United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
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's
complaint will be DISMISSED sua
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). On
January 14, 2015, Plaintiff submitted a fully complaint
application [Doc. 1] and it appears from his 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. However,
because Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at the Trousdale
Turner Correctional Center (“TTCC”),
rather than the Blount County Jail, the Court will not assess
a filing fee at this time.
currently incarcerated at the TTCC, filed this complaint
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on January 14, 2015 against
Defendants Cruize, Bailey, French, Adams, Berrong and the
Blount County Jail for violations of his constitutional
rights occurring while he was confined at the Blount County
Jail [Doc. 2]. Plaintiff alleges that he was not provided
with 2, 000 calories of food and was provided with less food
because of his religious and allergic diet [Id. at
4]. Additionally, he claims that the Blount County Jail does
not have any form of outside media, as inmates are only
allowed to purchase a radio for $45.00 [Id.].
Further, Plaintiff alleges that lights at the jail remain on
from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. [Id. at 4-5].
also claims that inmates at the Blount County Jail must
request information that they wish to be printed from the law
library, and then pay for these copies [Id. at 5].
Further, he alleges that as he is indigent, he is denied the
opportunity to send legal mail [Id.]. Lastly,
Plaintiff claims that he attempted to file a complaint
against Correctional Officers Smith and Householder after
using the intercom to ask for a grievance [Id.]. He
claims that Officer Smith has “shown racial tendencies
toward” him after the filing of the grievance
[Id.]. Plaintiff requests to be transferred from the
Blount County Jail, to have meals at the jail re-examined,
for the law library and grievance procedure at the Blount
County Jail to be “fix[ed] for better use, ” a
complaint system for inmates and for the Court to
“appoint someone to fix administration” at the
jail [Id. at 6].
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
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
establish that they were 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, 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).
federal courts have jurisdiction to hear ongoing cases and
controversies, courts may no longer hear such actions when
they become moot. See Genesis Healthcare Corp. v.
Symczyk, 569 U.S. 66, 72 (“If an intervening
circumstance deprives the plaintiff of a ‘personal
stake in the outcome of the lawsuit, ' at any point
during litigation, the action can no longer proceed and must
be dismissed as moot.”) (citing Lewis v. Cont'l
Bank Corp., 494 U.S. 472, 477-78 (1990)).
of prison conditions and prison employees' actions are
cognizable under § 1983, but their requests for
injunctive relief may be rendered moot upon the
prisoner's transfer to another institution. See,
e.g., Dellis v. Cor. Corp. of Am., 257 F.3d
508, 510 n.1 (6th Cir. 2001) (citing Kensu v. Haigh,
87 F.3d 172, 175 (6th Cir. 1996)); see also Colvin v.
Caruso, 605 F.3d 282, 289 (6th Cir. 2010) (“[A]ny
declaratory or injunctive relief that [the plaintiff] seeks
stemming from his complaint has been mooted by his transfer
to a different prison facility.”).
challenges the conditions of his confinement at the Blount
County Jail, and his allegations are against Blount County
Jail employees. It is apparent from the Court's docket
that Plaintiff is no longer incarcerated at the Blount County
Jail. Plaintiff, through the Federal Defender's Office,
updated his address with the Court to Bledsoe County in 2015.
In addition, a search of the Tennessee Felony Offender
Information website indicates that Plaintiff is currently
incarcerated at the TTCC. Therefore, as Plaintiff is ...