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Coldon v. Ruck

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

May 14, 2018

CARLOS L. COLDON, # 158388, Plaintiff,
v.
TAMMY RUCK, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

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

         Carlos L. Coldon, also known as Robert J. Froster, an inmate of the Davidson County Sheriff's Office in Nashville, Tennessee, filed this pro se action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12131, et seq. (ADA), and Title VI, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d, against Correct Care Solutions nurse Tammy Ruck, Chief of Security Chris Brown, Standards Officer Jason Saad, Hill Detention Center administrator Pam Hale, and Davidson County Sheriff's Office case manager Jessie Oliver, alleging violations of his federally protected rights. (Doc. No. 1).

         The complaint is before the Court for an initial review pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

         I. PLRA Screening Standard

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, even if the prisoner paid the civil filing fee such as in this action, a district court must review any “complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity” and shall dismiss any claims that are frivolous, malicious, or fail to state claims upon which relief may be granted. Id.

         The court must construe a pro se complaint liberally, United States v. Smotherman, 838 F.3d 736, 739 (6th Cir. 2016)(citing Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)), and accept the plaintiff's factual allegations as true unless they are entirely without credibility. See Thomas v. Eby, 481 F.3d 434, 437 (6th Cir. 2007)(citing Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992)). 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 court's “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).

         II. Motions

         Along with his complaint, the Plaintiff has filed a letter (Doc. No. 5), three motions to amend his complaint (Doc. Nos. 8, 9, 10), two motions to add supplemental pleadings (Doc. Nos. 11, 12), and a motion for jury trial (Doc. No. 13).

         In his October 2017 letter, the Plaintiff alleges that nurses at the Hill Detention Center retaliated against him for filing grievances about his lack of accommodations by transferring the plaintiff to another pod that was not handicapped-accessible. (Doc. No. 5 at 1-2). The Court construes the Plaintiff's letter as a motion to amend the original complaint.

         In his motion to amend filed on December 27, 2017 (Doc. No. 8), the Plaintiff states that there “must have been a[] misunderstanding on the clerk/court part” because the Plaintiff intended to name Correct Care Solutions and the Davidson County Sheriff's Office as Defendants. (Id. at 1). The Plaintiff also states that he now knows the name of two nurses he wants to name as Defendants, and he asks the Court to add Tara McBay, nurse supervisor, as a Defendant to the Plaintiff's discrimination and retaliation claims and April McQueen, nurse, as a Defendant to the Plaintiff's retaliation claim. (Id. at 1-2).

         In his motion to amend filed on January 17, 2018 (Doc. No. 9), the Plaintiff adds additional facts about the claims set forth in his original complaint and in his previous motions to amend his complaint.

         The “motion to amend complaint and add supplemental pleadings” received by the Court on February 12, 2018[1] (Doc. No. 10) as well as the motion to add supplemental pleadings (Doc. No. 11) received by the Court on the same date are duplicative of the Plaintiff's earlier filings. As such, these motions will be denied.

         The “motion to add supplemental pleading and defendants to my complaint” filed by the Plaintiff on February 6, 2018, clarifies that the Plaintiff wishes to add as Defendants the state of Tennessee; Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee (Metro Government); Davidson County Sheriff's Office; Correct Care Solutions; nurse supervisor Tara McBay; and nurse April McQueen. (Doc. No. 12 at 1). The Plaintiff also seeks to add claims under Tennessee state law. (Id.)

         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 amendments to the complaint provide additional context for the claims raised in the original complaint. The amendments also seek to add new defendants and claims. With respect to the futility of the amendments, the Court finds that the proposed amendments to the complaint raise legal and factual issues that the Court should consider when evaluating the Plaintiff's complaints concerning his incarceration at the Hill Detention Center and “MCC.” 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. The Court therefore will grant the motions to amend and supplement (Doc. Nos. 5, 8, 9, and 12), and the Clerk will add Tara McBay, April McQueen, Davidson County Sheriff's Office, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee (Metro), State of Tennessee, and Correct Care Solutions as Defendants to this action.

         Finally, the Plaintiff's request to add a jury demand to his complaint (Doc. No. 13) will be granted.

         The Court will screen the original complaint, as informed by the Plaintiff's amendments to the original complaint, pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

         III. Alleged Facts

         The complaint alleges that the Plaintiff is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Upon arriving as an inmate of the Hill Detention Center in July 2017, the Plaintiff initially was placed in Pod-A that is not equipped for paralyzed inmates. After the Plaintiff's wife called and spoke with the Plaintiff's case manager, Jessie Oliver, the Plaintiff was moved to Pod-D, the jail's medical pod. However, Pod-D presented some of the same accommodation issues for the Plaintiff. The facility doctor placed an order on September 21, 2017, for the Plaintiff to receive a hospital style air mattress for his pressure issues, but the Plaintiff never received it. The Plaintiff believes that he contracted scabies from his unsanitary mattress while he was housed in Pod-D for seventy days.

         Correct Care Solutions nurse Tammy Ruck discussed the Plaintiff's medical information in front of a corrections officer, f/n/u Mulligan. The Plaintiff believes that this conversation violated his “HIPA” rights. (Doc. No. 1 at 3). The Plaintiff filed a grievance regarding his concern. Chief of Security Brown told the Plaintiff that his grievance “was not a grievance” and was instead a “case management request.” (Id.) The grievance coordinator wrote to the Plaintiff that “[m]edical makes every effort to maintain confidentiality, however, security always comes first in this environment and security staff is held to the same standard ...


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