United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
A. Trauger, United States District Judge.
Shairiq Seabrooks, an inmate of the Hardeman County
Correctional Center in Hartsville, Tennessee, filed this
pro se, in forma pauperis action under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against Core Civic, Core Civic Health Dept., Mr.
f/n/u Mitchell, Mr. f/n/u Green, Mr. f/n/u Ramos, Mr. f/n/u
Roberts, Mr. f/n/u Robertson, Mr. f/n/u Holloway, Mr. f/n/u
Baker, Mr. f/n/u Martinez, Dr. John Doe, and John/Jane Does
1-15, alleging violations of the Plaintiff's civil
rights. (Docket No. 1).
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, on January 24, 2017, the plaintiff
arrived at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center
(“TTCC”). While exiting the bus, the plaintiff
noticed three members of the Crips gang (John Does 12, 13,
and 14) acting in a threatening way toward the plaintiff. The
plaintiff became scared because he was incarcerated for
killing the brother of John Doe 14. Another inmate told the
plaintiff that the gang members were armed with shanks.
Fearing for his physical safety, the plaintiff refused to get
off the bus.
plaintiff communicated his concerns to corrections officer
John Doe 1 and asked for an “incompatible, ”
meaning the plaintiff would be placed in protective custody
until he could be transferred to another facility. John Doe 1
gave the plaintiff the appropriate form for making an
incompatible request and asked the plaintiff to identify out
of a group of photographs the brother of the victim in the
same day, the plaintiff also informed corrections officers
John Doe 2 and Jane Doe 3 of his concerns. The officers
allegedly informed Crips gang members of what the plaintiff
had told them and made comments to the plaintiff such as he
“was not a real nigga, [he] was a snitch, [he] was a
coward, [he] was shaky . . . .” (Docket No. 1 at 7).
They told the plaintiff that they would “make
sure” he went in a unit with Crips gang members.
(Id.) After speaking with John Doe 1, John Doe 2 and
Jane Doe 3 conspired to place the plaintiff in a unit with
Crips gang members. They also placed inmate David Bibbs in
the same unit. Bibbs was the plaintiff's co-defendant in
the crime of killing a Crips gang member.
evening of January 24, 2017, the plaintiff heard inmates
talking to corrections officer Jane Doe 4 outside of the
plaintiff's cell. These inmates, who were Crips gang
members, asked Jane Doe 4 to open the plaintiff's door
once he was asleep. The plaintiff then jammed his door shut
with a brush so it would not open and stayed awake all night.
Jane 4 Doe continuously checked his cell throughout the night
to see if he was asleep. The next morning, the plaintiff
repeatedly pressed the emergency call button and asked to be
removed from his cell, but no one assisted him.
afternoon of January 25, 2017, corrections officer Jane Doe 5
came to retrieve the plaintiff for his shower. He declined
and would not open his door due to fears about his safety.
Jane Doe 5 yelled to the Crips gang members, telling them
that the plaintiff “had did something to the door and
it would not open.” (Docket No. 1 at 9). Jane Doe 3
walked into the unit and stated that “she tried to give
them the chance to kill” the plaintiff. (Id.)
Jane Doe 5 left and asked Bibbs if he wanted a shower. He
exited his cell, Crips gang members ambushed him, and killed
him. Shortly afterwards, John Doe 6 entered the unit and
called for medics. When the medics arrived, Crips gang
members asked if Bibbs was dead. The medics said yes, and the
Crips gang members celebrated and told the plaintiff that
“he was next.” (Id. at 10).
plaintiff told John Doe 6 that the plaintiff needed to get
out of this unit. At first, John Doe 6 “seemed to be
helping” the plaintiff, but “then for some reason
. . . stopped helping [the plaintiff] and started helping
[Crips gang members].” (Id.) He created a
situation where the Crips gang members could enter the
plaintiff's cell and kill him. (Id. at 11). The
plaintiff begged for his life while the Crips gang members
taunted him “about how they would kill [the plaintiff]
and bragged that their homeboy had a funneral [sic] and David
Bibbs would not have a funneral [sic].” (Id.)
The plaintiff believes that John Doe 6 assisted the Crips
gang members in flushing Bibbs's body down the toilet in
pieces. (Id.) The plaintiff was so upset that he
nearly committed suicide by tying a sheet around his neck.
came to the plaintiff's cell, and he told her what had
happened. He begged her to place him in medical on suicide
watch to get him out of the unit or to at least stay with him
so the Crips gang members would not kill him. The nurse, Jane
Doe 7, refused his requests. Another nurse, Jane Doe 8,
subsequently came to see the plaintiff, he made the same
requests to her, and she also refused to help.
plaintiff began yelling for help and begging John Doe 6 to
help him. John Doe 6 “told the Crips gang members in
the cell next to [the plaintiff] to hurry up, and that he
wanted [the plaintiff's] tongue cut out [his]
mouth.” (Id. at 12). The plaintiff then
attempted to kill himself by cutting the veins in his wrist,
arms, and neck. Corrections officer John Doe 9 came by, saw
the plaintiff “bleeding out, ” and called a code.
(Id.) As the plaintiff was being taken out of his
cell by medics, Crips gang members yelled to John Doe 6,
asking him to let them “finish off” the
the plaintiff awoke at the hospital, officers told him that
no one had been killed at the facility. The plaintiff
subsequently was transferred to the DeBerry Special Needs
Facility (“DSNF”). The plaintiff believes that
the defendants employed by DSNF are covering up Bibbs's
murder. The plaintiff states that he is participating in an
investigation about Bibbs with the Federal Bureau ...