United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Columbia Division
WILLIAM L. CAMPBELL, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Floyd Cates, an inmate at the Whiteville Correctional
Facility in Whiteville, Tennessee, filed this pro se civil
rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Brandon
Harbaugh, the Davidson County Jail, and the “Metro,
City of Nashville TN Corrections
Officers/Jail.” (Doc. No. 1 at 2-3.) He also filed a
motion to proceed in this Court without prepaying fees and
costs (Doc. No. 2) and a motion to obtain video and audio
recordings (Doc. No. 6).
Application to Proceed as a Pauper
Court may authorize a prisoner to file a civil suit without
prepaying the filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Because
it appears from Plaintiff's in forma pauperis application
that he cannot pay the full filing fee in advance, his
application (Doc. No. 2) will be granted. The $350.00 filing
fee will be assessed as directed in the accompanying Order.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).
the screening requirements of the Prison Litigation Reform
Act (“PLRA”), the Court must conduct an initial
review and dismiss the complaint if it is frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915A,
1915(e)(2)(B); 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(1). The Court must
also 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 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)).
alleges that he is a pretrial detainee. (Doc. No. 1 at 4.)
According to Plaintiff, on January 5, 2019, in Nashville,
Tennessee, Metropolitan Nashville Police Department
(“MNPD”) officer Brandon Harbaugh threatened him,
assaulted him, and then charged him with resisting arrest.
(Id. at 4-5.) Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that
Harbaugh grabbed his arm and “attempted to put me in
handcuffs, ” at which point Plaintiff asked if he was
under arrest. (Id. at 4, 12.) Harbaugh responded
“no.” (Id. at 12.) Plaintiff tried to
pull away from Harbaugh, and then Harbaugh punched him in the
right eye. (Id.) Plaintiff sustained a black eye.
(Id.) Other officers took Plaintiff to the ground
and put their knees on Plaintiff's back and neck.
(Id.) As Harbaugh handcuffed Plaintiff and took him
to the police car, he told Plaintiff to “say I was
resisting detainment if asked by anyone or I would be hit
again.” (Id.) In the car, Plaintiff alleges,
Harbaugh asked if Plaintiff knew why he was being arrested.
(Id.) Because Plaintiff feared retribution, he
responded as Harbaugh previously instructed. (Id.)
None of the officers advised Plaintiff of his
Miranda rights during this incident. (Id.
at 4, 12.) Plaintiff alleges that the officers were wearing
body cameras, and that the patrol car was equipped with a
camera. (Id. at 12.)
his arrest, Plaintiff alleges that he was taken to a facility
he identifies as “the Metro Jail.” (Doc. No. 1 at
4.) Some hours later, Plaintiff was taken to another facility
he identifies as “the County Jail.” (Id.
at 13.) According to Plaintiff, he does not know the
“exact name and location” of these facilities,
but the events giving rise to his claims occurred “at
the city and county jail in Nashville, TN.”
(Id. at 6.) Because the Court cannot infer the
proper names of these facilities based on the information
provided by Plaintiff, the Court will refer to them as
“the First Jail” and “the Second
Jail” for the purpose of conducting an initial review.
First Jail, Plaintiff was booked and not allowed to make a
phone call or file a grievance. (Id. at 4.)
Plaintiff was shackled, handcuffed behind his back, and
placed in a cell by himself. (Id.) He fell on the
floor, resulting in extreme pain to his left arm.
(Id. at 4, 13.) Plaintiff cried for hours on the
floor of the cell, screamed for help, and kicked the cell
door. (Id. at 13.) An officer kept looking in
Plaintiff's cell window and laughing, telling Plaintiff
to “get up.” (Id.) Later that night,
Plaintiff was dragged to a transportation van to be taken to
the Second Jail. (Id.) Plaintiff was placed in the
back of the van without a seatbelt of any kind while he was
still shackled and handcuffed. (Id. at 13-14.)
Second Jail, Plaintiff's restraints were removed and he
was taken to a cell without receiving medical attention.
(Id. at 14.) He was not allowed to make a phone call
or file a grievance, and he could not shower for two days.
(Id.) Plaintiff had to put his mouth on an
unsanitary sink faucet because he did not have a cup and the
water came out in a trickle. (Id.)
court appearance on the morning of January 7 (id.)
or January 8 (id. at 16), Plaintiff alleges that his
charges were dropped, although he was not allowed to attend
this hearing. (Id. at 14, 16.) Plaintiff was not
released until after 7 p.m. that evening, at which point he
did not receive his clothes or $300.00 that was in his
possession at the time of arrest. (Id. at 13-14.)
Plaintiff requests monetary damages as relief. (Id.
Standard of Review
determine whether a prisoner's complaint “fails to
state a claim on which relief may be granted” under the
PLRA, the Court applies the same standard as under Rule
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Hill v.
Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010). The Court
therefore accepts “all well-pleaded allegations in the
complaint as true, [and] ‘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
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 681 (2009)). An
assumption of truth does not, however, extend to allegations
that consist of legal conclusions or “‘naked
assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678
(quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,