United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
ALETAA.TRAUGER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff Michael Cochran, proceeding pro se, filed
a civil complaint against defendants State of Tennessee and
Davidson County Sheriff's Department. (ECF No. 1.) Before
the court are the plaintiff's application to proceed
in forma pauperis (ECF No. 2), his Motion to Amend
the Complaint (ECF No. 7), his Motion for Hearing (ECF No. 6)
and his Motion for Appointment of Counsel (ECF No. 9). 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 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
the plaintiff's submissions that the plaintiff lacks
sufficient financial resources from which to pay the full
filing fee in advance, the application (ECF No. 2) 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.
MOTION TO AMEND THE COMPLAINT
plaintiff has filed a Motion to Amend the Complaint to add
the names of the individual Sheriff's Office employees he
believes are responsible for the wrongs about which he
complains: Jail Administrator Skelton, Officer W. Paul,
Lieutenants Conrad and Dial. Under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 15, a party may amend its pleading once as a matter
of course within 21 days after service or within 21 days
after service of a responsive pleading or motion to dismiss
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12. Because the complaint has not been
served, the plaintiff may amend his complaint as a matter of
course. As such, the Motion to Amend (ECF No. 7) is
GRANTED. The plaintiff has filed his amended
complaint (ECF No. 8) adding the individual defendants and
the amended complaint will be considered the extant complaint
for all purposes, including the court's initial review.
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).
amended complaint, the plaintiff alleges that the defendants
knowingly held him at the “MCC” for 48 hours
after he was scheduled to be released. (ECF No. 8 at Page ID#
33.) The plaintiff alleges that a probation warrant was
issued on November 22, 2017 which caused him to be
re-arrested and re-incarcerated after which, the plaintiff
alleges, he was beaten and denied medical care.
(Id.) The plaintiff alleges that the defendants
knowingly tried to “get [him] violated at and around
Thanksgiving . . . [to] keep [him] from seeing and being with
family. (Id. at Page ID# 34.) As relief, the
plaintiff seeks damages.
the allegations in plaintiff's amended complaint are
somewhat confusing, the court has also reviewed his original
complaint. In the original complaint, the plaintiff alleges
that, on November 20, 2017, he went to court and returned at
approximately 2:30. (ECF No. 1 at Page ID# 5.) The plaintiff
was scheduled to be released later that day. (Id.)
At about 5:30 he heard over a radio that inmates were to be
released. (Id.) The plaintiff alleges that he
waited, but was not released. (Id.) After talking
with his attorney, a retired Metro police officer and a
bondsman, plaintiff was finally released on November 22, 2017
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 ...