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McNabb v. Long

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

May 22, 2018

JEFF LONG et al., Defendants.



         The plaintiff Martez McNabb, proceeding pro se, filed a civil complaint against defendants Sheriff Jeff Long and Lieutenant Vandenbosch of the Williamson County Sheriff's Office. (ECF No. 1.)[1] Also before the court is the plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis. (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.


         Under 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 be granted.

         However, 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.


         A. Factual Allegations

         In his complaint, the plaintiff recites a long list of ills that he alleges plague the Williamson County Sheriff's Office (WCSO) jail. Specifically, the plaintiff alleges that he is made to watch a Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) video at least twice daily for an hour at a time. (ECF No. 1 at Page ID# 10.) The plaintiff alleges that there are security cameras over the toilets in several of the bathrooms in the facility. (Id.) He asserts that this violates his right to privacy. (Id.) The plaintiff alleges that they, which the court will presume means the defendants, took away outdoor recreation time. (Id.) Further, he alleges that in 2018 the WCSO jail initiated a policy which prohibits inmates from working out at all no matter where in the facility, including the day room and prisoner cells. (Id.) The plaintiff alleges that the absence of opportunities for recreation and exercise causes him to lash out at staff, other inmates and his family and creates, for all intents and purposes, a jail in which all of the prisoners are in segregation. (Id. at Page ID# 11.) The plaintiff alleges that prisoners are required to agree to jail policy without first having a chance to read it, and if they do not agree to the policies, they are locked out of the “kiosk” system, which prevents them from ordering from the commissary, filing medical requests, etc. (Id. at Page ID ## 10-11.)

         The plaintiff alleges that the WCSO jail does not honor or acknowledge Islamic beliefs and Seventh Day Adventists must eat meat or starve. ( Page ID# 11.) Further, the plaintiff alleges that, “for an inmate to attend a church service he or she has to be approved . . . and put on a list to attend then only three . . . inmates per pod are allowed to attend the service . . .”. (Id.)

         The plaintiff alleges that inmates do not receive a physical upon entering the facility, which means that the plaintiff does not know what kinds of health conditions to which he might be exposed. (Id. at Page ID# 12.) He alleges that they cut hair with unclean clippers, pass nail clippers around the facility, and make the prisoners share towels, which required the plaintiff to remove pubic hair from his face towel before he used it. (Id.) The plaintiff alleges that the facility charges for medical visits, prescription and over-the-counter medicine, lab work and imaging. (Id.) Additionally, inmates are charged a fee to order from the commissary and pay excessive prices for items bought at the commissary. (Id. at Page ID# 13-14.) The plaintiff alleges that the WCSO shows favoritism to inmate workers by allowing them to buy thermal shirts while the other inmates freeze. (Id. at Page ID# 12.)

         The plaintiff alleges that laundry is washed without any soap or bleach, and that clothes are returned to inmates “smelling like burnt dirt and funk, ” which is unsanitary. (Id.) Additionally, the plaintiff alleges that sometimes the dryer catches fire, which is a hazard. (Id.) The plaintiff alleges that the jail facility is covered with mold, rust, dirt, graffiti, insects, and rodents. (Id. at Page ID# 13.)

         The plaintiff alleges that, on January 1, 2018, the facility tested the fire alarm, but inmates were locked in their cells. (Id.) He alleges that the WCSO jail fails to follow proper safety protocol. (Id.)

         Finally, the plaintiff alleges that the WCSO jail fails to keep up with inmate time and that, as a result, inmates are serving more time than is required by the judgment of conviction. (Id. at Page ID# 14.)

         As relief, the plaintiff seeks money damages and an order directing the WCSO jail to ...

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