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Baggett v. Fuson

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

June 13, 2018

BILLY BAGGETT, Plaintiff,
v.
SHERIFF JOHN FUSON, et al., Defendants.

          FRENSLEY MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          MEMORANDUM

          WILLIAM L. CAMPBELL, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Billy Baggett, an inmate of the Montgomery County Jail in Clarksville, Tennessee, filed this pro se, in forma pauperis action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Sheriff John Fuson, Captain M. Pierce, Corporal f/n/u Hannifield, and Deputy M. Thompson, alleging violations of Plaintiff's civil and constitutional rights. (Doc. No. 1).

         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.

         I. PLRA Screening Standard

         Under 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).

         The court must construe a pro se complaint liberally, United States v. Smotherman, 838 F.3d 736, 739 (6th Cir. 2016)(citing Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)), and accept the plaintiff's factual allegations as true unless they are entirely without credibility. See Thomas v. Eby, 481 F.3d 434, 437 (6th Cir. 2007)(citing Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992)). Although 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).

         II. Section 1983 Standard

         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 Section 1983, a plaintiff must allege and show two elements: (1) he was deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States; and (2) the deprivation was caused by a person acting under color of state law. Dominguez v. Corr. Med. Servs., 555 F.3d 543, 549 (6th Cir. 2009)(quoting Sigley v. City of Panama Heights, 437 F.3d 527, 533 (6th Cir. 2006)); 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         III. Alleged Facts

         The complaint alleges that, while incarcerated at the Montgomery County Jail on April 19, 2018, Plaintiff “got in an argument” with another inmate during rec time. (Doc. No. 1 at 6). Deputy Thompson was in the guard tower at the time, and he did not intervene or send a floor deputy to intervene. (Id.) Instead, Thompson sent a deputy to lock Plaintiff down for 72 hours pursuant to a write-up. (Id.) Plaintiff was not given a copy of the write-up and was not allowed to read it. (Id.) Plaintiff asked to speak with Sergeant Welch or Corporal Riley, but neither would see Plaintiff. (Id.) Plaintiff filed a grievance in an effort to get a hearing, but he has not been permitted to have a hearing. (Id. at 7). His placement in lock-down for 72 hours caused Plaintiff to lose his job and work credits for 30 days. (Id.) According to Plaintiff, “this made [him] have to serve an[] extra 30 days on [his] sentence . . . without no [sic] hearing at all.” (Id.)

         On May 19, 2018, Plaintiff was told that a job board had met and extended his punishment by six additional months. (Id.) On May 21, 2018, Plaintiff received a form signed by Captain Hannifield stating that “they” voted to extend Plaintiff's punishment by another six months. (Id.) Plaintiff sent a request to Hannifield for a copy of the panel's vote and was told that he needed a subpoena. (Id.) Plaintiff believes that these actions violate his Federal due process rights. (Id.)

         IV. Analysis

         Plaintiff sues four Defendants in their official capacities only. (Doc. No. 1 at 2-3). These Defendants are John Fuson, Sheriff of Montgomery County; M. Pierce, Captain at the Montgomery County Jail; f/n/u Hannifield, Corporal at the Montgomery ...


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