United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
Bruce Guyton, Magistrate Judge.
R. MCDONOUGH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
filed by Asata Lowe (“Plaintiff”) on October 16,
2017 [Doc. 2]. In addition to the complaint, Plaintiff filed
a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis
[Doc. 1], a motion in equity [Doc. 3], a request to issue
summons and demand jury trial [Doc. 6], and a motion for
seizure of person and/or property to secure satisfaction of
the potential judgment [Doc. 7]. Based on the foregoing,
Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis [Doc. 1] will be GRANTED, and
this action will be DISMISSED for failing to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Accordingly,
the remaining non-dispositive motions will be DENIED
to the financial data supplied in Plaintiff's inmate
trust account statement, Plaintiff has $0.34 to his credit at
the Morgan County Correctional Complex [Doc. 1 p. 9]. Thus,
his motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis
[Doc. 1] is GRANTED. Nonetheless, because
Plaintiff is an inmate, he is ASSESSED the
filing fee of three hundred and fifty dollars ($350).
McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 607 (6th Cir.
1997), overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock,
549 U.S. 199 (2007).
custodian of Plaintiff's inmate trust account at the
institution where he now resides shall submit, as an initial
partial payment, whichever is the greater of: (a) twenty
percent (20%) of the average monthly deposits to
Plaintiff's inmate trust account; or (b) twenty percent
(20%) of the average monthly balance in his inmate trust
account for the six-month period preceding the filing of the
complaint. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(b)(1)(A) and (B).
Thereafter, the trust account custodian shall submit twenty
percent (20%) of Plaintiff's preceding monthly income (or
income credited to his trust account for the preceding
month), but only when such monthly income exceeds $10.00,
until the full filing fee of $350 has been paid to the
Clerk's Office. McGore, 114 F.3d at 607.
should be sent to: Clerk, USDC; 800 Market Street, Suite
130, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902. To ensure compliance
with the fee-collection procedure, the Clerk is
DIRECTED to mail a copy of this order to the
custodian of inmate accounts at the institution where
Plaintiff is now confined. The Clerk is also
DIRECTED to furnish a copy of this order to
the Court's financial deputy. This order shall be placed
in Plaintiff's prison file and follow him if he is
transferred to another correctional institution.
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“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, e.g., Benson v.
O'Brian, 179 F.3d 1014 (6th Cir. 1999).
screening this complaint, the Court bears in mind that pro se
pleadings filed in civil rights cases must be liberally
construed and held to a less stringent standard than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404
U.S. 519, 520 (1972). Still, the pleading must be sufficient
“to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face, ” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007), which simply means that the factual content
pled by a plaintiff must permit a court “to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged, ” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at
“facial plausibility” standard does not require
“detailed factual allegations, but it demands more than
an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation.” Id. at 678 (citations and
internal quotation marks omitted). The standard articulated
in Twombly and Iqbal “governs
dismissals for failure to state a claim under [28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2) 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).
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Plaintiff must
establish that she was deprived of a federal right by a
person acting under color of state law. Black v.
Barberton Citizens Hosp., 134 F.3d 1265, 1267 (6th Cir.
1998); O'Brian 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 deprivation was acting under
color of state law. Gregory v. Shelby Cty., 220 F.3d
433, 441 (6th Cir. 2000).
was convicted and sentenced to one count of especially
aggravated robbery and two counts of first-degree murder.
Plaintiff's allegations set forth in his complaint appear
to challenge the validity of his incarceration, not atypical
conditions that would give rise to a cognizable § 1983
claim. Plaintiff's complaint challenges the validity of
Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-13-202 and Tennessee Code
Annotated § 39-13-403-the Tennessee criminal statutes
under which he was convicted-as well as Tenn. Code Ann.
§ 40-35-101-the Tennessee penal statute under which he
was sentenced [Doc. 2 p. 3]. He further asserts that all
chapters and all parts of Titles 4, 6, 8, 23, and 41 of the
Tennessee Code Annotated, along with the Tennessee Rules of
Court, deprive him of his rights secured by the Fourth,
Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S.