United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
OCTAVIAN D. REEVES, Plaintiff,
CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA et al.,
A. TRAUGER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff Octavian D. Reeves, proceeding pro se,
filed a civil complaint against defendants Corrections
Corporation of America (CCA), Nurse Cynthia Pratt and Nurse
Scott. (ECF No. 1.) Before the court are the plaintiff's
application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF Nos.
2, 8) and his Motion to Appoint Counsel (ECF No. 5). 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 Nos. 2, 8) will
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.
complaint, the plaintiff alleges that the defendants
knowingly withheld psychotropic medication from him and as a
result, he became unstable and violent, injuring himself and
others. Specifically, the plaintiff alleges that on September
15, 2016, Scott Schuch gave him a 90 day prescription for
Prozac for his depression. (ECF No. 1 at Page ID# 4.) On
October 3, 4 and 5, 2016, defendants CCA and Pratt failed to
give the plaintiff his Prozac. (Id.) On October 5,
2016, the plaintiff filled out an emergency sick call form
because he was not receiving his medication, but he did not
receive a response from the mental health department.
(Id.) On October 11, 2016, defendant Scott came to
the plaintiff's unit but she gave the plaintiff the wrong
medicine. (Id.) On October 14, 2016, the plaintiff
filled out another emergency sick call form because he was
not given his Prozac on October 10 or 11, 2016.
(Id.) Again, he did not receive a response.
(Id.) The plaintiff alleges that CCA, Pratt and
Scott have repeatedly failed to ensure that Plaintiff is
provided with his prescribed psychotropic medication on a
daily basis despite knowing that he needs this medication due
to his serious mental health issues. (Id.) Plaintiff
alleges that the defendants' abrupt discontinuation of
his stabilizing medications has caused a “significant
disruption” in the plaintiff's life and prevents
him from functioning in the general population “without
disturbing or endangering others or himself.”
(Id.) As an example, the plaintiff alleges that on
October 20, 2016, the plaintiff was depressed because he was
not being given his medication and as a result, he climbed a
razor wire fence and jumped over the fence. (Id.)
plaintiff alleges that on June 16 and 17, 2017, the
defendants failed to ensure that he received his prescribed
medication. (Id.) The plaintiff alleges that this
has been an on-going problem since he arrived at TTCC.
Additionally, he alleges that because of the defendants'
conduct, his mood has been unstable, which has disrupted his
daily functioning and prevented him for being housed in the
general population. The plaintiff alleges that because he has
routinely by denied his psychotropic medication, on October
23, 2017, the plaintiff punched another inmate multiple times
on the right side of his head. The plaintiff alleges that he
has never refused the daily dose of his psychiatric
medication and that such medication is essential to his
mental health care.
relief, the plaintiff seeks money damages, an injunction and
a declaratory judgment.
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 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.”).
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); see
also Williams, 631 F.3d at 383 (recognizing that
“[p]ro se complaints are to be held to less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, and
should therefore be liberally construed.” (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
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege the violation of a right secured by the federal
Constitution or laws and must show that the deprivation was
committed by a person acting under color of state law.
West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988);
Dominguez v. Corr. Med. Servs., 555 F.3d 543, 549
(6th Cir. 2009). Because § 1983 is a method for
vindicating federal rights, not a source of substantive
rights itself, the first step in an action under ...