United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Taylor, an inmate of the Metro-Davidson County Detention
Facility in Nashville, Tennessee, filed this pro se, in
forma pauperis action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against the D.C.S.O. (Davidson County Sheriff's Office),
Sheriff Darren Hall, and Warden Harold Taylor, alleging
violations of the Plaintiff's civil rights based on a
recent outbreak of scabies at the facility. (Doc. No. 1). As
relief, the Plaintiff seeks “to be compensated for pain
and suffering, and mental damages sustained during [his] time
of incarceration.” (Id. at 6).
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.
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
brings his federal claims 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.
to the complaint (Doc. No. 1) and the supplement to the
complaint filed by the Plaintiff on October 25, 2017 (Doc.
No. 3), the Plaintiff was exposed to scabies while
incarcerated at the Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility
in Nashville, Tennessee. The complaint alleges that, when the
Plaintiff sought treatment for small bed rumps
“inflamed with pus” in October of 2016, a nurse
prescribed the Plaintiff a hydrocortisone cream and told him
that he was experiencing an allergic reaction to wool,
despite his insistence that he was suffering from scabies or
bed bites. (Id. at 1). After using the prescribed
cream for weeks and receiving no relief, the Plaintiff sought
additional medical treatment for his worsened symptoms. The
complaint alleges that the Plaintiff's condition had
become so severe that he was “literally scratching
[his] skin off . . . .” (Id. at 2). The
Plaintiff filed several medical complaints because he could
not sleep comfortably, and he experienced problems urinating
due to the severe itching.
December of 2016, an outside physician visited the facility,
examined the Plaintiff, and diagnosed him with scabies. He
prescribed pills for the Plaintiff, who was then isolated
from the other inmates. Over the course of the next four
weeks, the Plaintiff was treated two or three additional
times for scabies.
Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution imposes
upon a county an obligation to provide its inmates with
reasonably adequate food, clothing, shelter, sanitation,
recreation, and medical care. See Grubbs v. Bradley,
552 F.Supp. 1052, 1119-24 (M.D. Tenn. 1982). The failure to
provide such necessities is a violation of an inmate's
right to be ...