United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Winchester
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
the Court is Plaintiff's pro se complaint for
violation of civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
[Doc. 2] and motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis [Doc. 1]. For the reasons discussed below,
Plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis
[Doc. 1] will be GRANTED and Plaintiff will
be granted leave to file an amended complaint.
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), any
prisoner who files a complaint in a district court must
tender the full filing fee or file (1) an application to
proceed in forma pauperis without prepayment of fees
and (2) a certified copy of his inmate trust account for the
previous six-month period. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2).
Plaintiff submitted a fully compliant application to proceed
in forma pauperis on October 10, 2017 [Doc. 1], and
it appears from that application that he lacks sufficient
financial resources to pay the $350.00 filing fee.
Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed
in forma pauperis [Doc. 1] is
GRANTED and, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915, the Clerk is DIRECTED to file this
action without the prepayment of costs or fees or security
therefor as of the date the Complaint was received.
Plaintiff is in custody at the Warren County Jail, he is
herewith ASSESSED the civil filing fee of
$350.00. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2), 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, 900 Georgia Avenue, Room 309,
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402, twenty percent (20%) of the
Plaintiff's preceding monthly income (or income credited
to the 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. 28 U.S.C. §
Clerk is DIRECTED to send a copy of this
Memorandum to the Warren County Jail to ensure that the
custodian of plaintiff's trust account complies with that
portion of the Prison Litigation Reform Act relating to
payment of the filing fee. The Clerk is
DIRECTED to forward a copy of this
Memorandum to the Court's financial deputy.
currently in custody at the Warren County Jail, filed this
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on October 10, 2017
against Defendants Warren County Sheriff's Department and
Eddie Knowles, an administrator at the Warren County Jail.
[Doc. 2 p. 3]. Plaintiff brings this action after being
denied a furlough for surgery, infringement upon the free
exercise of his religion, and not being given a furlough to
attend his mother's funeral [Id. at 3-4].
Plaintiff alleges in his complaint as follows.
has been incarcerated at the Warren County Jail for over a
year [Id. at 3]. He claims that he was scheduled to
have surgery to fix nerve damage on his hand prior to his
incarceration [Id. at 3-4]. After Plaintiff's
incarceration and subsequent missed surgery, his wife
rescheduled the surgery [Id. at 4]. However, jail
officials told Plaintiff that in order for the surgery to be
performed, he would have to receive a furlough from a judge
[Id.]. After Plaintiff's request for a furlough
was denied, he claims that his sentencing judge stated that
his medical issues would have to be taken care of by the
Warren County Jail [Id.]. Plaintiff alleges that
jail officials claimed that no action could be done without
the furlough [Id.].
also claims that as a practicing Muslim, he has been denied
the right to practice his religious beliefs [Id.].
He asserts that he told jail officials that he was a Muslim,
and “ask[ed] for the things I need.”
[Id.]. However, Plaintiff alleges that he has not
gotten any response to his requests for over a year
[Id.]. Lastly, Plaintiff claims that his
constitutional rights were deprived when he was not allowed
to go to his mother's funeral, despite the fact that his
wife was told that he would be allowed to go and other
inmates have been allowed to go to funerals [Id. at
4-5]. Plaintiff requests damages for his pain and suffering,
and for the Court to “make [his] situation right the
best way possibl[e].” [Id. at 5].
Sua Sponte Screening Standard
the PLRA, district courts must screen prisoner complaints and
sua sponte dismiss those that are frivolous or
malicious, fail to state a claim for relief or are against a
defendant who is immune. See Benson v. O'Brian,
179 F.3d 1014, 1015-16 (6th Cir. 1999) (“Congress
directed the federal courts to review or ‘screen'
certain complaints sua sponte and to dismiss those
that failed to state a claim upon which relief could be
granted [or] . . . sought monetary relief from a defendant
immune from such relief.”). The dismissal standard
articulated by the Supreme Court in Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) and in Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554 (2007) “governs
dismissals for failure to state a claim under [28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A] 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 an initial review
under the PLRA, 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). However, “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, 561
F.3d 478, 488 (6th Cir. 2009) (citing Gunasekera v.
Irwin, 551 F.3d 461, 466 (6th Cir. 2009) (citations
§ 1983 Standard
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the plaintiff must
establish that he was deprived of a federal right by a person
acting under color of state law. Black v. Barberton
Citizens Hospital, 134 F.3d 1265, 1267 (6th Cir. 1998);
O'Brien v. City of Grand Rapids, 23 F.3d 990,
995 (6th Cir. 1994); Russo v. City of Cincinnati,
953 F.2d 1036, 1042 (6th Cir. 1992); see also Braley v.
City of Pontiac, 906 F.2d 220, 223 (6th Cir. 1990)
("Section 1983 does not itself create any constitutional
rights; it creates a right of action for the vindication of
constitutional guarantees found elsewhere."). In other
words, the plaintiff must plead facts sufficient to show: (1)
the deprivation of a right, privilege, or immunity secured to
him by the United States Constitution or other federal law;
and (2) that the individual responsible for such ...