United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
JAMES D. WIMBER Plaintiff,
STEWART COUNTY, TENNESSEE, et al., Defendants.
RICHARDSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
James D. Wimber, an inmate of the Stewart County Jail in
Dover, Tennessee, filed this pro se, in forma pauperis action
under 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983 against Stewart County, Tennessee and
Sheriff f/n/u White. (Doc. No. 1). The complaint is before
the Court for an initial review pursuant to the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (âPLRAâ), 28 U.S.C. Â§Â§ 1915(e)(2) and
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).
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).
Section 1983 Standard
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) 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. 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.
complaint alleges that Plaintiff was an inmate of the Stewart
County Jail in April 2018 and, because of unnamed staff
members' “neglect and refusing to follow the
protocall [sic] of their handbook of rules, ” (Doc. No.
1 at 3), Plaintiff's asthma turned into chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease (“COPD”).
Specifically, the complaint alleges that unnamed staff
members refused to provide Plaintiff with the correct inhaler
“that contained the medication [his] lungs needed to
function without problems to [his] life or living”
because it was too expensive and they did not keep it on
site. (Id. at 4-5). Plaintiff was taken later to the
emergency room at an outside hospital where he received the
medicated inhaler. (Id. at 5).
complaint also alleges that Stewart County requires inmates
to use their personal insurance to pay for needed medications
and, while using Plaintiff's personal insurance to
purchase his prescription medications, unnamed persons did
not purchase all of the medications prescribed by
Plaintiff's doctors. According to the complaint, these
unnamed individuals “showed their neglect and the
irresponsibility of my being cared for and taken care of
medical needs as directed.” (Id. at 5). The
complaint seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the
alleged denial of proper medical care at the Stewart County
Jail. (Id. at 7-8).
complaint names two Defendants to this action: Sheriff f/n/u
White and Stewart County, Tennessee.
Defendant Sheriff f/n/u White
complaint names Sheriff White as a Defendant in his official
capacity only. (Doc. No. 1 at 2). When a defendant is sued in
his or her official capacity as an employee of the
government, the lawsuit is directed against “the entity
for which the officer is an agent.” Pusey v. City
of Youngstown, 11 F.3d 652, 657 (6th Cir. 1993).
See, e.g., Leach v. Shelby Cnty., 891 F.2d 1241,
1245-46 (6th Cir. 1989) (“[The plaintiff's] suit
against the Mayor and the Sheriff of ...