United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Winchester
S. MATTICE, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Danny Earl Carver, a pro se prisoner, has filed a civil
rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 [Doc. 1],
as well as a supplement to his original complaint [Doc. 10].
Defendants Swing and Lokey have jointly moved to dismiss
Plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted [Doc. 19], as well as filed a
memorandum in support of their motion to dismiss [Doc. 20].
Plaintiff has not filed a response in opposition, and the
time for doing so has now passed. E.D. Tenn. L. R. 7.1, 7.2.
before the Court are Defendants' status motion on whether
additional PLRA screening will occur [Doc. 16] and motion for
extension of time to file a response to Plaintiff's
complaint [Doc. 17]. For the reasons discussed below,
Defendants' status motion [Doc. 16] will be GRANTED in
part, Defendants' motion for extension of time [Doc. 17]
will be GRANTED nunc pro tunc, and Defendants' motion to
dismiss [Doc. 19] will be GRANTED.
filed this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against Defendants Austin Swing and Tim Lokey, as well as
against the Bedford County Sheriff's Department [Doc. 1].
The Court screened the complaint on May 11, 2017, and
dismissed the Bedford County Sheriff's Department as a
Defendant, but allowed Plaintiff twenty days to amend his
complaint to cure the deficiencies noted with his respect to
his Eighth Amendment claims [Doc. 9 p. 7]. On May 22, 2017,
Plaintiff filed a supplement to his amended complaint [Doc.
10], and the Court determined that Plaintiff had stated a
claim under the Eighth Amendment, and permitted service on
the remaining two Defendants [Doc. 11]. Defendants Swing and
Lokey then filed a motion to dismiss and supporting brief, in
which they argue that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim
for relief [Docs. 19, 20].
Court previously detailed the factual allegations contained
in Plaintiff's original complaint, stating:
Bacteria of a kind unknown to Plaintiff, along with dust,
rust, mold, mildew and fungi are present inside
Plaintiff's cell, the showers, the kitchen, the chow
hall, and throughout the structure of the Bedford County Jail
[Doc. 1 p.2]. Mere cleaning would remedy these unsanitary and
unsafe conditions [Id.]. Plaintiff and several other
inmates-none of whom are identified or are named as parties
in this lawsuit-have asked Defendant Tim Ioky, the Jail
Administrator, to permit them to clean and repair the jail,
but he refuses to provide the inmates with proper cleaning
supplies [Id.]. Additionally, for months and, in
some cases, years, the cells have leaked, but Defendants Ioky
and Sheriff Austin Swing refuse to fix the wrongful living
conditions [Id.]. Plaintiff is forced to sleep on
the floor next to a toilet and, when his cellmates void into
the toilet, urine splashes onto Plaintiff, his mattress, and
his personal property [Id.]. Plaintiff also has been
deprived of sufficient opportunities for physical exercise to
maintain proper health [Id.].
[Doc. 9 p. 2-3].
Plaintiff's supplement to his original complaint,
Plaintiff alleged that he arrived at the Bedford County Jail
on December 10, 2015, and was forced to sleep on the floor
next to the toilet until March 2016 [Doc. 10 p. 1]. Plaintiff
then filed eight grievances, which he addressed to Defendant
Lokey [Id.]. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Lokey
responded, “[d]ue to overcrowding, we can't help
where you sleep” [Id.]. Ultimately, Plaintiff
claims that he was forced to live in a nine-man pod, where at
times there was anywhere from twenty-four to thirty people
living in the pod [Id.].
respect to the presence of black mold, dust, rust, mildew and
fungi at the Bedford County Jail, Plaintiff alleges that he
filed several grievances from December 2015 until May 2017 to
Defendants Lokey and Swing [Id.]. Defendants
responded to one of Plaintiff's grievances that
“we're trying to get it under control, be
patient” [Id.]. Further, Plaintiff alleges
that several newspaper reports regarding jail conditions at
the Bedford County Jail demonstrate “that both
Defendants, Sheriff Austin Swing and Jail Administrator Tim
Lokey know about the conditions of the jail”
[Id. at 2]. Lastly, Plaintiff alleges that he has
filed several grievances about the lack of exercise
opportunities, and that he was only allowed to access the
“rec yard” sixteen times over a seventeen-month
period [Id.]. Plaintiff further claims that the
overcrowding at the jail also prevents him from proper
exercise [Id. at 3].
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) sets out a liberal standard,
requiring only “‘a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,
' in order to ‘give the [opposing party] fair
notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which
it rests.'” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson,
355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). Detailed factual allegations are not
required, but a party's “obligation to provide the
‘grounds' of his ‘entitle[ment] to
relief' requires more than labels and conclusions.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. “[A] formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do,
” neither will “‘naked assertion[s]'
devoid of ‘further factual enhancement[, ]'”
nor “an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557).
faced with a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, courts must construe the
complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff,
accept all factual allegations as true, draw all reasonable
inferences in favor of the plaintiff, and determine whether
the complaint contains “enough facts to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570; Directv, Inc. v.
Treesh, 487 F.3d 471, 476 (6th Cir. 2007) (citation
omitted). “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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678. “Determining whether a complaint ...