United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Greeneville
Clifton L. Corker Magistrate Judge.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
R. MCDONOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is a pro se prisoner's complaint for
violation of civil rights filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. (Doc. 2.) The Court has granted Plaintiff leave to
proceed in forma pauperis and now will screen
Plaintiff's complaint (Doc. 2) in accordance with the
Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”).
complaint, Plaintiff first alleges that Defendant Winters and
other officers used excessive force during two separate
arrests of Plaintiff, one in January 2019 and one in February
2019. (Doc. 2, at 3-4; Doc. 2-2, at 1.) Plaintiff also states
that he had a physical altercation with several officers
and/or jail officials not named as Defendants when he was
booked into the Greene County Jail, and that on February 24,
2019, he was given another inmate's medications. (Doc. 2,
at 3-4; Doc. 2-2, at 1-2.) Plaintiff generally alleges that
he has “been refused mental health meds and
treatment.” (Doc. 2-2, at 2.) Plaintiff further claims
that another unnamed third-party jail official told him he
would “f****” Plaintiff up and that Plaintiff has
seen the medical department several times for a thumb injury
that he has had for about three months, but they have only
diagnosed him. (Id.). Plaintiff additionally asserts
that on March 8, 2019, Defendant Tribett stomped on his arm,
but an unnamed shift supervisor refused Plaintiff's
request for medical treatment, and that Plaintiff then
engaged in a verbal altercation with Defendant Tribett, after
which Defendant Tribett picked Plaintiff up and took
Plaintiff to a separate pod where he “smacked
(Plaintiff's) right a** cheek.” (Id. at
2-3). Plaintiff states that Defendant Tribett was written up
for this incident but still works around Plaintiff.
(Id. at 3.) Plaintiff has sued Dustin Winters, Tony
Tribett, and the Greene County Detention Center
Administration. (Doc. 2, at 1, 3).
the PLRA, district courts must screen prisoner complaints and
sua sponte dismiss any claims that are frivolous or
malicious, fail to state a claim for relief, or are against a
defendant who is immune. See, e.g., 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915(A); Benson v.
O'Brian, 179 F.3d 1014, 1016 (6th Cir. 1999). The
dismissal standard articulated by the Supreme Court in
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), and in
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007),
“governs dismissals for failure state a claim under [28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A] 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 an initial review
under the PLRA, 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).
liberally construe pro se pleadings filed in civil
rights cases and hold them to a less stringent standard than
formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). Allegations that give
rise to a mere possibility that a plaintiff might later
establish undisclosed facts supporting recovery are not
well-pled and do not state a plausible claim, however.
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 570. Further, formulaic
and conclusory recitations of the elements of a claim which
are not supported by specific facts are insufficient to state
a plausible claim for relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
order to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must establish that he was deprived of a federal
right by a person acting under color of state law. Braley
v. City of Pontiac, 906 F.2d 220, 223 (6th Cir. 1990)
(stating that “Section 1983 does not itself create any
constitutional rights; it creates a right of action for the
vindication of constitutional guarantees found
forth above, Plaintiff's complaint first sets forth
claims against Defendant Winters arising out of the alleged
use of excessive force during two separate arrests. Plaintiff
also, however, sets forth a number of allegations regarding
later, unrelated incidents involving various individuals,
including unnamed jail officers and/or officials and
Defendant Tribett, that occurred while he was incarcerated in
Greene County Jail. As Plaintiff does not set forth any
factual allegations against Defendant Green County Detention
Center Administration in his complaint, it appears that
Plaintiff seeks to hold this entity liable for the acts of
the unnamed jail officers and/or officials set forth therein.
Rule 20(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
however, persons may only be joined in one action as
defendants where “(A) any right to relief is asserted
against them jointly, severally, or in the alternative with
respect to or arising out of the same transaction,
occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences; and (B)
any question of law or fact common to all defendants will
arise in the action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a)(2). Thus, Rule
20 does not permit plaintiffs to join unrelated claims
against different defendants in one lawsuit. George v.
Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007).
the incidents underlying Plaintiff's excessive force
claims against Defendant Winters occurred prior to his
incarceration in Greene County Jail, all other incidents
alleged in the complaint occurred after Plaintiff was
incarcerated in Greene County Jail. Moreover, Plaintiff does
not assert any right to relief against Defendant Winters,
Defendant Tribett, and/or any other jail officer or official
jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or
arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of
transactions or occurrences as required for Plaintiff's
claims against Defendant Tribett and Greene County Detention
Center Administration to be properly joined with Plaintiff's
claims against Defendant Winters under Rule 20(a)(2).
Accordingly, only Plaintiff's claims against Defendant
Winters will proceed in this action and all of
Plaintiff's other claims will be DISMISSED