United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
WILLIAM D. HAMBY, JR. # 135146, Plaintiff,
TONY PARKER, et al., Defendants.
A. Trauger United States District Judge.
D. Hamby, Jr., an inmate of the Morgan County Correctional
Complex (MCCX) in Wartburg, Tennessee, brings this pro
se, in forma pauperis action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against Tony Parker, Gary Hamby, and f/n/u Ridenour, alleging
violations of his civil rights. (Docket No. 1). The
plaintiff's 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
PLRA Screening Standard
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the court must dismiss any
portion of a civil complaint filed in forma pauperis
that fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted,
is frivolous, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who
is immune from such relief. Section 1915A similarly requires
initial review of any “complaint in a civil action in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity, ”
id. § 1915A(a), and summary dismissal of the
complaint on the same grounds as those articulated in §
1915(e)(2)(B). Id. § 1915A(b).
Sixth Circuit has confirmed that the dismissal standard
articulated by the Supreme Court in Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), and Bell Atlantic Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), “governs
dismissals for failure to state a claim under those statutes
because the relevant statutory language tracks the language
in Rule 12(b)(6).” Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d
468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010). Thus, to survive scrutiny on
initial review, “a complaint must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 570). “A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “[A] district court
must (1) view the complaint in the light most favorable to
the plaintiff and (2) take all well-pleaded factual
allegations as true.” Tackett v. M & G
Polymers, USA, LLC, 561F.3d 478, 488 (6th Cir. 2009)
(citing Gunasekera v. Irwin, 551 F.3d 461, 466 (6th
Cir. 2009) (citations omitted)).
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 courts'
“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).
Section 1983 Standard
plaintiff brings his complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983 creates a cause of action
against any person who, acting under color of state law,
abridges “rights, privileges, or immunities secured by
the Constitution and laws . . . .” To state a claim
under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege and show two
elements: (1) that he was deprived of a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States; and (2) that the
deprivation was caused by a person acting under color of
state law. Tahfs v. Proctor, 316 F.3d 584, 590
(6th Cir. 2003); 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
complaint alleges that Tennessee Department of Correction
Commissioner Parker and MCCX Warden Hamby require MCCX
inmates who are designated “MAX” mental health
custody inmates to be housed in the same unit as inmates who
are designated “close” mental health custody
inmates. (Docket No. 1 at 2). The plaintiff is designated a
“close” mental health inmate and, while
incarcerated at MCCX, during a daily, one-hour group
activity, he is put in a cage next to “MAX”
custody inmate David Deshaun Mays, a known violent sex
offender. (Id. at 1). According to the complaint,
Mays “daily threatens to rape” the plaintiff.
(Id. at 2).
December 15, 2017, Mays was not searched prior to being
placed in the cage, and he brought a bottle filled with urine
and blood and threw the contents of the bottle at the
plaintiff, exposing the plaintiff to the bodily fluids.
(Id.) The plaintiff attempted to report the incident
to the police, seek recourse from officials within the
prison, and request an “incompatible” with Mays,
but defendant Ridenour would not allow the plaintiff to
proceed. (Id.) Further, Mays was not disciplined for
this event because Ridenour “has a hidden
‘obligation' to some inmates.” (Id.
at 3, 5). The plaintiff fears that he has been exposed to HIV
as a result of the blood to which he was exposed.
(Id. at 4).
complaint alleges that defendants Parker and Hamby are
responsible for the housing arrangement at MCCX, whereby
inmates who are designated “MAX” mental health
custody inmates are housed in the same unit as inmates who