United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
A. VARLAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Court is in receipt of a pro se prisoner's complaint
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 [Doc. 1] and a motion for leave
to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. 2]. For the
reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motion for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis [Id.] will be
GRANTED and Plaintiff will have fifteen days
from the date of entry of this order to file an amended
appears from the motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis [Doc. 1] that Plaintiff lacks sufficient funds
to pay the filing fee, this motion will be
GRANTED. As Plaintiff is not incarcerated,
she will not be assessed the filing fee.
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). 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. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 681 (2009).
ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINT
substance of Plaintiff's complaint states as follows:
“Was arrest[ed] without just cause and was not read my
rights. Officer just showed up at my house [and] said I was
under arrest . . . was not told [I] was under arrest for
theft - then was dismissed by grand jury” [Doc. 2 p.
Hamblen County Sheriff's Office is not an entity subject
to suit under § 1983. See Matthews v. Jones, 35
F.3d 1046, 1049 (6th Cir. 1994) (holding that a county police
department was not an entity which may be sued). Further,
even if the Court liberally construes Plaintiff's
allegations as against Hamblen County, Plaintiff has set
forth no facts from which the Court can plausibly infer that
her arrest was due to a custom or policy of Hamblen County as
required to state a claim upon which relief may be granted
under § 1983 against this municipality. Monell v.
Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691 (1978)
(holding that a governmental entity can only be liable where
its official policy causes the constitutional rights
violation). As such, Hamblen County Sheriff's Office will
while Plaintiff has named David Stapleton as a Defendant and
alleged that her arrest lacked probable cause, she has not
set forth any facts that allow the Court to plausibly infer
that Defendant Stapleton was responsible for her arrest
despite the lack of probable cause such that he could be
liable under § 1983. Voyticky v. Vill. of
Timberlake, 412 F.3d 669, 677 (6th Cir. 2005);
Frazier v. Michigan, 41 Fed.Appx. 762, 764 (6th Cir.
2002) (providing that “a complaint must allege that the
defendants were personally involved in the alleged
deprivation of federal rights” to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted under § 1983).
Plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted as filed. Nevertheless, the Court will
allow Plaintiff fifteen (15) 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 her
constitutional rights were violated and the individual(s)
and/or entity(ies) responsible for any such
violations. See LaFountain v. Harry, 716 F.3d
944, 951 (6th Cir. 2013) (holding that “[u]nder 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”).