United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
A. VARLAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a pro se prisoner's complaint for violation of civil
rights filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The matter is
now before the Court for screening of the complaint pursuant
to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”).
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
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 (6th Cir. 1999). The
dismissal standard articulated by the Supreme Court in
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) and in
Bell Atl. 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). However, 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 681.
ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINT
has filed the instant action against Chad Graham, the Mayor
of Shelbyville, Tennessee, regarding conditions he faced
while housed at the Bedford County Jail from March 9, 2019,
until April 29, 2019 [Doc. 2 p. 3-4]. Plaintiff maintains
that he was initially housed in cell block A, where he was
denied recreation time and could not see out of the windows
[Id.]. Plaintiff asserts that he complained about
the conditions and was moved to cell block C, where
conditions were worse [Id. at 4]. Specifically, he
contends that there was “no working air
initially” in his cell block, that he was locked in an
over-crowed cell for up to 22 hours per day, that the cell
block was “filthy and leaked water constantly, ”
and that the fan provided to inmates blew dirt and dust
around, causing health problems [Id.].
states that he signed up for sick call and was given
medication for his breathing problems and antibiotics for
what was believed to be a spider bite [Id.].
Plaintiff maintains, however, that upon arrival at his
current facility, the “spider bite” was
determined to be a staph infection that has since been
sets forth no allegations against Mayor Chad Graham, the sole
defendant named in this case. A court may not impose
liability under § 1983 based on a failure to act and/or
a theory of respondeat superior. Shehee v.
Luttrell, 199 F.3d 295, 300 (6th Cir. 1999). Rather,
“a plaintiff must plead that each Government-official
defendant, through the official's own individual actions,
has violated the Constitution.” Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 676. There are no allegations in Plaintiff's
complaint that would allow the Court to plausibly infer that
Defendant Graham violated Plaintiff's constitutional
rights. Accordingly, Defendant Graham will be dismissed, and
Plaintiff will be allowed fourteen (14) days within which to
amend his complaint to name the defendant(s) personally
involved in the alleged constitutional violations.
reasons set forth above:
Defendant Chad ...