United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
RYAN WINSTON, JR. Plaintiff,
SHELBY COUNTY, ET AL., Defendants.
ORDER TO MODIFY THE DOCKET, DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND
GRANTING LEAVE TO AMEND
D. TODD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
August 24, 2017, Plaintiff Ryan Winston, Jr., who is in
custody at the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center (Jail)
in Memphis, Tennessee, filed a pro se complaint
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and a motion to proceed
in forma pauperis. (ECF Nos. 1 & 2.) The Court
issued an order on August 28, 2017, granting leave to proceed
in forma pauperis and assessing the civil filing fee
pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(a)-(b). (ECF No. 4.) The Clerk shall
record the Defendants as Shelby County,  Officer First
Name Unknown (FNU) Bradfelid, and Officer FNU
alleges that he was “abused and violated” by
officers at the Jail. (ECF No. 1 at PageID 2.) Winston states
he had attempted suicide to get the attention of an unnamed
sergeant, who then ordered Winston moved to J-pod.
(Id.) Officer Dickerson came to transport Winston to
J-pod. (Id.) As Winston was being escorted to J-pod,
he “notice[d]” that the cell was unsanitary and
had feces in it. (Id.) Winston refused to be housed
in the cell and “was handcuffed and carried and held
against my will.” (Id.)
alleges that on another occasion he again was handcuffed and
dragged against his will toward a classroom. (Id. at
PageID 3.) Officers Dickerson and Bradfelid allegedly
threatened Winston and attacked him while he was handcuffed.
(Id.) Winston states that he has lost sleep since
the alleged attack and is “afraid that this could
happen to me again.” (Id.) Winston alleges
that his “mental state has been shakey [sic], ”
and though he is in protective custody, he does not feel
safe. (Id.) Winston states he wants “my
confertdental [sic] award for my pains and suffering.”
Court is required to screen prisoner complaints and to
dismiss any complaint, or any portion thereof, if the
(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
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see also 28 U.S.C. §
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.
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))).
filed his complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which
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 . . . .
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two
elements: (1) a deprivation of rights secured by the
“Constitution and laws” of the United States (2)
committed by a defendant acting under color of state law.
Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 150
claims against the Shelby County Sheriff's Office and any
official capacity claims against Officers Bradfelid and
Dickerson must be treated as claims against Shelby County.
The complaint, however, does not state a valid § 1983
claim against Shelby County. When a § 1983 claim is made
against a municipality or county, the court must analyze two
distinct issues: (1) whether the plaintiff's harm was
caused by a constitutional violation; and (2) if so, whether