United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee
A. VARLAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a pro se prisoner's complaint under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. For the reasons set forth below, this action will be
DISMISSED for failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted under Â§ 1983.
the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”),
district courts must screen prisoner complaints and shall, at
any time, 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 1915A; 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 Atlantic 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). Courts 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).
order to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must establish that he was deprived of a federal
right by a person acting under color of state law. Braley
v. City of Pontiac, 906 F.2d 220, 223 (6th Cir. 1990)
(stating that “Section 1983 . . . creates a right of
action for the vindication of constitutional guarantees found
ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINT
alleges that on or about May 26, 2016, he was transferred
from the Trousdale County Correctional Complex to the Morgan
County Correctional Complex (“MCCX”) pending an
investigation into his potential involvement in an officer
assault at TCCX [See Doc. 2]. Plaintiff claims that
he was placed in administrative segregation at MCCX upon his
arrival, where he has remained to date without resolution as
to the investigation [Id. at 6]. Plaintiff states
that he has written various letters and grievances concerning
the investigation and his classification, but that his
inquiries have been ignored [Id. at 6-8]. He seeks
injunctive and monetary relief in this action, claiming that
he is entitled to a resolution of the pending investigation
and placement in general population [Id. at 8-9].
preliminary matter, the Court notes that Plaintiff seeks
redress from Defendants based on their alleged negligence in
investigating and resolving Plaintiff's complaints.
However, negligence cannot form the basis of a § 1983
claim, and therefore, Plaintiff's allegations of
Defendants' negligence fails to raise a constitutional
issue. See, e.g., Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327,
the Court finds that whether Plaintiff otherwise states a
claim based on his segregated status “depends on the
existence of a constitutionally cognizable liberty or
property interest with which the state has interfered.”
Manning v. Unknown Parties, 56 Fed.Appx. 710, 711
(6th Cir. 2003) (citing Kentucky Dep't of Corr. v.
Thompson, 490 U.S. 454, 4690 (1989)). Accordingly, to
sustain an action against Defendants, Plaintiff must show
that he has a protected liberty interest in a review of his
administrative segregation. Wilkinson v. Austin, 545
U.S. 209, 221 (2005) (“The Fourteenth Amendment's
Due Process Clause protects persons against deprivations of
life, liberty, or property; and those who seek to invoke its
procedural protection must establish that one of these
interests is at stake.”).
is no liberty interest “in avoiding transfer to more
adverse conditions of confinement.” Id.
(citing Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215, 225 (1976)).
However, in certain circumstances, “a liberty interest
in avoiding particular conditions of confinement may arise
from state policies or regulations, ” where the
confinement “imposes atypical and significant hardship
on the inmate in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison
life.” Wilkinson, 545 U.S. at 484 (citing
Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 483-84 (1995)).
Sixth Circuit has stated that “administrative
segregations have repeatedly been held not to involve an
‘atypical and significant' hardship implicating a
protected liberty interest.” Jones v. Baker,
155 F.3d 810, 812 (6th Cir. 1998); Mackey v. Dyke,
111 F.3d 460, 463 (6th Cir. 1997) (finding that an inmate
“could not after Sandin, argue that placement
in administrative segregation is an ‘atypical and
significant hardship' ”); Rimmer-Bey v.
Brown, 62 F.3d 789, 791 (6th Cir. 1995) (finding that
mere “placement in administrative segregation was not
an atypical and significant hardship, as intended by
Sandin”). Therefore, Plaintiff's placement
in administrative segregation pending an investigation into
his involvement in an officer assault does not implicate a
protected interest to which due process protections attach.
Accordingly, Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, and this action will be dismissed.
reasons set forth above, even liberally construing the
complaint in favor of Plaintiff, it fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted under § 1983.
Accordingly, this action will be DISMIS ...