United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
LARRY J. HILES, JR., Plaintiff,
CANNON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE et al., Defendants.
A. TRAUGER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff Larry J. Hiles, proceeding pro se, has
filed a civil complaint under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against
defendants Cannon County Sheriff's Office and Cannon
County. (ECF No. 1.) Before the court is the plaintiff's
application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No.
2). In addition, his complaint is before the court for an
initial review pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and
1915A, and 42 U.S.C. § 1997e.
Application to Proceed as a Pauper
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a), a prisoner bringing a civil action may
be permitted to file suit without prepaying the filing fee
required by 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). Because the plaintiff
properly submitted an in forma pauperis application,
and because it appears from his submissions that the
plaintiff lacks sufficient financial resources from which to
pay the full filing fee in advance, the application (ECF No.
2) is GRANTED.
under § 1915(b), the plaintiff nonetheless remains
responsible for paying the full filing fee. The obligation to
pay the fee accrues at the time the case is filed, but the
PLRA provides prisoner-plaintiffs the opportunity to make a
“down payment” of a partial filing fee and to pay
the remainder in installments. Accordingly, the plaintiff is
hereby ASSESSED the full $350 filing fee, to
be paid as directed in the accompanying order.
Initial Review of the Complaint
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court is required to
conduct an initial review of any complaint filed in forma
pauperis and to dismiss the complaint if it is facially
frivolous or malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief
against a defendant who is immune from such relief.
Begola v. Brown, 172 F.3d 47 (Table), 1998 WL
894722, at *1 (6th Cir. Dec. 14, 1998) (citing McGore v.
Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997),
overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549
U.S. 199 (2007)). The Court must construe a pro se
plaintiff's complaint liberally, Boag v.
McDaniel, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982), and accept the
plaintiff's allegations as true unless they are clearly
irrational or wholly incredible. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992).
complaint, the plaintiff alleges that in January, 2017 he was
incarcerated at the Cannon County Jail on misdemeanor
charges. (ECF No. 1 at Page ID# 5.) He was eventually placed
in a cell block with felony offenders. (Id.)
Approximately 30 minutes after arriving in the cell block,
the plaintiff was assaulted by at least two other inmates.
(Id.) He was knocked unconscious two different
times. (Id.) He asked for medical attention and to
be taken to an outside hospital. (Id.) He was denied
medical treatment by the Jail Administrator Ed Brown, the
Sheriff Daryl Young and Jeanie, the nurse on call.
(Id.) After complaining of a back injury, he was
told to “get up and walk, ” to “stop
faking” and to “be a man.” (Id.)
When plaintiff explained that he could not get up, Nurse
Jeanie informed the Sheriff and Mr. Brown that the plaintiff
would, “under law, ” have to be taken to Stones
River Hospital. (Id.) Physicians at Stones River
Hospital contacted Vanderbilt physicians who advised that the
plaintiff should be transported to Vanderbilt for evaluation
and possible surgery. (Id.) The plaintiff was
“immediately released” from Cannon County Jail.
(Id.) The plaintiff alleges that he experienced
multiple facial fractures, had two surgeries-plastic and
reconstructive, has loss of vision in his left eye, long and
short term head injuries, permanent brain damage issues,
post-traumatic stress, a broken jaw, two broken teeth, a
“broken elbow/injured elbow, ” neck and spine
injuries and several more less serious medical issues as a
result of this incident. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges
that the jail and county have refused to take any
responsibility for any of his medical bills even when
contacted by Vanderbilt Hospital. (Id.)
alleges that Cannon County issued arrest warrants against him
before he was medically cleared and before he could receive
his follow-up treatments. The plaintiff was soon rearrested
and jailed. As relief, the plaintiff seeks monetary damages.
Standard of Review
action is filed in forma pauperis, “the court
shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines
that . . . the action . . . fails to state a claim on which
relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). In assessing whether the complaint in this
case states a claim on which relief may be granted, the court
applies the standards under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, as construed by Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009), and Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57 (2007).
See Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir.
2010) (holding that “the dismissal standard articulated
in Iqbal and Twombly governs dismissals for
failure to state a claim under [§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)]
because the relevant statutory language tracks the language
in Rule 12(b)(6)”). “Accepting all well-pleaded
allegations in the complaint as true, the Court
‘consider[s] the factual allegations in [the] complaint
to determine if they plausibly suggest an entitlement to
relief.'” Williams v. Curtin, 631 F.3d
380, 383 (6th Cir. 2011) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
681) (alteration in original). “[P]leadings that . . .
are no more than conclusions are not entitled to the
assumption of truth. While legal conclusions can provide the
framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual
allegations.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679; see
also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 n.3 (“Rule 8(a)(2)
still requires a ‘showing, ' rather than a blanket
assertion, of entitlement to relief. Without some factual
allegation in the complaint, it is hard to see how a claimant
could satisfy the requirement of providing not only
‘fair notice' of the nature of the claim, but also
‘grounds' on which the claim rests.”).
se complaints are to be held to less stringent standards than
formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, and should therefore be
liberally construed.” Williams, 631 F.3d at
383 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Pro
se litigants, however, are not exempt from the
requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989).
The court is not required to create a claim for the
plaintiff. Clark v. Nat'l Travelers Life Ins.
Co., 518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir. 1975); see also
Brown v. Matauszak, 415 F. App'x 608, 613 (6th Cir.
2011) (“[A] court cannot create a claim which [a
plaintiff] has not spelled out in his pleading”)
(internal quotation marks and citation omitted); Payne v.
Sec'y of Treas., 73 F. App'x 836, 837 (6th Cir.
2003) (affirming sua sponte dismissal of complaint
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) and stating,
“[n]either this court nor the district court is
required to create Payne's claim for her”).