United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Columbia Division
HAROLD M. SMITH
MAURY COUNTY, et al.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BARBARA D. HOLMES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Honorable Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr., Chief District Judge
Order entered September 22, 2017 (Docket Entry No. 9), the
Court referred this prisoner civil rights action to the
Magistrate Judge for pretrial proceedings under 28 U.S.C.
§§ 636(b)(1)(A) and (B), Rule 72(b) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Local Rules of Court.
pending before the Court is a motion for summary judgment
(Docket Entry No. 14) filed by Defendants Maury County,
Tennessee and the Maury County Sheriff's Office.
Plaintiff has not responded to the motion. For the reasons
set forth below, the undersigned Magistrate Judge
respectfully recommends that the motion be granted and that
this action be dismissed.
pro se lawsuit was filed on August 3, 2017, against
Maury County, Tennessee (“Maury County”) and the
Maury County Sheriff's Office (“Sheriff's
Office”) by Harold Smith (“Plaintiff”) and
Keith Pierce (“Pierce”), who were inmates at the
Maury County Jail (“Jail”) at the time the
lawsuit was filed. Although Plaintiff was granted in
forma pauperis status, Pierce failed to either pay the
filing fee or submit an application to proceed in forma
pauperis, and he was dismissed from the action.
See Docket Entry No. 9 at 1. Seeking injunctive and
monetary relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Plaintiff
complains about a variety of conditions of confinement at the
Jail and contends that these conditions violate his
constitutional rights. Upon initial review of the complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A, the
Court found that Plaintiff stated arguable constitutional
claims and directed that process issue to Defendants in the
a somewhat difficult to follow complaint that sets out
allegations pertaining to Plaintiff, Pierce, and other
inmates, the Court noted in the initial review that Plaintiff
complains about overcrowding, mold in the living areas and
showers, inadequate outdoor recreation time, cold food,
unsanitary food service, insects in the Jail, a lack of
inmate jobs, inmate clothing not being properly washed, a
lack of access to a law library, inadequate grievance
procedures, and inadequate medical staffing and medical care.
See Docket Entry No. 9 at 2-3. Plaintiff makes
further allegations that Jail staff interfered with legal
mail being sent to other law enforcement agencies, that
inmates were made to sit in a “drunk tank” for
hours without shoes during the booking process, that inmates
were charged for hygiene products that should have been
available free of charge, that staff would often fail to
investigate inmate violence, that staff were under the
influence of alcohol, that inmates serving time for
misdemeanors were mixed in with convicted felons, and that
inmates were denied accrued sentence reduction credits
without due process. Id.
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
of answers, Defendants jointly filed the pending motion for
summary judgment. Relying upon the Declaration of Debra
Wagonshutz, the Jail Administrator (Docket Entry No. 15-1),
Defendants assert that Plaintiff was an inmate at the Jail
for approximately two months, from June 13, 2017, to August
16, 2017, and that his lawsuit is subject to dismissal on the
1) the Sheriff's Office is not a “person”
amenable to suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983;
2) Plaintiff's claims are subject to dismissal under the
Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 42 U.S.C.
§ 1997e(a), because Plaintiff failed to administratively
exhaust the claims through the Jail's grievance process
before filing his lawsuit;
3) Plaintiff fails to state claims upon which relief can be
granted based on his allegations about the denial of accrued
sentence reduction credits, inadequate grievance procedures,
a lack of access to a law library, insufficient inmate jobs,
and the fact that inmates are charged for hygiene products;
4) Plaintiff's request for injunctive relief has become
moot because of his release from the Jail. See
Motion for Summary Judgment (Docket Entry No. 14) at 1-2.
Order entered January 17, 2018, the Court advised Plaintiff
of the need to respond to the motion for summary judgment and
gave him a deadline of February 23, 2018, to file a response.
See Docket Entry No. 17. Plaintiff has not ...