United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
PAUL L. HAWKINS, No. 366212, Plaintiff,
METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT NASHVILLE, et al., Defendants.
A. Trauger United States District Judge
Hawkins, an inmate of the Metro-Davidson County Detention
Facility in Nashville, Tennessee, filed this pro se, in
forma pauperis action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against Metropolitan Government Nashville/Davidson County,
Tennessee, Justin Chisolm, Warden Todd Thomas, and Dr. f/n/u
Bridges, alleging violations of the Plaintiff's civil and
constitutional rights. (Docket No. 1). As relief, the
Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief and damages. (Id.
at 6). The plaintiff supplemented his complaint on August 15,
2017 (Docket No. 4) and on September 20, 2017 (Docket No. 6).
Plaintiff's complaint as amended is before the Court for
an initial review pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform
Act (“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)
PLRA Screening Standard
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).
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)).
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).
Section 1983 Standard
brings his complaint 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.
complaint alleges that, on August 26, 2015, a Nashville
police officer entered the plaintiff's home without a
warrant and without the consent of the plaintiff and arrested
the plaintiff. On August 31, 2015, the Metropolitan
Government of Nashville/Davidson County, Tennessee
transferred the plaintiff to the custody of Core Civic. The
plaintiff believes that this transfer was illegal.
March of 2016, the plaintiff developed severe itching. The
plaintiff sought and received antibiotic treatment for the
itching by a member of the Core Civic medical staff. However,
the itching did not improve, and the plaintiff sought
additional medical treatment. The staff physician gave the
plaintiff a lotion and Benadryl and, when the plaintiff's
symptoms still did not improve, the staff physician gave the
plaintiff a steroid pill. According to the complaint, the
staff physician had never examined the Plaintiff up to this
point. The plaintiff's itching continued, and the staff
physician performed a lab test of the plaintiff's blood.
After receiving the lab results, the staff physician
discontinued treatment of the plaintiff, although the
Plaintiff's itching intensified. The complaint alleges
that, at this time, the Plaintiff “feared that his life
was about to come to an end.” (Docket No. 1 at p. 17).
Later, the staff physician prescribed the lotion and Benadryl
again to the plaintiff.
plaintiff was told by the sick call nurse and the staff
physician that the plaintiff did not have scabies or bed
bugs; a nurse told the plaintiff that he was suffering from
some type of allergic reaction. When the plaintiff was
examined again, the staff physician prescribed the plaintiff
hydroxyzine, an antihistamine, and an anti-anxiety pill. The
plaintiff filed a grievance concerning his medical treatment,
and Warden Todd Thomas determined that the plaintiff had been
given proper medical treatment. In the meantime, the
plaintiff procured treatment for scabies on “the inmate
black market” and his itching resolved.
March 13, 2017, the plaintiff wrote a letter to the Tennessee
Board of Parole stating that he was being illegally housed at
Core Civic's Metro-Davidson Detention Facility. He
subsequently wrote to the Tennessee Department of Correction,
voicing the same concern, and initiated institutional