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Stipes v. Cassidy

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Greeneville

June 3, 2019

CLAYTON DWAINE STIPES, Plaintiff,
v.
JEFF CASSIDY, Sullivan County Sheriff, and KRISTI FRAZIOR, Medical Head Nurse at Sullivan County Sheriff's Office/Jail, Defendants.

          Clifton L. Corker, Magistrate Judge

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          TRAVIS R. MCDONOUGH, JUDGE

         This matter is a pro se prisoner's complaint filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, now before the Court for screening of the complaint pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) (Doc. 2). For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff shall have thirty days from the date of entry of this order to file an amended complaint.

         I. SCREENING STANDARD

         Under the PLRA, district courts must screen prisoner complaints and shall, at any time, dismiss sua sponte 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 (6th Cir. 1999). The dismissal standard articulated by the United States 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). Courts 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).

         In 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 . . . creates a right of action for the vindication of constitutional guarantees found elsewhere”).

         II. ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff is incarcerated at Sullivan County Jail. (Doc. 2, at 2.) He alleges that he has “Stage IV (T1 and N2) squamous cell carcinoma” and that “medical refuses any treatment whatsoever[.]” (Id. at 3.) Plaintiff also states that he has filed several inmate grievances that resulted in “nothing” except he “did get jumped and sent to the hole[.]” (Id. at 2.) Plaintiff seeks medical treatment while incarcerated and compensation for pain and suffering. (Id. at 4.)

         III. ANALYSIS

         Plaintiff alleges Defendants have violated his constitutional rights by refusing him medical treatment. (Id. at 3.) He also suggests that jail officials may have retaliated against him for filing grievances. (Id. at 2.)

         Plaintiff, however, does not set forth sufficient information for the Court to determine whether either of the two named Defendants were personally involved in either alleged violation of his rights. Therefore, the Court is unable to determine whether either may be liable under § 1983 for any violation of Plaintiff's constitutional rights. As such, Plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted under § 1983 as to any named Defendant.

         Nevertheless, the Court will allow Plaintiff thirty days from the date of entry of this order to file an amended complaint with a short and plain statement of facts setting forth exactly how his constitutional rights were violated and the specific individual(s) who violated his constitutional rights.[1] See LaFountain v. Harry, 716 F.3d 944, 951 (6th Cir. 2013) (“Under Rule 15(a) a district court can allow a plaintiff to amend his complaint even when the complaint is subject to dismissal under the PLRA.”).

         IV. ...


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