United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Greeneville
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Jordan, United States District Judge
prisoner Walter Leon Trent (“Plaintiff”) brings
this pro se civil rights complaint for damages under 28
U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988, alleging that he was
subjected to wrongful treatment during a 2013 search of his
home, illegally arrested, and then maliciously prosecuted-
all in violation of rights secured to him by the First,
Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments [Doc. 1].
Plaintiff also alleges several state law claims [Id.
p.7, ¶ 34]. Defendants are various law enforcement
officials in Hawkins County, Tennessee, along with the
Hawkins County Sheriff's Department and Hawkins County
reasons set forth below, the Court will grant Plaintiff's
pending in forma pauperis motion [Doc. 3] and will
dismiss this case sua sponte.
financial data supplied in Plaintiff's affidavit attached
to his motion reflects that he presently has a balance of
$200.15 in his inmate trust fund account and that his average
balance for the last six months is $324.42 [Doc. 31].
Accordingly, because Plaintiff lacks sufficient funds to pay
the full filing fee all at once, his motion to proceed in
forma pauperis is GRANTED [Doc. 3].
Because Plaintiff is a federal prisoner confined in Elkton,
Indiana, he is ASSESSED the civil filing fee
of $350.00. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1) (providing that
“if a prisoner brings a civil action . . . in forma
pauperis, the prisoner shall be required to pay the full
amount of a filing fee”).
custodian of Plaintiff's inmate trust account at that
facility is DIRECTED to submit to the Clerk,
U.S. District Court, 220 West Depot Street, Suite 200,
Greeneville, Tennessee 37601, as an initial partial payment,
twenty percent (20%) of the greater of either the average
monthly deposits or the average monthly balance in the
account for the six (6) months immediately preceding the
filing of the complaint. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).
full payment of the initial partial filing fee, the custodian
shall submit twenty percent (20%) of Plaintiff's
preceding monthly income (or income credited to the account),
but only when the amount in the account exceeds ten dollars
($10), until the full $350 fee has been paid to the Clerk. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
Clerk is DIRECTED to send a copy of this
Order to the custodian of inmate accounts at the Elkton
Federal Correctional Institution to ensure compliance with
these fee-collection procedures. The Clerk also is
DIRECTED to forward a copy of the Order to
the Court's financial deputy.
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”),
district courts must screen prisoner complaints and sua
sponte must dismiss any claims that are frivolous or
malicious, that fail to state a claim for relief, or that are
alleged against a defendant who enjoys immunity. See,
e.g., 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915(A);
Benson v. O'Brian, 179 F.3d 1014 (6th Cir.
1999). The dismissal standard articulated by the Supreme
Court in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), and
in Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554 (2007),
“governs dismissals for failure 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).
liberally construe pro se pleadings filed in civil rights
cases and hold them to a less stringent standard than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404
U.S. 519, 520 (1972). Allegations that give rise to a mere
possibility that a plaintiff might later establish
undisclosed facts supporting recovery, however, are not
well-pled and do not state a plausible claim.
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 570. Further, formulaic
and conclusory recitations of the elements of a claim
unsupported by facts are insufficient to state a plausible
claim for relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 681.
order to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must establish that he 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); see also Braley v. City of Pontiac, 906
F.2d 220, 223 (6th Cir. 1990) (stating that “[s]ection
1983 does not itself create any constitutional rights; it
creates a right of action for the vindication of
constitutional guarantees found elsewhere”).
pleading, Plaintiff maintains that on April 25, 2013, Hawkins
County law enforcement Defendants searched his residence,
pushed him into a table, shoved him into a chair, questioned
him, handcuffed him, arrested him without any grounds, and
charged him with drug- and firearm-related offenses without
probable cause [Doc. 1 at 3-4, ¶¶ 11-22]. The trial
on those offenses was rescheduled eight times, and,
ultimately, the charges were dismissed on October 1, 2014
[Id. at 4 ¶ 21 and at 14 ¶13]. Plaintiff
asserts that, because of the described conduct, he
experienced physical and reputational injuries, humiliation,
imprisonment, emotional distress, pain, and suffering and
that he incurred certain expenses, including legal fees he
had to pay in ...