United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Winchester
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. COLLIER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
pro se civil rights action for violation of 42 U.S.C. §
1983 was transferred to this Court from the United States
District Court for the Western District of Tennessee (Doc.
4). This matter is before the Court for screening pursuant to
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”).
the 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.
The dismissal standard the Supreme Court set forth 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). In 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).
ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINT
initially filed a complaint alleging that his life was in
danger, and that he was subjected to inhumane conditions of
confinement at the Van Buren County Jail (Doc. 1). Although
Plaintiff had previously received three “strikes”
for filing actions that failed to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, the Western District of Tennessee
nonetheless allowed him to proceed as a pauper in the instant
action based on his allegation that Defendants disclosed his
status as a confidential informant and thereby endangered his
life (Doc. 4 n.1). See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)
(providing inmate may not proceed in forma pauperis
in a civil action if he has had three or more cases dismissed
as frivolous, malicious, or for failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, unless he is under imminent
danger of serious physical injury).
subsequently filed an amended complaint, alleging that
between December 6, 2017, and December 18, 2017, when he was
transferred to another facility, guards at the Van Buren
County Jail opened some of his legal mail and showed it to
other inmates, causing “all of the inmates [to] want
to kill” Plaintiff; he was placed in a holding cell
with no running water; he only had one shower; he had no
access to religious practices; he had no exercise; he had no
access to healthcare; he was exposed to black mold; and he
was informed there was rust in the water pipes (Doc. 6 p.2).
Constitution does not mandate comfortable prisons.”
Rhodes v. Chapman 452 U.S. 337, 349 (1981). Only
“extreme deprivations” that deny a prisoner
“‘the minimal civilized measure of life's
necessities” will establish a conditions of confinement
claim. Hudson v. McMillan, 503 U.S. 1, 8-9 (1992)
(citations and quotations omitted). Prison authorities may
not, however, “ignore a condition of confinement that
is sure or very likely to cause serious illness and needless
suffering the next week or month or year.” Helling
v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 33 (1993). In examining such
claims, the court must determine whether the risk of which
the plaintiff complains is “so grave that it violates
contemporary standards of decency to expose anyone
unwillingly to such a risk. In other words, the prisoner must
show that the risk of which he complains is not one that
today's society chooses to tolerate.” Id.
at 36 (1993); see also Rhodes, 452 U.S. at 347.
complaint sets forth no facts that would allow the Court to
infer that any of the conditions to which he was exposed for
approximately twelve days actually caused him harm, or that
his relatively short detention in such conditions is the type
of grave risk society is unwilling to tolerate. See
Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 298 (1991);
Rhodes, 452 U.S. at 345-48. Accordingly, Plaintiff
fails to state a cognizable § 1983 claim regarding
conditions at the Van Buren County Jail.
the Court notes that Plaintiff alleges only that officers at
the Van Buren County Jail disclosed his status as an
informant, and that inmates wanted to kill him afterwards
(Doc. 6. p.2). Plaintiff has not pled any facts to support
his conclusion that all of the inmates at the jail wanted to
kill him, and his conclusory allegation that his life was in
danger is insufficient to sustain his claim. See
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Additionally, by his own
admissions, Plaintiff was housed at the Van Buren County Jail
for less than two weeks, and guards placed him in a holding
cell after his status as an informant was disclosed (Doc. 6
p. 2-3). He has long since been moved to another facility.
Therefore, Plaintiff fails to allege any facts suggesting he
faces a serious risk of injury, much less allege that any
risk is imminent. See Vandiver v. Prison Health Services,
Inc., 727 F.3d 580, 585 (6th Cir. 2013).
Court finds that Plaintiff has previously filed at least
three civil actions in federal courts that were dismissed for
failure to state a claim. See Adkins v. Burnette,
No. 1:16-CV-42 (E.D. Tenn. Oct. 31, 2016) (dismissed for
failure to state a claim); Adkins v. Inman Stories
Insurance, No. 2:16-CV-90 (M.D. Tenn. Nov. 7, 2016)
(dismissed for failure to state a claim); and Adkins v.
Inman Stories Insurance, No. 2:16-CV-106 (M.D. Tenn.
Dec. 2, 2016) (dismissed for failure to state a claim).
Accordingly, the Court finds that Plaintiff has abused his
in forma pauperis privileges. Because Plaintiff has
failed to plausibly allege that he is in imminent danger of
serious physical injury, his in forma pauperis
status will be revoked. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
reasons set forth above, Plaintiff's in forma
pauperis status is REVOKED, and this
action is DISMISSED pursuant to ...