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Simpson v. Large

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

April 16, 2018

DAVID ARLON SIMPSON, Plaintiff,
v.
PEGGY L. LARGE, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR., CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         David Arlon Simpson, proceeding pro se, has filed a civil rights complaint against Peggy L. Large. (Doc. No. 1.) Before the court is the plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. Nos. 2, 8) 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.

         I. Application to Proceed as a Pauper

         Under 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 it appears from his submissions that Plaintiff lacks sufficient financial resources from which to pay the full filing fee in advance, the application (ECF Nos. 2, 8) will be granted.[1]

         However, under § 1915(b), 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, Plaintiff will be assessed the full $350 filing fee, to be paid as directed in the accompanying order.

         II. Initial Review of the Complaint

         A. Background and Factual Allegations

         On March 30, 2012, Senior Judge W. Earl Britt, of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina issued an order civilly committing Plaintiff after finding that he is a sexually dangerous person under 18 U.S.C. § 4248 part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (hereinafter “the Act”). (See United States of America v. Simpson, Case No. 5:09-hc-02075-BR (E.D. N.C. ) (Britt, J.) Doc. No. 52.)[2] The District Court's finding was affirmed on appeal. (Id. at Doc. No. 64.) On February 14, 2018, Plaintiff filed a pro se Motion for Order to Transfer Defendant to Tennessee. (Id. at Doc. No. 79.) In his Motion, Plaintiff sought an order of the Court transferring him to the state of Tennessee. (Id.) The Court denied Plaintiff's Motion, finding that Plaintiff's request for transfer was dependent upon a state accepting responsibility for Plaintiff's care and treatment pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4247(i) and 18 U.S.C. § 4248(g), and the state of Tennessee had not responded to Plaintiff's attempts to be transferred to that state. (Doc. No. 1 at Page ID## 1-2.) Additionally, the Court found that under § 4247(i), the Attorney General is directed to determine whether a particular facility is suitable for a civilly committed person, and Plaintiff had not shown that FCI Butner was an unsuitable facility, only that he would prefer to be housed elsewhere. (Id. at Page ID# 2.)

         In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he was civilly committed by the United States District Court in North Carolina. (Doc. No. 1 at Page ID# 2.) Plaintiff alleges that “the Treatment Team has submitted a written request in the plaintiffs [sic] behalf sending to the Tennessee Interstate Complex Coordinator to exercise the Plaintiffs [sic] Liberty Interests of Travel and Taking Up Residence in the State of Tennessee; To obtain Tennessee Employment and obtain Medicaid and/or Insurance within Tennessee” (Id. (emphasis in original)) Plaintiff further alleges that “[t]he defendant has refused to cooperate with the plaintiffs exercise of his liberty interests, has denied Medicaid from the state resources, and bars the necessary residency in Tennessee to obtain insurance for low income persons in Tennessee.” (Id.)

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks “complete Due Process, and protect the plaintiffs [sic] right to travel and take up residency in Tennessee; thus allowing employment in Tennessee and obtaining Medicaid and/or insurance under Tennessee provisions for their residents, upon guaranteeing travel and resi[d]ency.” (Id. at Page ID# 3.)

         B. Standard of Review

         If an 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.”).

         “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 (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”).

         C. ...


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