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Hamby v. Parker

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

April 16, 2018

WILLIAM D. HAMBY, JR. # 135146, Plaintiff,
TONY PARKER, et al., Defendants.



         William D. Hamby, Jr., an inmate of the Morgan County Correctional Complex (MCCX) in Wartburg, Tennessee, brings this pro se, in forma pauperis action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Tony Parker, Lynndy Houston-Fagan, Dr. f/n/u Mock, Centurion Corp., and Corizon Corp., alleging violations of the Plaintiff's federal constitutional rights. (Doc. No. 1). The Plaintiff has submitted a motion for preliminary injunction (Doc. No. 4), a motion to ascertain status of case (Doc. No. 5), and a motion to add defendant to suit. (Doc. No. 6).

         The 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.

         I. Motion to Amend

         The Plaintiff has filed a “motion add defendant to the suit.” (Doc. No. 6). Rule 15(a) (2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states that leave to amend should be freely given “when justice so requires.” In deciding whether to grant a motion to amend, courts should consider undue delay in filing, lack of notice to the opposing party, bad faith by the moving party, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by previous amendments, undue prejudice to the opposing party, and futility of amendment. Brumbalough v. Camelot Care Ctrs., Inc., 427 F.3d 996, 1001 (6th Cir. 2005).

         The proposed amendment seeks to add a sixth Defendant to this action, Nurse f/n/u Shepard in her individual capacity only. (Doc. No. 6). The Plaintiff alleges that Shepard, who works at MCCX, refuses to provide the Plaintiff with his neuropathy and Hepatitis C medication, his cane, and a “chrono to cuff” the Plaintiff in the front instead of the back “since [the Plaintiff] walk[s] out of cell cuffed in back and [he] is in pain already from injuries.” (Id. at 2). The Plaintiff further alleges that Shepard's denials are based on the Plaintiff's race. (Id.)

         There appears to be no undue prejudice to the opposing party by permitting the Plaintiff to amend his complaint at this time; no Defendants have been served. With regard to the consideration of futility of an amendment, the law is well settled that the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires that inmates be provided with reasonably adequate food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, recreation, and medical care. See Grubbs v. Bradley, 552 F.Supp. 1052, 1119-24 (M.D. Tenn. 1982). The failure to provide such necessities is a violation of an inmate's right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. See Bellamy v. Bradley, 729 F.2d 416, 419 (6th Cir. 1984). The United States Supreme Court has held that deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners constitutes the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain proscribed by the Eighth Amendment. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976); Brooks v. Celeste, 39 F.3d 125, 127 (6thCir. 1994). The Court finds that the Plaintiff's proposed amendment is not futile; therefore, the Plaintiff's motion to amend (Doc. No. 6) will be granted, and f/n/u Shepard will be added as a Defendant in her individual capacity to this action.

         II. PLRA Screening Standard

         Under 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).

         The 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)).

         Although 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).

         III. Section 1983 Standard

         The Plaintiff brings his complaint 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.

         IV. Alleged Facts

         The complaint alleges that the Plaintiff suffers from “severe neuropathy” and, since his arrival to the MCCX, Dr. Mock, “the doctor who is under contract by Centurion, ” has not provided the Plaintiff with his medication for neuropathy and refuses to give him access to any medical treatment for neuropathy. (Doc. No. 1 at 1). The complaint alleges that Houston-Fagan, who also works at MCCX, “refuses to assist in [his] medical needs as well” and that both Defendants “allow[] the denial of [the plaintiff's] meds on purpose, without care . . . and they all do not correct the problem, or place [the plaintiff] where [he] could get medical care.” (Id. at 1-2). According to the Plaintiff, Mock and ...

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