United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
GERALD D. JACKSON, Plaintiff,
STEWART COUNTY et al., Defendants.
A.TRAUGER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff, Gerald D. Jackson, proceeding pro se, has
filed a complaint against defendants Stewart County, Derick
Wyatt and Larry Wallace. (ECF No. 1.) Before the court are
the plaintiff's application to proceed in forma
pauperis (ECF No. 3) and a Motion for Discovery (ECF No.
4.) 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. § 1997e.
Application to Proceed as a Pauper
the 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
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
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.
Dismissal of the Complaint
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).
complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on October 12, 2017,
another inmate, Leo Thompson, who resided in the same pod at
the Stewart County Jail as the plaintiff, had a heart attack
and hit his head on a pole as he fell to the ground. (ECF No.
1 at Page ID# 3.) Mr. Thompson was lying face down, bleeding
from his head and appeared to be dead. (Id.) The
plaintiff alleges that Mr. Thompson stopped breathing and
urinated on himself. (Id. at Page ID# 4.) Some
deputies came to where Mr. Thompson was lying and called
Thompson's name. (Id.) The plaintiff alleges
that the deputies dragged Mr. Thompson by his feet away from
the table where Mr. Thompson had been sitting before he fell.
(Id.) The plaintiff alleges that the deputies
flipped Mr. Thompson over roughly and began chest
compressions but did not conduct mouth- to-mouth
breathing. (Id. at Page ID# 5.) “Mrs.
Angie” got the “rescue cart and box to shock [Mr.
Thompson's] heart back.” (Id.) Plaintiff
alleges that, by this point, Mr. Thompson was dark blue.
(Id.) Plaintiff alleges that he and the other
prisoners who were watching these events transpire began to
worry about what would happen to them in the same situation.
(Id.) Plaintiff alleges that the jail does not have
any medical staff or, if it does have medical staff, they are
not properly trained. (Id.)
ambulance arrived and the medical team from the ambulance
came into the jail and took over caring for Mr. Thompson.
(Id.) Plaintiff thought that Mr. Thompson had died
but later learned that he was alive and at home with his
family. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that since this
incident he fears for his life at the jail. Plaintiff alleges
that he is experiencing anxiety and trauma as a result of
watching the events that transpired after Mr. Thompson's
heart attack. He alleges that, because of the way Mr.
Thompson was treated, his Eighth Amendment rights were
violated. As relief, the plaintiff seeks damages to pay for
all of his medical care until her dies. (Id. at Page
Standard of Review
action is filed in forma pauperis, “the court
shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines
that . . . the action . . . fails to state a claim on which
relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). In assessing whether the complaint in this
case states a claim on which relief may be granted, the court
applies the standards under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, as construed by Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009), and Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57 (2007).
See Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir.
2010) (holding that “the dismissal standard articulated
in Iqbal and Twombly governs dismissals for
failure to state a claim under [§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)]
because the relevant statutory language tracks the language
in Rule 12(b)(6)”). “Accepting all well-pleaded
allegations in the complaint as true, the Court
‘consider[s] the factual allegations in [the] complaint
to determine if they plausibly suggest an entitlement to
relief.'” Williams v. Curtin, 631 F.3d
380, 383 (6th Cir. 2011) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
681) (alteration in original). “[P]leadings that . . .
are no more than conclusions are not entitled to the
assumption of truth. While legal conclusions can provide the
framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual
allegations.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679; see
also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 n.3 (“Rule 8(a)(2)
still requires a ‘showing, ' rather than a blanket
assertion, of entitlement to relief. Without some factual
allegation in the complaint, it is hard to see how a claimant
could satisfy the requirement of providing not only
‘fair notice' of the nature of the claim, but also
‘grounds' on which the claim rests.”).
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 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Pro
se litigants, however, are not exempt from the
requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989).
The court is not required to create a claim for the
plaintiff. Clark v. Nat'l Travelers Life Ins.
Co., 518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir. 1975); see also
Brown v. Matauszak, 415 Fed.Appx. 608, 613 (6th Cir.
2011) (“[A] court cannot create a claim which [a
plaintiff] has not spelled out in his pleading”)
(internal quotation marks and citation omitted); Payne v.
Sec'y of Treas., 73 Fed.Appx. 836, 837 (6th Cir.
2003) (affirming sua sponte dismissal of complaint
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) and stating,
“[n]either this court nor the district court is
required to create Payne's claim for her”).