United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
TIMOTHY E. KELLY, Plaintiff,
DINA KULENOVIC et al., Defendants.
A. TRAUGER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff Timothy E. Kelly, proceeding pro se, has
filed a civil complaint under §1983 against defendants
Dina Kulenovic, Mark Collins, Amanda Hynes and Shawn
Phillips. (ECF No. 1.) Before the court is the
plaintiff's application to proceed in forma
pauperis (ECF No. 3.) 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. §
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 application to proceed in forma
pauperis 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. 3) will be 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
will be assessed the full $350 filing fee, to be paid as
directed in the accompanying order.
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).
plaintiff has a long history of mental illness, dating back
to when he was seven years old. He has received in-patient
and out-patient treatment at various facilities in Middle
Tennessee. (ECF No. 1 at Page ID# 4.) In 2017, while
incarcerated at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution
(“RMSI”), the plaintiff began experiencing
extreme episodes of schizophrenia which caused him to
“blank out” and cut his arms “to the point
where I would lose large amounts of blood.”
(Id. at Page ID# 2.) The plaintiff alleges that he
was referred to defendant Kulenovic, who ignored his
condition and, along with defendant Collins, refused to
provide necessary treatment as requested by the mental health
therapists assigned to Unit 4. (Id.) The plaintiff
alleges that he “would flip out lose sense of reality
and self-mutilate repeatedly” but instead of being
referred to a doctor or institution like the Lois M. DeBerry
Special Needs Facility, the plaintiff was placed in
four-point restraints and housed in a high security housing
unit that required 24-hour lock-down in a cell, or when given
recreation, the plaintiff was allowed out for one hour.
(Id. at Page ID# 3.)
plaintiff alleges that defendant Hynes does not provide
adequate care in compliance with TDOC Policy 113.87, which
requires that “Level 3 SLU” inmates be provided
“a structured environment designed to assist seriously
mentally ill inmates in functioning psychosocially and
vocationally at the highest possible level within the
correctional setting” and requires at least four hours
of group therapy daily. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that
defendant Hynes forced him to live in a harsh SuperMax prison
when she was well aware that this was an unsuitable placement
for the plaintiff. (Id.)
Phillips was well aware that mentally ill inmates were not
getting the services required by TDOC policy but allowed this
situation to occur and did not do anything to change the
situation. (Id. at Page ID# 4)
plaintiff alleges that he was transferred to the Morgan
County Correctional Complex because of the grievances and
complaints he filed while housed at RMSI. (Id.)
plaintiff alleges claims for violation of his Eighth
Amendment rights, retaliation and violation of the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA). As relief, the plaintiff seeks
monetary damages and a transfer to a suitable facility.