United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
RAYMOND E. WATISON, Plaintiff,
SGT. FNU SMITH, C/O FNU NEWTON, MS. FNU SHELTON, C/O M. JONES, C/O FNU BRATCHER, C/O FNU BAGGINS, and MS. FNU BARNETT, Defendants.
ORDER DISMISSING CLAIMS AGAINST DEFENDANTS NEWTON,
SHELTON, JONES, BRATCHER, BAGGINS, AND BARNETT ORDER
DIRECTING THAT PROCESS BE ISSUED AND SERVED ON DEFENDANT
THOMAS ANDERSON CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
November 17, 2016, Plaintiff Raymond E. Watison
(“Watison”), who at the time of filing was a
pre-trial detainee at the Shelby County Criminal Justice
Center in Memphis, Tennessee, filed pro se a
Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 accompanied by a
motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF
Nos. 1 & 2.) The Court granted leave to proceed in
forma pauperis and assessed the civil filing fee
pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(a)-(b). (ECF No. 4.). For purposes of
screening, the Clerk is directed to record the Defendants as
Sergeant (“Sgt.”) First Name Unknown
(“FNU”) Smith, Correctional Officer
(“C/O”) FNU Newton, Ms. FNU Shelton, C/O M.
Jones, C/O FNU Bratcher, C/O FNU Baggins, and Ms. FNU
Count 1 of the Complaint, Watison alleges on August 16, 2016,
he was engaged in an altercation with another inmate in the
other inmate's cell. (Compl. at 2, ECF No. 1.) C/O
Baggins ordered both men to stop fighting, and Watison and
the other inmate complied. (Id.) Watison alleges
that when he left the cell, Sgt. Smith put his arm around
Watison's neck and choked Watison repeatedly.
(Id. at 2-3.) Watison told Sgt. Smith that he was
choking him. (Id. at 3.) Sgt. Smith continued to
drag and choke Watison until Watison began to lose his breath
and black out. (Id.) Watison alleges that when he
came to, Sgt. Smith slammed Watison's head on the floor.
(Id.) Sgt. Smith then placed his knee at the back
and center of Watison's neck and attempted to break
Watison's hand while placing handcuffs on him, and then
pushed his knee up and down on Watison's neck and back.
(Id.) After Watison began yelling and other inmates
started to attack Sgt. Smith, Sgt. Smith escorted Watison to
the hallway, slammed his head on the wall, and stated to
Watison that he “should of choked you to death,
bitch.” (Id.) Watison contends that because of
injuries sustained during the incident, he has problems
breathing and swallowing and difficulty sleeping based on
death threats allegedly made by Sgt. Smith. (Id.)
Count 2 of the Complaint, Watison alleges that on June 26,
2016, he requested an inmate grievance form from C/O Jones
who became aggressive and used profane language towards
Watison. (Id.) Watison asked to speak with Sgt.
Johnson, who is not a party to this action. (Id. at
4.) C/O Jones again used profanity and told Watison Sgt.
Johnson did not care about his grievance. (Id.)
Watison filed a grievance against C/O Jones over the
incident. (Id.) Watison alleges that on July 6,
2016, C/O Jones retaliated against him by filing a false
incident report. (Id.) As a result, Watison was sent
to solitary confinement for 30 days and had his security
level raised. (Id.) Watison was not allowed to
contact his attorney during this time. (Id.)
Count 3 of the Complaint, Watison alleges that while he was
in solitary confinement, C/O Baggins took his property.
(Id.) On September 11, 2016, C/O Chandler, who is
not a party to this action, returned most of Watison's
property; however Watison noticed some items were missing.
(Id.) C/O Chandler advised Watison to file a
Count 4 of the Complaint, Watison alleges that he was found
guilty in a disciplinary hearing conducted by C/O Shelton,
C/O Newton, C/O Bratcher, Ms. Barnett, and an unknown officer
for striking inmate Marquise Cole. (Id. at 4-5.)
Watison received 30 days of solitary confinement.
(Id.) Watison admits that he was previously in an
altercation with another inmate, Chester Jones. (Id.
at 4.) However, it was, in fact, inmate Jones and not Watison
who was in a verbal altercation with inmate Cole.
(Id.) Watison's appeal of the decision was
denied by Defendants Barnett and Bratcher. (Id. at
5.) Watison argues that being placed in solitary confinement
under inhumane conditions where he could not clean his cell
and being denied access to his attorney amounts to cruel and
unusual punishment. (Id.)
now seeks compensatory, punitive, nominal, and monetary
damages as well as a restraining order against Sgt. Smith.
(Id. at 6.)
Court is required to screen prisoner complaints and to
dismiss any complaint, or any portion thereof, if the
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see also 28 U.S.C. §
assessing whether the Complaint in this case states a claim
on which relief may be granted, the Court applies the
standards for pleadings under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) announced in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 677-79 (2009) and Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57 (2007). Hill v.
Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010).
“Accepting all well-pleaded allegations in the
complaint as true, the Court ‘consider[s] the factual
allegations in [the] complaint to determine if they plausibly
suggest an entitlement to relief.'” Williams v.
Curtin, 631 F.3d 380, 383 (6th Cir. 2011) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 681) (alteration in original).
“[P]leadings that . . . are no more than conclusions .
. . are not entitled to the assumption of truth. While legal
conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they
must be supported by factual allegations.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679; see also Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555 n.3 (“Rule 8(a)(2) still requires a
‘showing, ' rather than a blanket ...