Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Fredrickson v. Bedford County Jail

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Winchester

April 12, 2018

JOSEPH RICHARD FREDRICKSON, Plaintiff,
v.
BEDFORD COUNTY JAIL, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          HARRY S. MATTICE, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This is a pro se prisoner's civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Now before the Court is Plaintiff's motion to compel Defendant Bedford County to provide him with his trust fund account statement [Doc. 4][1] and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. 5], which is supported by his inmate account certificate [Doc. 6]. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. 5] will be GRANTED and this action will be DISMISSED for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted under § 1983.

         I. FILING FEE

         It appears from Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. 5] and his inmate trust fund account certificate [Doc. 6] that Plaintiff lacks sufficient financial resources to pay the filing fee. Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. 5] will be GRANTED. As Plaintiff is incarcerated in the Bedford County Correctional Facility, he will be ASSESSED the civil filing fee of $350.00.

         The custodian of Plaintiff's inmate trust account at the institution where he now resides will be DIRECTED to submit to the Clerk, U.S. District Court, 900 Georgia Avenue, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402, as an initial partial payment, whichever is the greater of: (a) twenty percent (20%) of the average monthly deposits to Plaintiff's inmate trust account; or (b) twenty percent (20%) of the average monthly balance in his inmate trust account for the six-month period preceding the filing of the complaint. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1)(A) and (B). Thereafter, the custodian of Plaintiff's inmate trust account at the institution where he now resides shall submit twenty percent (20%) of Plaintiff's preceding monthly income (or income credited to Plaintiff's trust account for the preceding month), but only when such monthly income exceeds ten dollars ($10.00), until the full filing fee of three hundred fifty dollars ($350.00) as authorized under 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a) has been paid to the Clerk. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).

         The Clerk will be DIRECTED to send a copy of this memorandum opinion and the accompanying order to the Sheriff of Bedford County to ensure that the custodian of Plaintiff's inmate trust account complies with the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) with regard to payment of the filing fee. The Clerk will also be DIRECTED to forward a copy of this memorandum opinion and accompanying order to the Court's financial deputy.

         II. SCREENING STANDARD

         Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), district courts must screen prisoner complaints and shall, at any time, sua sponte dismiss any claims that are frivolous or malicious, fail to state a claim for relief, or are against a defendant who is immune. See, e.g., 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915(A); Benson v. O'Brian, 179 F.3d 1014 (6th Cir. 1999). The dismissal standard articulated by the Supreme Court in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) and in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554 (2007) “governs dismissals for failure state a claim under [28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A] 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 an initial review under the PLRA, 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). Courts liberally construe pro se pleadings filed in civil rights cases and hold them to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972).

         In order to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must establish that he was deprived of a federal right by a person acting under color of state law. Black v. Barberton Citizens Hosp., 134 F.3d 1265, 1267 (6th Cir. 1998).

         III. ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINT

         Despite being aware that “it[]s facility is laden with molds, fungi, rust[, ] and unidentified bacterial and virus growths throughout, ” Defendant has filed to take any action to correct these conditions or to protect Plaintiff [Doc. 1 p. 1-2]. Also, Defendant is aware that its menu “falls below the caloric requirement as set forth in the minimum jail standards of Tennessee” and has been notified that its “nutritionally deficient menu could result in severe malnutrition, ” but has not corrected this deficiency [Id. at 2]. Further, Defendant is aware that its collection of legal books is outdated, cannot be used to find current rules and regulations, and falls below the minimum standards for jails and prisons in the State of Tennessee, but has refused to allow Plaintiff to access up to date legal materials and resources [Id. at 2-3]. Defendant has also removed Plaintiff's access to the press and media in violation of Plaintiff's First Amendment rights and has taken no steps to correct this [Id. at 3]. Lastly, Defendant does not meet the minimum jail and prison standards for the State of Tennessee, but has no intention to bring itself in line with those standards [Id. at 3-4].

         IV. ANALYSIS

         1. Proper Defendant

         First, the only entity Plaintiff has sued in this matter is Bedford County Jail. The jail, however, is a building and is not subject to suit under § 1983. See Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 688-90 (finding that in a suit against a local government unit, only “bodies politic” are “persons” who are amenable to be sued under § 1983); Cage v. Kent County Corr. Facility, No. 96-1167, 1997 WL 225647, at *1 (6th Cir. May 1, 1997) (stating that “[t]he district court also properly found that the jail facility named as a ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.