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Bell v. Wilson County Jail

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

May 2, 2019

TRENTON BELL, Plaintiff,
v.
WILSON COUNTY JAIL, et al., Defendants.

          Trauger Judge.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JEFFERY S. FRENSLEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Pending before the Court is a “Motion to Strike Summons and Service of Summons, or in the Alternative, Motion to Dismiss the Complaint as to Cody Brummett and Garrett Waldron.” Docket No. 34. Along with that Motion, Officers Brummett and Waldron have filed a supporting Memorandum of Law. Docket No. 35.

         Plaintiff has not responded to the instant Motion.

         A brief recitation of the procedural history of this matter is helpful to its resolution.

         On September 17, 2018, Plaintiff, a pretrial detainee housed at the Wilson County Jail, originally filed this pro se action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, naming the Wilson County Jail and Southern Health as Defendants. Docket No. 1. Plaintiff's Complaint failed to state the capacity in which he sued Defendants; thus, he is deemed to sue Defendants solely in their official capacity. See, id.; Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 592-594 (6th Cir. 1989). Plaintiff seeks $25, 000 in damages. Id.

         On September 27, 2018, when reviewing Plaintiff's Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis, Judge Trauger noted in her Order that Plaintiff's Application could not be processed at that time because the trust fund account statement submitted by Plaintiff was not signed and certified by the custodian of Plaintiff's inmate account as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2). Docket No. 4. In that Order, Judge Trauger granted Plaintiff 28 days from the date he received the Order to submit to the Court a certified copy of his inmate trust fund account statement for the 6 month period immediately preceding the filing of the Complaint. Id. Judge Trauger cautioned, “The Plaintiff is forewarned that, if he does not comply with this Order within the time specified, the Court is required to presume that he is not a pauper, assess the full amount of filing fee, and order the case dismissed for want of prosecution. [] If the case is dismissed under these circumstances, it will not be reinstated to the Court's active docket despite any subsequent correction of the documentary deficiency, or payment of the filing fee.” Id. (citations omitted).

         On October 24, 2018, Judge Trauger entered an Order responding to 4 letters Plaintiff filed, as well as Plaintiff's Motion “for fast and speedy trial, ” in which she noted that Plaintiff had not yet complied with the Court's September 27, 2018 deficiency Order. Docket No. 10. In her Order, Judge Trauger stated: “The Court notes that the time for complying with the September 27, 2018 Order has not yet passed. The Plaintiff must comply with the Court's Order within the time specified or the Court is required to presume that he is not a pauper, assess the full amount of the filing fee, and order the case dismissed for want of prosecution. [] If the case is dismissed under these circumstances, it will not be reinstated to the Court's active docket despite any subsequent correction of the documentary deficiency, or payment of the filing fee.” Id. (citations omitted).

         On November 14, 2018, Judge Trauger entered another Order which stated in relevant part as follows:

By Order entered on October 24, 2018, the Court notified the Plaintiff that, although he had submitted a motion and several letters to the Court, he had not complied with the Court's previous Order. (Doc. No. 10). The Court reiterated to the Plaintiff that he must comply with the Court's Order or his case will be dismissed. (Id.)
The Court extends the deadline by which the Plaintiff must submit either the $400 civil filing fee or a certified inmate trust account statement in this case to November 15, 2018. If the Plaintiff fails to submit one or the other by that date, this action will be dismissed.

Docket No. 14 (emphasis original).

         On November 14, 2018, Judge Trauger entered an Order noting that the Court had received Plaintiff's letter regarding his inability to obtain a certified inmate account statement from the custodian of his account (Docket No. 13) and finding that the letter satisfied the deficiency with regard to his pauper application (Docket No. 2). Docket No. 15. Judge Trauger's Order also stated:

Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a pleading that states “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Although the plaintiff's original complaint complied with this rule, the plaintiff has since submitted numerous filings that add claims and defendants to his original complaint. As a ...

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