United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
S. MATTICE, JR., 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 this action will be
DISMISSED for failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted under § 1983.
appears from the motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis that Plaintiff lacks sufficient financial
resources to pay the filing fee. Accordingly, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915, this motion [Id.] will be
appears, however, that Plaintiff is no longer incarcerated or
is incarcerated in an unknown jail, as the United States
Postal Service returned the Court's previous mail to
Plaintiff as undeliverable [Doc. 4 p. 2] and the Tennessee
Department of Corrections lists Plaintiff as on parole
Accordingly, the Clerk will be DIRECTED to
update Plaintiff's address to the permanent home address
listed in the complaint [Doc. 1 p. 3] and to send this
memorandum opinion and the accompanying order to that address
and the Court will not assess 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).
substantive portion of Plaintiff's complaint states as
TDOC has neglected my care and saf[ety] I have done 3 1/2
years on a two. I'm still doing time. My p[h]ysical and
mental condition has extre[mely] declin[e]d. It has
[a]ffected my emotional and spir[itu]al state
tr[e]mendously in a negative way. I[‘]m still be[ing]
h[e]ld in the county jail I need this matter handle[d]
p. 3-4]. As relief, Plaintiff seeks release and compensatory
damages [Id. at 5].
these allegations are conclusory and formulaic and contain no
supporting factual allegations and, as set forth above,
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).
Defendant Tennessee Department of Correction
(“TDOC”) is an agency of the State of Tennessee
and therefore not a “person” who may be sued
under § 1983. Howlett v. Rose, 496 U.S. 356,
365-66 (1990) (holding that “the State and arms of the
State, which have traditionally enjoyed Eleventh Amendment
immunity, are not subject to suit under § 1983 in either
federal or state court”). Defendants Loudon County Jail
and Loudon County Sheriff's Department likewise are not
“persons” subject to suit under § 1983.
Cage v. Kent County Corr. Facility, No. 96-1167,
1997 WL 225647, at *1 (6th Cir. May 1, 1997) (stating that
“[t]he district court also properly found that the jail
facility named as a defendant was not ...