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Davis v. Rutherford County Adult Detention Center

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

May 28, 2019

JOSEPH WILLIAM DAVIS, Plaintiff,
v.
RUTHERFORD COUNTY ADULT DETENTION CENTER, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Aleta A. Trauger, United States District Court Judge.

         Joseph William Davis, an inmate of the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center in Murfreeboro, Tennessee, filed this pro se, in forma pauperis action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center and f/n/u Fly. (Doc. No. 1).

         The 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.

         I. PLRA Screening Standard

         Under 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 Section 1915(e)(2)(B). Id. § 1915A(b).

         The 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).

         II. Section 1983 Standard

         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 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.

         III. Alleged Facts

         The complaint alleges that the plaintiff is a state and federal inmate confined at a county jail. According to the complaint, the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center where the plaintiff is incarcerated does not offer the same rehabilitative and work programs as Tennessee state prisons, nor does it offer the same opportunity for inmates to earn good time credits. The complaint also alleges that the plaintiff has “ZERO access to parole mandated programs such as CMS, therapeutic communities, or pro-social life skills.” (Doc. No. 1 at 5).

         In addition, the complaint alleges that the plaintiff is required to pay a portion of his medical treatment and medication costs. The plaintiff believes that, “[i]f [he] were in a TDOC prison, [his] medical care would be provided for little to no cost.” (Id.)

         IV. Analysis

         The complaint names two defendants this to action: the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center and Deputy Chief f/n/u Fly. (Doc. No. 1 at 4).

         With respect to the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center, a jail is not a “person” that can be sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Cf. Fuller v. Cocran, No. 1:05-CV-76, 2005 WL 1802415, at *3 (E.D. Tenn. July 27, 2005) (dismissing § 1983 claims against the Bradley County Justice Center on the same basis); Seals v. Grainger County Jail, No. 3:04CV606, 2005 WL 1076326, at *1 (E.D. Tenn. May 6, 2005) (“The Grainger County Jail, however, is not a suable entity within the meaning of § 1983.”). Thus, the complaint fails to state a claim upon which ...


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