Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Smith v. Hall

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

July 15, 2019

ALLISON D. SMITH, Plaintiff,
v.
DARON HALL, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM

          ALETA A. TRAUGER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Allison 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. § 1983 against Sheriff Daron Hall and three inmates who allegedly assaulted him—Charles 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. No. 2.)

         I. Application to Proceed as a Pauper

          The 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).

         II. Initial Review

         Under 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)).

         A. Factual Allegations

         The 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 punches.” (Id.)

         After 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.)

         B. Standard of Review

          To 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)).

         C. Discussion

         “To 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)).

         1. Improper Parties ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.