United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. TRAUGER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Bobby James Mosley, Jr., a pretrial detainee in the custody
of the Davidson County Sheriff's Office, has filed a
pro se complaint (Doc. No. 1) for violation of his
civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Before the
court is the plaintiff's application to proceed without
prepaying fees or costs. (Doc. No. 2.) In addition, the
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.
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 is apparent
from the plaintiff's submission that he lacks the funds
to pay the entire filing fee in advance, his application to
proceed as a pauper (Doc. No. 2) is GRANTED.
to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(b) and 1914(a), the plaintiff
is nonetheless assessed the $350.00 civil filing fee. The
Davidson County Sheriff, as custodian of the petitioner's
trust account, is DIRECTED to submit to the
clerk of court, as an initial payment, the greater of: (a)
20% of the average monthly deposits to the plaintiff's
credit at the jail; or (b) 20% of the average monthly balance
to the plaintiff's credit for the six-month period
immediately preceding the filing of the complaint. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b)(1). Thereafter, the custodian shall submit 20%
of the plaintiff's preceding monthly income (or income
credited to Petitioner for the preceding month), but only
when the balance in the account exceeds $10.00. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b)(2). Payments shall continue until the $350.00
filing fee has been paid in full to the clerk of court. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(b)(3).
clerk of court MUST send a copy of this
order to the Davidson County Sheriff to ensure payment of the
filing fee. If the plaintiff is transferred from his present
place of confinement, the Sheriff must ensure that a copy of
this order follows the plaintiff to his new place of
confinement, for continued compliance herewith. All payments
made pursuant to this order must be submitted to the clerk of
court for the United States District Court for the Middle
District of Tennessee, 801 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203.
Initial Review of the Complaint
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. In
reviewing the complaint to determine whether it states a
plausible claim, “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)). A pro se pleading must be liberally
construed and “held to less stringent standards than
formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citing Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).
plaintiff seeks to vindicate alleged violations of his
federal constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Section 1983 confers a private federal right of action
against any person who, acting under color of state law,
deprives an individual of any right, privilege or immunity
secured by the Constitution or federal laws. Wurzelbacher
v. Jones-Kelley, 675 F.3d 580, 583 (6th Cir. 2012).
Thus, to state a § 1983 claim, a plaintiff must allege
two elements: (1) a deprivation of rights secured by the
Constitution and 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) (citations omitted); 42 U.S.C.
complaint alleges that the plaintiff has been
“illegally confined” and “falsely
imprisoned” since July 22, 2015, following his arrest
and indictments for attempted first degree murder and
aggravated assault. (Doc. No. 1 at 7, 8, 18, 19.) He alleges
that his due process rights have been violated, and sues his
prosecutors, Jane Doe and Danielle Nellis, his court
appointed attorneys, Kevin Kelly and Kyle Parks, and criminal
court Judge J. Wyatt. (Doc. No. 1 at 2, 7.) He seeks more
than $40 million in total damages and immediate release from
custody. (Doc. No. 1 at 6, 9.) Specifically, he asks the
court to “issue an injunction order the state of
Tennessee or the Administration at MCC to: Release the
Plaintiff from MCC or the custody of DCSO and place him back
in society with restoration of all rights and
privileges.” (Doc. No. 1 at 6.)
plaintiff's complaint fails because each of the
defendants named is immune from suit under § 1983. Judge
Wyatt is absolutely immune from any suit for damages under
§ 1983 for actions taken in his judicial capacity and
with proper jurisdiction, Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S.
9, 10-11 (1991), and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 expressly provides
that, except for circumstances not present in this case,
“injunctive relief shall not be granted”
“against a judicial officer for an act or omission
taken in such officer's judicial capacity.”
Similarly, prosecutors Doe and Nellis are absolutely immune
from claims against them individually for actions taken
within the scope of their prosecutorial duties, see
Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 427 (1976), and are
shielded by Eleventh Amendment immunity from any claims for
damages against them in their official capacities. See
Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58
(66). And finally, the plaintiff's court-appointed
attorneys do not act under color of state law when providing
legal representation to their clients, and are therefore not
proper defendants to a § 1983 claim. Polk County v.
Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 325 (1981); Mulligan v.
Schlachter, 389 F.2d 231, 233 (6th Cir. 1968).
the immediate release from custody that the plaintiff demands
is not available under § 1983:
[A] § 1983 action is a proper remedy for a state
prisoner who is making a constitutional challenge to the
conditions of his prison life, but not to ...