United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
JAMES D. WIMBER, AKA JJ Wimber, Plaintiff,
STEWART COUNTY DETENTION CENTER, et al., Defendants.
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
D. Wimber, an inmate of the Stewart County Detention Center
in Dover, Tennessee, filed this pro se, in forma pauperis
action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Stewart County
Detention Center, f/n/u White, Angie Lemons, K.C. Wimberly,
Sgt. Harmon, Frankie Gray, Kenny Anderson, and Deputy
Scallion. (Doc. No. 1). The complaint is before the Court for
an initial review pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform
Act (“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)
PLRA Screening Standard
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the court must dismiss any
portion of a civil complaint filed in forma pauperis that
fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, is
frivolous, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. Section 1915A similarly requires
initial review of any “complaint in a civil action in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity, ”
id. § 1915A(a), and summary dismissal of the
complaint on the same grounds as those articulated in §
1915(e)(2)(B). Id. § 1915A(b).
court must 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 the 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)).
Although pro se pleadings are to be held to a less stringent
standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, Haines
v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Jourdan v.
Jabe, 951 F.2d 108, 110 (6th Cir. 1991), the courts'
“duty to be ‘less stringent' with pro se
complaints does not require us to conjure up [unpleaded]
allegations.” McDonald v. Hall, 610 F.2d 16,
19 (1st Cir. 1979) (citation omitted).
Section 1983 Standard
42 U.S.C. § 1983 creates a cause of action against any
person who, acting under color of state law, abridges
“rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the
Constitution and laws . . . .” To state a claim under
Section 1983, a plaintiff must allege and show two elements:
(1) that he was deprived of a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States; and (2) that the
deprivation was caused by a person acting under color of
state law. Dominguez v. Corr. Med. Servs., 555 F.3d
543, 549 (6th Cir. 2009) (quoting Sigley v. City of
Panama Heights, 437 F.3d 527, 533 (6th Cir. 2006)); 42
U.S.C. § 1983.
complaint alleges that, while an inmate of the Stewart County
Jail, Defendants refused to provide Plaintiff with medical
treatment for his asthma and breathing problems in January of
2017, May of 2018, and on March 20, 2019. The complaint
further alleges that Plaintiff developed chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease (“COPD”) because of
Defendants' failure to provide him with medical
treatment. (Doc. No. 1).
final judgment on the merits of an action precludes the
parties or their privies from relitigating issues that were
or could have been raised in that action.”
Federated Dep't Stores, Inc. v. Moitie, 452 U.S.
394, 398 (1981). The doctrine of res judicata, i.e.,
the preclusive effect of a judgment, encompasses both issue
preclusion and claim preclusion. Migra v. Warren City
Sch. Dist. Bd. of Educ., 465 U.S. 75, 77 n.1 (1984);
Rawe v. Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 462 F.3d 521,
528 n.5 (6th Cir. 2006). “Issue preclusion refers to
the effect of a judgment in foreclosing relitigation of a
matter that has been litigated and decided.”
Id. In contrast, “[c]laim preclusion refers to
the effect of a judgment in foreclosing litigation of a
matter that never has been litigated, because of a
determination that it should have been advanced in an earlier
preclusion bars relitigation of an issue when: (1) the
identical issue was raised and actually litigated in a prior
proceeding; (2) the determination of the issue was necessary
to the outcome of the prior proceeding; (3) the prior
proceeding resulted in a final judgment on the merits; and
(4) the party against whom issue preclusion is sought had a
full and fair opportunity to litigate the issue in the prior
proceeding.” Gen. Elect. Med. Sys. Europe v.
Prometheus Health, 394 Fed.Appx. 280, 283 (6th Cir.
2010) (citation omitted).
this year,  Plaintiff filed a pro se complaint
pursuant to Section 1983 in which he raised allegations about
his medical care at the Stewart County jail during 2017 and
2018. See James D. Wimber v. Stewart County, Tenn.,
No. 3:19-cv-00355 (M.D. Tenn. filed 4/30/17) (Richardson, J).
Plaintiff named Stewart County, Tennessee, and Sheriff f/n/u
White as Defendants to that action. By Order and Memorandum
Opinion entered on May 21, 2019, the Court dismissed the
action for failure to state Section 1983 claims upon which
relief can be granted as to both Defendants. (Id.,
Doc. Nos. 12 and 13). After final judgment was entered in the
case, Plaintiff filed a motion to amend his complaint.
(Id., Doc. No. 19). The Court denied the motion to
amend, finding that (1) Plaintiff was not permitted to amend
his complaint after the dismissal of his action and the entry
of final judgment; (2) to the extent that Plaintiff sought an
amendment of the judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Plaintiff sought to amend
his complaint to allege more of the “continuing same
neglect” of which he complained in the original
complaint and the Court already had determined that
complaints of medical malpractice or negligence are
insufficient to entitle a plaintiff to relief; and (3)
Plaintiff also was not entitled to relief if his motion was
considered under Rule 60 (b) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. (Doc. No. 20).
is barred under the doctrine of issue preclusion from
relitigating the Court's prior adjudication of these same
Section 1983 claims. In reviewing both complaints, it is
apparent that Plaintiff's previous lawsuit and current
lawsuit concern the same incidents and some of the same
Defendants at the same facility. The precise issues now
raised, i.e., Section 1983 claims against Sheriff
White and Stewart County, Tennessee arising from the alleged