United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
RICHARDSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Rickie Donnell Frazier, Jr., an inmate at the Macon County
Jail in Lafayette, Tennessee, filed a pro se civil
rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Sheriff
Weatherford and Sergeant B. Maynard. (Doc. No. 1.) He also
filed an application to proceed in this Court without
prepaying fees and costs. (Doc. No. 4.)
Application to Proceed as a Pauper
Court may authorize a prisoner to file a civil suit without
prepaying the filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Because
it appears from Plaintiff's in forma pauperis
application that he is unable to pay the full filing fee in
advance, his application (Doc. No. 4) will be granted. The
$350.00 filing fee will be assessed as directed in the
accompanying Order. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).
the screening requirements of the Prison Litigation Reform
Act (“PLRA”), the Court must conduct an initial
review and dismiss the complaint if it is frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915A,
1915(e)(2)(B); 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(1). The Court must
also 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 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)).
alleges that, around 6:50 a.m. on January 14, 2019, Sumner
County Sheriff's Office Sergeant B. Maynard was called to
a residence on Corum Hill Road in Castalian Springs,
Tennessee. (Doc. No. 1 at 4-5.) Maynard then seized
Plaintiff's cell phone without a search warrant.
(Id. at 5.) As a result, Plaintiff alleges, he lost
contact with his probation officer and is now facing charges
for violating his probation. (Id.) Indeed, Plaintiff
alleges that his incarceration is due to “missed calls
from [his] probation officer.” (Id.) Plaintiff
also alleges that, without his phone, he missed employment
opportunities and is now fighting for custody of his son
after losing “time [and] communication” with him.
(Id.) Plaintiff requests monetary damages.
Standard of Review
determine whether a prisoner's complaint “fails to
state a claim on which relief may be granted” under the
PLRA, the Court applies the same standard as under Rule
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Hill v.
Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010). The Court
therefore accepts “all well-pleaded allegations in the
complaint as true, [and] ‘consider[s] the factual
allegations in [the] complaint to determine if they plausibly
suggest an entitlement to relief.'” Williams v.
Curtin, 631 F.3d 380, 383 (6th Cir. 2011) (quoting
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 681 (2009)). An
assumption of truth does not, however, extend to allegations
that consist of legal conclusions or “‘naked
assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678
(quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
557 (2007)). A pro se pleading must be liberally
construed and “held to less stringent standards than
formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.”
Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94 (citing Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).
prevail on a cause of action under § 1983, a plaintiff
must prove ‘(1) the deprivation of a right secured by
the Constitution or laws of the United States (2) caused by a
person acting under the color of state law.'”
Dominguez v. Corr. Med. Servs., 555 F.3d 543, 549
(6th Cir. 2009) (quoting Sigley v. City of Parma
Heights, 437 F.3d 527, 533 (6th Cir. 2006)).
Dismissal of Official-Capacity Claims
brings this action against Sheriff Weatherford in his
official capacity. (Doc. No. 1 at 2.) He also brings this
action against Sergeant Maynard in both his individual and
official capacity. (Id.) Weatherford and Maynard are
both employees of Sumner County, and “individuals sued
in their official capacities stand in the shoes of the entity
they represent.” Alkire v. Irving, 330 F.3d
802, 810 (6th Cir. 2003) (citing Kentucky v. Graham,
473 U.S. 159, 165 ...