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Whiteside v. Duke

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

June 24, 2019

BRIAN DUKE, ET AL., Defendants.



         On June 5, 2017, Plaintiff Cedrick Whiteside, who at the time of filing was a pretrial detainee at the Henderson County Criminal Justice Complex (HCCJC) in Lexington, 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.) After Whiteside filed the financial documents required under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(a)-(b), (ECF No. 6), the Court issued an order 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. 7.)

         On May 30, 2019, the Court directed Whiteside to file a non-prisoner in forma pauperis affidavit or pay the remaining portion of the filing fee because Whiteside had notified the Court of his release from HCCJC. (ECF No. 25.) On June 5, 2019, however, Whiteside notified the Court that he is again incarcerated at the HCCJC. (ECF No. 26) The Court therefore issued an order reassessing the remaining portion of the civil filing fee in accordance with the PLRA. (ECF No. 28.)

         In the intervening months, Whiteside filed several motions and amendments to his complaint. The Court granted his motions to amend, (ECF Nos. 5, 10, 11, 12, 21), denied his motion for service of process, (ECF No. 13), and granted his motion to dismiss two Defendants from the lawsuit, (ECF No. 18). (ECF Nos. 17 & 24.) The Clerk shall record the Defendants as Brian Duke, Henderson County Sheriff; Jackie Bausman, HCCJC Lieutenant; Officer Jesslyn Smith; Nurse Derinda; Officer First Name Unknown (FNU) Shanks; FNU Pots and Doug Williams, Troopers with the Tennessee Highway Patrol;[1] Daphne Renfroe; Kim Vineyard; Quality Correctional Health Care; and Henderson County.

         Whiteside alleges that on April 14, 2017, he was arrested and taken to the HCCJC for booking. (ECF No. 1 at PageID 2.) As Whiteside's hands were handcuffed behind his back, Trooper Pots allegedly pulled his hands upward, which “[b]roke the key of the Handcuff Inside the cuffs” and caused pain in Whiteside's shoulders and hand. (Id.) Whiteside alleges that Trooper Williams also was present during this incident and held Whiteside when he was “assaulted” by Trooper Pots. (ECF No. 5 at PageID 6.) An unspecified person allegedly told Whiteside “on the side” before his arrest that if he did not remain quiet, he “would be Hanged From a Tree with an exten[s]ion cord.” (ECF No. 1 at PageID 3.) Officer Shanks walked Whiteside to a holding cell with his hand on Whiteside's neck, which Whiteside alleges did not cause pain, so that Whiteside “wouldn't get any new charges or try to retaliate against Trooper Pots.” (Id.)

         A few days later, Whiteside spoke with Nurse Derinda and requested treatment for the pain in his arm. (Id.) Derinda said she would contact a doctor, and Whiteside received x-rays about a week later. (Id.) The x-ray revealed that Whiteside had a dislocated thumb and torn ligaments in his hand, for which he received two different casts from a doctor outside the HCCJC. (Id.) Whiteside described his injury to Lieutenant Bausman, who did not report it to the Sheriff, and to Officer Shanks, who told Whiteside “to pray about the situation.” (Id. at PageID 4.)

         Whiteside alleges that he spoke with Sergeant Hatchett, who is not a Defendant, about signing a “property form” so that money could be transferred to Whiteside's wife. (Id.) Officer Smith “fro[wned] on the situation then stated it wasn't going to Happen.” (Id.) Whiteside alleges that since speaking with Officer Smith, Lieutenant Bausman has denied him “access to call my Lawyer, ” denied “request slips, ” and charged $600 for the treatment of his hand. (Id. at PageID 4-5.) Whiteside in passing also alleges that inmates at the HCCJC are forced to eat in the same room where others use the toilet. (Id. at PageID 5.)

         In his amendments, Whiteside alleges that Defendant Renfroe “has continued to not abide by the state notary of the public policies and laws.” (ECF No. 5 at PageID 15.) According to Whiteside, Renfroe “is in charge of legal and law books” at the HCCJC and refused to provide him legal books, or told him she could not find them, and refused to notarize legal documents. (Id. at PageID 16.) Whiteside alleges that his grievances about Renfroe have gone unanswered. (Id.) He also alleges that his grievances against Defendant Vineyard, who is in charge of trust fund accounts at HCCJC, were mishandled. (ECF No. 10 at PageID 30.)

         Whiteside further alleges that he “has been exposed to the Hepatitis Disease” at the HCCJC. (ECF No. 21 at PageID 73.) He alleges that he was temporarily housed with another inmate who, unknown to Whiteside, has Hepatitis A. (Id. at PageID 74-75.) Whiteside alleges that he shared food and electronic cigarettes and played cards with the other inmate while housed with him. (Id.) Whiteside alleges that “hundreds of inmates have passed through” the different pods in the HCCJC, and he has had contact with dozens, but there is no medical protocol in place to test incoming inmates for diseases or bloodborne illnesses. (Id. at PageID 76.) Whiteside alleges that in June 2018, the HCCJC staff learned that the inmate had Hepatitis A, and the entire jail, including the staff, were vaccinated for Hepatitis A. (Id. at PageID 78.) He contends, however, that a six-month follow-up vaccine is required, and he questions whether he will receive it. (Id.)

         Whiteside sues the Defendants in their individual and official capacities. (ECF No. 1 at PageID 5.) He seeks $100, 000 in damages from each Defendant. (Id. at PageID 6.)

         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 ...

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