WTSP Warden; Sharon Rose; Jonathan
Bartlett, Sergeant; Dwight Welch; Warren Jennings, Inmate;
A.T.W. FNU Finch; FNU Binckley, Counselor; Tom
Kessler, M.D.; Captain FNU Charles; Lisa Brooks; and
Cassandra Hannah. Defendants are sued in their individual
capacities except for Defendants Glover, Beevis, and Reburn
who are sued in their official capacities only.
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 Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) pleadings standards
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). The Court accepts the Complaint's
“well-pleaded” factual allegations as true and
then determines whether the allegations “plausibly
suggest an entitlement to relief.'” Williams v.
Curtin, 631 F.3d 380, 383 (6th Cir. 2011) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 681). Conclusory allegations
“are not entitled to the assumption of truth, ”
and legal conclusions “must be supported by factual
allegations.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.
Ultimately, a complaint need only contain “a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Rule 8(a)(2)
nevertheless requires factual allegations to make a
“showing, rather than a blanket assertion, of
entitlement to relief.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at
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)). Even so,
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). And
district courts are not required “to ferret out the
strongest cause of action on behalf of pro se
litigants.” Young Bok Song v. Gipson, 423
F.App'x 506, 510 (6th Cir. 2011). In the final analysis,
a court “cannot create a claim which [a plaintiff] has
not spelled out in his pleading.” Brown v.
Matauszak, 415 F.App'x 608, 612-13 (6th Cir. 2011).
filed his Complaint on the official form for actions under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Section 1983 provides as follows:
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 . . . .
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
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 18(a), “[a] party
asserting a claim . . . may join, as independent or
alternative claims, as many claims as it has against an
opposing party.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 18(a). Rule 20(a)(2)
provides that persons may be joined in one action as
(A) any right to relief is asserted against them jointly,
severally, or in the alternative with respect to or arising
out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series ...