United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
A. Trauger United States District Judge
Nelson, an inmate at the Morgan County Correctional Complex
in Wartburg, Tennessee, brings this pro se, in forma
pauperis action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Tony
Parker, Shawn Phillips, Gary Hamby, Dr. f/n/u O'Connor,
Dr. f/n/u O'Toole, f/n/u Riggins, and Ace Glaspy,
alleging violations of his civil rights. (Docket No. 1).
PLRA Screening Standard
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.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the court must dismiss any
portion of a civil complaint filed in forma pauperis
that fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted,
is frivolous, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who
is immune from such relief. Section 1915A similarly requires
initial review of any “complaint in a civil action in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity, ”
id. § 1915A(a), and summary dismissal of the
complaint on the same grounds as those articulated in §
1915(e)(2)(B). Id. § 1915A(b).
Sixth Circuit has confirmed that the dismissal standard
articulated by the Supreme Court in Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), and Bell Atlantic Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), “governs
dismissals for failure to state a claim under those statutes
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 scrutiny on
initial review, “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). “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.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “[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, USA, LLC, 561F.3d 478, 488 (6th Cir. 2009)
(citing Gunasekera v. Irwin, 551 F.3d 461, 466 (6th
Cir. 2009) (citations omitted)).
pro se pleadings are to be held to a less stringent
standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, Haines
v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Jourdan v.
Jabe, 951 F.2d 108, 110 (6th Cir. 1991), the courts'
“duty to be ‘less stringent' with pro
se complaints does not require us to conjure up
[unpleaded] allegations.” McDonald v. Hall,
610 F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979) (citation omitted).
Section 1983 Standard
plaintiff brings his claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983 creates a cause of action
against any person who, acting under color of state law,
abridges “rights, privileges, or immunities secured by
the Constitution and laws . . . .” To state a claim
under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege and show two
elements: (1) that he was deprived of a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States; and (2) that the
deprivation was caused by a person acting under color of
state law. Tahfs v. Proctor, 316 F.3d 584, 590
(6th Cir. 2003); 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
to the complaint, the plaintiff is designated as a
“Level 3 Mental Health” inmate. Tennessee
Department of Correction (“TDOC”) Policy # 113.87
dictates that Level 3 Mental Health inmates are to be
afforded at least four hours of “out of cell”
time each day. While incarcerated at the Morgan County
Correctional Complex, the defendants do not honor this policy
and keep the plaintiff in his cell for twenty-three hours
each day. As a result, the plaintiff's mental health is
deteriorating. The complaint also alleges that the
plaintiff's assigned unit is isolated, “feces
filled[, ] and bloody.” (Docket No. 1 at 5).
Defendant with no alleged personal involvement
although the plaintiff names Tony Parker as a defendant to
this action, the plaintiff has not alleged any specific
personal involvement by Parker in the events described in the
complaint. A plaintiff must identify the right or privilege
that was violated and the role of the defendant in the
alleged violation, Miller v. Calhoun Cnty., 408 F.3d
803, 827 n.3 (6th Cir. 2005); Dunn v.
Tennessee, 697 F.2d 121, 128 (6th Cir. 1982),
and the plaintiff here has failed to do so with regard to
Parker. The plaintiff's claims against Parker appear to