United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
ALLISON D. SMITH, Plaintiff,
DARON HALL, et al., Defendants.
A. TRAUGER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
D. Smith, a pretrial detainee at the Davidson County
Sheriff's Office in Nashville, Tennessee, filed this
pro se civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983
against Sheriff Daron Hall and three inmates who allegedly
assaulted himâCharles Jones, Kavasia Bonds, and Brian Davis.
(Doc. No. 1.) The plaintiff also filed an application to
proceed in this court without prepaying fees and costs. (Doc.
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 the plaintiff's in forma
pauperis application that he cannot pay the full filing
fee in advance, the application (Doc. No. 2) 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 a pro se plaintiff's
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)).
plaintiff alleges that, on the morning of July 8, 2018,
another inmate at the Davidson County Sherriff's Office
named Charles Jones woke him up to ask about a remote
control. (Doc. No. 1 at 5.) The plaintiff responded that he
had never seen a remote, (id.), and then went back
to sleep, (Doc. No. 4 at 1). After being awakened two more
times, the plaintiff said “stop wak[ing] me up about a
remote.” (Id.) When the plaintiff walked to
the restroom, Jones and fellow inmate Brian Davis followed
him. (Doc. No. 1 at 5; Doc. No. 4 at 1.) Another inmate named
Kavasia Bonds was waiting in the restroom. (Doc. No. 4 at 1.)
Davis pushed the plaintiff through the restroom door from
behind, and then Jones hit him in his left eye.
(Id.) Bonds held the plaintiff's arms behind his
back, and “all [the plaintiff] felt were kicks and
the assault, the plaintiff alleges, his left eye would not
stop bleeding. (Id.) The plaintiff was soon taken to
Meharry, and then to Vanderbilt. (Id. at 2.) He had
surgery on his left eye that day. (Id.) As a result
of this assault, he experienced constant pain and lack of
vision in his left eye. (Doc. No. 1 at 5; Doc. No. 4 at
2.) Doctors eventually removed the plaintiff's
left eye on January 7, 2019. (Doc. No. 1 at 5; Doc. No. 4 at
2.) He is also losing vision in his right eye and must visit
“several eye doctors.” (Doc. No. 4 at 2.)
Additionally, the plaintiff sustained injuries to his knees
and back from the assault, and he now uses knee braces and a
cane to walk. (Doc. No. 1 at 5; Doc. No. 4 at 2.) He has been
prescribed mental health medication to cope with the results
of the assault. (Doc. No. 4 at 2.)
Standard of Review
determine whether a prisoner's complaint “fails to
state a claim on which relief may be granted” under the
PLRA's screening requirements, 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.'”
Winkler v. Madison Cty., 893 F.3d 877, 890 (6th Cir.
2018) (quoting Shadrick v. Hopkins Cty., 805 F.3d
724, 736 (6th Cir. 2015)).
Improper Parties ...