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Hines v. Shelby County

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division

March 12, 2018

DANIZEL HINES, Plaintiff,
v.
SHELBY COUNTY; BILL OLDHAM, Sheriff; ROBERT MOORE, Chief Jailer; and MS. FNU HAYLETTS, Aramark Kitchen Manager, Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND GRANTING LEAVE TO AMEND

          THOMAS ANDERSON CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On February 1, 2017, Plaintiff Danizel Hines, who at the time of filing was a pre-trial detainee at the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center (“the jail”), in Memphis, Tennessee, filed pro se a Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and a motion to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF Nos. 1 & 2.) The Court granted Hines leave to proceed in forma pauperis and assessed the civil filing fee pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(a)-(b). (ECF No. 4.) The Clerk is instructed to record the Defendants as Shelby County, [1] Sheriff Bill Oldham, Chief Jailer Robert Moore, and Ms. First Name Unknown (“FNU”) Hayletts, Aramark Kitchen Manager.

         BACKGROUND

         The Complaint alleges that while eating his lunch on January 14, 2017, Hines bit into a piece of glass embedded in beans. (Compl. at 2, ECF No. 1.) Hines notified his pod officer FNU Burns, who is not a party to this action, that he had found glass in his lunch and had chipped a tooth. (Id. at 3.) Hines requested medical attention and demanded to speak with Sgt. M. Williams, the floor supervisor. (Id.) Hines's requests were denied. When Hines reported the incident to another pod officer during the next shift, the officer told Hines that his injury was not that serious because he was not dead. (Id.) Hines filed a grievance in which he largely restated these same allegations. (Id., see also Grievance No. 324271, ECF No. 1-1.)

         SCREENING STANDARD

         The Court is required to screen prisoner complaints and to dismiss any complaint, or any portion thereof, if the complaint-

(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         In assessing whether the Complaint in this case states a claim on which relief may be granted, the Court applies the pleading standards under Federal Rule Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) announced in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-79 (2009) and Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57 (2007). Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010). The Court accepts the Complaint's “well-pleaded” factual allegations as true and then determines whether the allegations “plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief.” Williams v. Curtin, 631 F.3d 380, 383 (6th Cir. 2011) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 681). Conclusory allegations “are not entitled to the assumption of truth, ” and legal conclusions “must be supported by factual allegations.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Ultimately, a complaint need only contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Rule 8(a)(2) nevertheless requires factual allegations to make a “showing, rather than a blanket assertion, of entitlement to relief.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 n.3.

         “Pro 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 (quoting Martin v. Overton, 391 F.3d 710, 712 (6th Cir. 2004)). Even so, pro se litigants and prisoners are not exempt from the requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989). And district courts are not required “to ferret out the strongest cause of action on behalf of pro se litigants.” Young Bok Song v. Gipson, 423 F. App'x 506, 510 (6th Cir. 2011). In the final analysis, a court “cannot create a claim which [a plaintiff] has not spelled out in his pleading.” Brown v. Matauszak, 415 F. App'x 608, 612-13 (6th Cir. 2011).

         ANALYSIS

         Hines filed his pro se Complaint on the official form for actions under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Section 1983 provides:

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities ...

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