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Fields v. Tennessee Department of Corrections

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division

May 30, 2019

CHARLES ORLANDO FIELDS, a/k/a Noblebuddha-angavusishya, Plaintiff,
v.
TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, ET AL. Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, CERTIFYING AN APPEAL WOULD NOT BE TAKEN IN GOOD FAITH AND NOTIFYING PLAINTIFF OF APPELLATE FILING FEE

          JAMES D. TODD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On July 3, 2018, Plaintiff Charles Orlando Fields, a/k/a Noble:buddha-angavu:sishya, who is incarcerated at the South Central Correctional Facility in Clifton, Tennessee, filed a pro se complaint and a motion to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF Nos. 1 & 2.) After Fields filed the financial documentation required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(a)-(b), (ECF No. 9), the Court granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis and assessed the civil filing fee pursuant to the PLRA. (ECF No. 16.)

         Fields also has filed several motions and notices. (ECF Nos. 3-5, 8, 10-11, 13, 17-21.) Of note are his motion for a temporary restraining order, (ECF No. 5), and motion for appointment of counsel, (ECF No. 10), both of which the Court denied. (ECF No. 24.) Fields also moved to amend and supplement his complaint, (ECF No. 19), which the Court granted. (ECF No. 23.) The amended complaint supersedes Field's original complaint. The Clerk shall record the Defendants as the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC); Trinity Food Service; the Hardeman County Correctional Facility (HCCF); CoreCivic; the Northeast Correctional Complex (NECX); the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center (TTCC); Tony Parker, TDOC Commissioner; Vashti Holt, TDOC Title VI Coordinator; Deborah Thompson, TDOC Religious Director; Denys Yeager, TDOC Liaison; former HCCF Warden Grady Perry; Assistant HCCF Warden Jeremy Hensley; Associate HCCF Warden First Name Unknown (FNU) Rogers; FNU Ponds, HCCF Chief of Security; Rebecca Wilson, HCCF Grievance Chairperson; Tomicka McKinnie, HCCF Protective Custody Unit Manager; Shierley Robertson; Marva Wills; John Gore; FNU Mason; FNU Wolf; Kizzy Woods, HCCF Job Coordinator; Yameekia Sharpe; Jalecia Young; Sasha Williams, Case Manager; former TDOC Commissioner Derrick Schofield; Jason Woodall; Marcedes Harding; former NECX Warden Randy Lee; Kevin Hampton; Cherry Douthitt, NECX Grievance Chairperson; Eileen Hayworth, NECX Classification Coordinator; Angie Dixon, the NECX Chief Counselor; Clifford Tressler, a Cert Team Member at the NECX; Jeffrey Tester; Micheal Stewart, the NECX Library GCO; former TTCC Warden Blair Leibach; Christopher Brun, TTCC Contract Monitor; Joanna Veal, TTCC Chief of Unit Management; Douglas D. Gibson, TTCC Chaplain; Jessica J. Garner, TTCC Grievance Chairperson; Teri Carver, TTCC Unit Manager; HCCF Sergeant FNU Porter; Darlene Mathews, HCCF Legal Library Supervisor; Kent Joy, HCCF Mailroom Supervisor; Erica Taylor, HCCF Segregation Sergeant; FNU Beard, HCCF Segregation Sergeant; HCCF Lieutenant FNU Baker; Maquita Thomas, HCCF Case Manager; Tiffany Boyland, HCCF Unit Manager; John Borden, HCCF Health Administrator; Bernard Dietz, a physician at HCCF; Elizabeth Ricketts; Christine Smith, HCCF Trust Fund Trustee; FNU Gates, HCCF Mailroom Supervisor; and Latriva Lanier, HCCF Unit Manager. Fields sues all of the individual Defendants only in their official capacities.

         Fields's amended pleading consists of a 41-page complaint and a 15-page Declaration/Affirmation. Both documents are disjointed, difficult to follow, and at times incoherent. At various points, he alleges that “a grievance was filed” for alleged violations of his First Amendment rights that were denied at all levels of appeals. (Id. at PageID 538-46.) He alleges he was sent to segregation several times-sometimes for named infractions and sometimes, according to Fields, for no reason at all. (Id. at PageID 539, 544, 546.) He alleges that he was released in some instances after his mother contacted one of the Defendants. (Id. at PageID 541, 544, 546.) Fields asserts he has been punished for refusing to sign different documents, including his own grievances, using his “government name” of Charles Orlando Fields.[1] (Id. at PageID 539, 541, 546.) He also alleges that he has faced disciplinary charges for failing to show identification, defiance, and threatening an employee, though some of these charges have been dismissed and others have simply gone away after he appealed them. (Id. at PageID 540.) Fields also alleges that his transfer from one correctional facility to another “constituted illegal restraint of trade in the form of human trafficing [sic].” (Id. at PageID 543; see Id. at PageID 559.) Fields in passing alleges that various Defendants have retaliated against him, conspired against him, assaulted him, failed to administer proper medical treatment, and violated both federal law and “God's law.” (Id. at PageID 538, 541-46.) At one point, Fields asserts that he was denied access to yoga and meditation classes offered at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution when he instead was transferred to TTCC. (Id. at PageID 559.)

         Fields asserts that the various Defendants are “attempting to cover up their minions official misconduct by their subordinates, and actively attempted to further the ends of the misconduct (i.e. participate in the civil conspiracy).” (Id. at PageID 551.) Fields cites numerous federal statutes and provisions of law under which he seeks to charge the Defendants with various crimes and misdeeds.[2] (Id. at PageID 552.) Fields asserts clams under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc, et seq, (id. at PageID 553-54), the Tennessee Constitution (id. at PageID 556), and various constitutional provisions (id. at PageID 559).

         Fields seeks declaratory and injunctive relief. (Id. at PageID 564-567.) He also seeks $320 million in “Gold/Silver, ” over $100 million in compensatory damages, and several thousand more in punitive damages. (Id. at PageID 567-68.)

         The Court is required to screen prisoner complaints and to dismiss any complaint, or any portion thereof, if the complaint-

(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         In assessing whether the complaint in this case states a claim on which relief may be granted, the standards under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), as stated in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-79 (2009), and in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57 (2007), are applied. Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010). The Court accepts the complaint's “well-pleaded” factual allegations as true and then determines whether the allegations “plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief.'” Williams v. Curtin, 631 F.3d 380, 383 (6th Cir. 2011) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 681). Conclusory allegations “are not entitled to the assumption of truth, ” and legal conclusions “must be supported by factual allegations.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Although a complaint need only contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), Rule 8 nevertheless requires factual allegations to make a “‘showing,' rather than a blanket assertion, of entitlement to relief.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 n.3.

         “Pro se complaints are to be held ‘to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers,' and should therefore be liberally construed.” Williams, 631 F.3d at 383 (quoting Martin v. Overton, 391 F.3d 710, 712 (6th Cir. 2004)). Pro se litigants, however, are not exempt from the requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989); see also Brown v. Matauszak, 415 Fed.Appx. 608, 612, 613 (6th Cir. Jan. 31, 2011) (affirming dismissal of pro se complaint for failure to comply with “unique pleading requirements” and stating “a court cannot ‘create a claim which [a plaintiff] has not spelled out in his pleading'” (quoting Clark v. Nat'l Travelers Life Ins. Co., 518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir. 1975))).

         Fields filed his amended complaint pursuant to RLUIPA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000cc to 2000cc-5. The Court construes Fields's amended complaint as also seeking relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which provides:

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer's judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was ...

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