United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
ORDER PARTIALLY DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING
THAT PROCESS BE ISSUED AND SERVED ON DEFENDANTS JONES AND
THOMAS ANDERSON CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
August 5, 2016, Plaintiff Caleb Anderson Taylor, an inmate at
the Northwest Correctional Complex (“NWCX”) in
Tiptonville, Tennessee, filed pro se a Complaint
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 accompanied by a motion for leave
to proceed in forma pauperis. On August 10, 2016,
the Court granted Taylor leave to proceed in forma
pauperis and assessed the civil filing fee pursuant to
the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(a)-(b). Taylor's claims arise from his imprisonment
at West Tennessee State Penitentiary (“WTSP”) in
Henning, Tennessee, making venue proper in this District. The
Clerk shall record Defendants in this case as WTSP Officer
Markus Jones, WTSP Sergeant Billy Washington, and the
Tennessee Department of Correction (“TDOC”).
alleges that on September 11, 2015, he was in protective
custody at WTSP and housed in a cell without working cameras.
(Compl. at 3.) In response to some unspecified form of
mistreatment or conflict, Taylor decided to pack up his
property and advised Officer Matthew Smith, who is not a
party to this action, that he was refusing his cell
assignment pursuant to TDOC policy. (Id.) Officer
Smith called Defendants Jones and Washington and requested
that they remove Taylor to segregation. (Id.) Taylor
alleges that when Jones and Washington arrived, Taylor
insisted on exercising his right to refuse his cell
assignment. (Id.) Jones responded by telling Taylor
that Taylor could either go back to his assigned cell or
Jones would use force to return Taylor to his cell.
(Id.) Jones proceeded to put Taylor back in his cell
Jones returned Taylor to the cell, Taylor kicked the cell
sink off the wall and broke the cell window. (Id.)
Jones and Washington were called away in the mean time to
handle a fight between other inmates. (Id. at 4.)
When Jones and Washington returned to Taylor's cell, they
told Taylor to sit at his desk and then opened the door to
the cell. (Id.) Jones and Washington then commanded
Taylor to get up. (Id.) Taylor slowly stood up and
raised his hands with both palms up to indicate to Jones and
Washington that he did not have a weapon. (Id.) When
Taylor told Jones and Washington that he did not want any
problems, Jones allegedly responded, “Shut the fuck up
and put your hands behind your back.” (Id.)
then moved one of his hands behind his back at which point
Jones and Washington rushed toward Taylor, grabbed
Taylor's other arm, and slammed Taylor's head into
the wall several times while stating, “Did we not tell
you to shut the fuck up and chill out?” (Id.)
Taylor further alleges that he moved his free hand to shield
his head as both Jones and Washington slammed his head into
the desk. (Id.) According to the Complaint, Jones
pulled Taylor's arm over his head in such a way that
Jones fractured Taylor's humerus. (Id., see
also Clinical Restrictions, ECF No. 1-3 at 3.) Taylor
claims that he required surgery to correct the fracture but
had his request for treatment at the Lois M. DeBerry Special
Needs Facility denied. (Id. at 4-5, see
also Inmate Inquiry dated Mar. 7, 2016, ECF No. 1-2 at 4
& Grievance No. 2016-4, ECF NO. 1-4 at 19-24.)
alleges that he attempted to file grievances against Jones
and Washington but was unable to file them for some
unexplained reason. (Id. at 5.) Taylor states that
he has suffered from mental health issues all his life.
(Id.) Taylor is suing Jones and Washington for
violations of his mental health rights and assault on a
mentally ill inmate. (Id.) Taylor seeks compensatory
damages or, in the alternative, a reduction of his sentence.
(Id. at 6.)
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 555 n.3.
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 ...