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Green v. Woodall

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Columbia Division

October 26, 2017

EWING GREEN, IV, # 0513785 Plaintiff,
JASON WOODALL, et al., Defendants.



         Ewing Green IV is an inmate of the Turney Center Industrial Prison in Only, Tennessee, brings this pro se, in forma pauperis action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Jason Woodall, Benjamin Beane, Cherry Lindamood, Shane McClain, f/n/u Buttram, f/n/u Harris, and f/n/u Polly, alleging violations of the Plaintiff's federal civil and constitutional rights. (Doc. No. 1). As relief, the Plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment and compensatory and punitive damages. (Id. at 13).

         The 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.

         I. PLRA Screening Standard

         Under 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).

         The 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)).

         Although 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).

         II. Section 1983 Standard

         The Plaintiff brings his federal claims 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.

         III. Alleged Facts

         According to the complaint, while in the custody of the South Central Correctional Facility, on August 16, 2016, the Plaintiff was stabbed by another inmate after Defendant Corrections Officer Harris permitted that inmate to enter the Plaintiff's housing unit. The complaint alleges that, “at a minimum, Defendant Harris was supposed to have stopped his attacker from even entering this area due to the offender not living in this area. Plaintiff contends that this was a dereliction of duties on behalf of Defendant Harris.” (Doc. No. 1 at 5). The complaint also alleges that Defendant Harris allowed the attacker to flee the scene. (Id.)

         The Plaintiff sought medical attention, and Defendant Polly, a case manager, called for help. The complaint alleges that it took approximately fifteen to twenty minutes before anyone arrived to assist the Plaintiff. According to the complaint, “due to the severity of the inflicted stab wounds Plaintiff was forced to drink three (3) cups of his own blood in order to sustain consciousness.” (Id. at 6). While the Plaintiff was being placed on the stretcher and taken to the prison infirmary, Defendant Harris told the guards: “Go ahead and let him die.” (Id.)

         The Plaintiff was examined by infirmary staff and then transported by ambulance to Wayne County General Hospital. There, the Plaintiff received some treatment but, due to the severity of his injuries, was transferred to Meharry General Hospital. The Plaintiff was admitted and treated at Meharry General Hospital for four days.

         The Plaintiff filed a grievance concerning the August 16, 2016, incident on August 23, 2016, and Defendant Staggs did not file the grievance until September 7, 2016. The complaint alleges that the Plaintiff is unsatisfied with how his ...

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