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Myers v. Shelby County

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division

April 24, 2018

MARIO MARQUETTE MYERS a/k/a MALEIK ALI BEY, Plaintiff,
v.
SHELBY COUNTY et al.; Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, CERTIFYING AN APPEAL WOULD NOT BE TAKEN IN GOOD FAITH, NOTIFYING PLAINTIFF OF APPELLATE FILING FEE, AND CAUTIONING PLAINTIFF ABOUT RESTRICTIONS UNDER 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)

          S. THOMAS ANDERSON, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         On October 20, 2016, Plaintiff Mario Marquette Myers a/k/a Maleik Ali Bey (“Myers”), a pre-trial detainee at the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center in Memphis, Tennessee, filed pro se a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 accompanied by a motion to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF Nos. 1 & 2). The Court granted Myers leave to proceed in forma pauperis and assessed the civil filing fee pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(a)-(b). (ECF No. 4.) The Clerk shall record the Defendants as Shelby County, [1] Shelby County Deputy Response Team (“DRT”) Deputy K. Williams, Shelby County DRT Deputy J. Griffin, Shelby County Fugitive Deputy Mr. First Name Unknown (“FNU”) Carter, Shelby County DRT Lieutenant FNU Tuggle, Nurse Ms. FNU James, Nurse Mr. FNU Haywood, and Dr. FNU Washington.

         BACKGROUND

         This is not Myers's first civil action in this Court. On March 20, 2017, the Court dismissed a case filed by Myers and imposed specific restrictions on Myers's ability to avail himself of filing in forma pauperis. See Myers v. Correct Care Solutions, No. 16-2135-JDT-cgc (W.D. Tenn. Mar. 20, 2017) (providing a synopsis of the dismissal of Myers's previous IFP cases for failure to state a claim as well as implementing filing restrictions). Even though this is now Myers' fourth suit filed in forma pauperis under the PLRA, Myers filed this action prior to March 20, 2017. Therefore, the Court will address the merits of the Complaint.

         On October 4, 2016, Myers was charged with aggravated sexual battery. (https://cjs.shelbycountytn.gov, Indictment No. 1603621-16621756.) Myers's case is still pending. In the Complaint at bar, Myers alleges that on October 4, 2016, Defendants Williams, Griffin, and Carter used excessive force against Myers in an effort to compel Myers to give his fingerprints. According to Myers, the officers were booking him for the battery charge, which had already been dismissed for lack of prosecution on December 17, 2015. (Compl. at 2, ECF No. 1.) Myers contends that the officers' use of force caused cracking in Myers's thumb nails, a cut to his left thumb, and swelling in both wrists. (Id. at 3.) Myers alleges that Defendants Williams and Griffin placed the handcuffs on him too tightly and twisted and pulled the cuffs on Myers's wrists in order to get Myers's fingerprints. (Id.) Myers was seen in medical for his injuries and received a bandage and ibuprofen. (Id.) Myers's request for an x-ray was denied. (Id.) Myers now seeks an order of protection against Defendants as well as punitive, compensatory, and nominal damages in the total amount of $5 million. (Id. at 4.)

         Myers has addressed a separate letter to the Court including additional allegations about the events of October 4, 2016. (ECF No. 6.) Myers contends that Defendants Williams and Griffin forced Myers to hang up a paid phone call. (Id. at 2.) Myers filed a grievance, number 420222, on October 5, 2016, and was denied relief. (Id., see also Exhibit A-1.) Myers contends that the officers failed to answer his complaint or his appeal in a timely manner. (Id.) Myers's letter goes on to state that he did not receive “adequate” medical attention. (Id.) Myers believes he was improperly denied outside medical care from a specialist and was told by Defendant Washington that he would have to pay for x-rays. (Id.) Myers requests that he be seen immediately by a “qualified” physician who can perform an x-ray. (Id. at 5.)

         SCREENING STANDARD

         The Court is required to screen prisoner complaints and to dismiss any complaint, or any portion thereof, if the complaint-

(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         In assessing whether the Complaint in this case states a claim on which relief may be granted, the Court applies the pleading standards under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) announced in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677˗79 (2009), and in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555˗57 (2007). Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470˗71 (6th Cir. 2010). “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.”).

         “A complaint can be frivolous either factually or legally. Any complaint that is legally frivolous would ipso facto fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Hill, 630 F.3d at 470 (citing Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325, 328-29 (1989)).

Whether a complaint is factually frivolous under §§ 1915A(b)(1) and 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) is a separate issue from whether it fails to state a claim for relief. Statutes allowing a complaint to be dismissed as frivolous give “judges not only the authority to dismiss a claim based on an indisputably meritless legal theory, but also the unusual power to pierce the veil of the complaint's factual allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are clearly baseless.” Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327, 109 S.Ct. 1827 (interpreting 28 U.S.C. § 1915). Unlike a dismissal for failure to state a claim, where a judge must accept all factual allegations as true, Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50, a judge does not ...

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