United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND GRANTING LEAVE TO
D. TODD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
October 19, 2018, Plaintiff John Eris Jackson II, a pretrial
detainee at the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center (Jail)
in Memphis, Tennessee, filed a pro se complaint
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and a motion to proceed
in forma pauperis. (ECF Nos. 1 & 2.) The Court
issued an order on November 7, 2018, granting leave to
proceed in forma pauperis and assessing the civil
filing fee pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(PLRA), 28 U.S.C. Â§Â§ 1915(a)-(b). (ECF No. 4.) The Clerk
shall record the Defendants as Correct Care Solutions (CCS),
the Shelby County Sheriff's Department, and Dr. Oscar
alleges that he has been denied medication to treat his
Hepatitis C, which was prescribed to him by his doctor at
“the Hepatitis C Clinic that I go to at Adult Special
Care Center.” (ECF No. 1 at PageID 2.) He alleges he
has been “told by them there that Oscar Webb [at] this
Jail that the insurance carrier will not pay fo r the
meds.” (Id.) Jackson lists CCS as the
insurance carrier for the Jail and “for its inmates
housed there.” (Id.) He alleges that when he
is sent for tests, Defendant Webb “is on the order as
if he himself prescribed the test procedure, ” when the
Hepatitis C Clinic in fact prescribes the tests.
(Id.) Jackson seeks “to rec[ei]ve the
‘Accepted Standard Quality of Care' by having my
Insurance Carriers pay for my Hepatitis C treatment.”
(Id. at PageID 3.) He alleges that without
treatment, he continues to suffer liver damage and that he
has advanced fibrosis which is worsening. (Id.)
Court is required to screen prisoner complaints and to
dismiss any complaint, or any portion thereof, if the
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see also 28 U.S.C. §
assessing whether the complaint in this case states a claim
on which relief may be granted, the standards under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), as stated in Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-79 (2009), and in Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57 (2007),
are applied. Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71
(6th Cir. 2010). The Court accepts the complaint's
“well-pleaded” factual allegations as true and
then determines whether the allegations “plausibly
suggest an entitlement to relief.'” Williams v.
Curtin, 631 F.3d 380, 383 (6th Cir. 2011) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 681). Conclusory allegations
“are not entitled to the assumption of truth, ”
and legal conclusions “must be supported by factual
allegations.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Although
a complaint need only contain “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), Rule 8 nevertheless
requires factual allegations to make a
“‘showing,' rather than a blanket assertion,
of entitlement to relief.” Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 555 n.3.
se complaints are to be held ‘to less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers,' and
should therefore be liberally construed.”
Williams, 631 F.3d at 383 (quoting Martin v.
Overton, 391 F.3d 710, 712 (6th Cir. 2004)). Pro
se litigants, however, are not exempt from the
requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989);
see also Brown v. Matauszak, 415 Fed.Appx. 608, 612,
613 (6th Cir. Jan. 31, 2011) (affirming dismissal of pro
se complaint for failure to comply with “unique
pleading requirements” and stating “a court
cannot ‘create a claim which [a plaintiff] has not
spelled out in his pleading'” (quoting Clark v.
Nat'l Travelers Life Ins. Co., 518 F.2d 1167, 1169
(6th Cir. 1975))).
filed his complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or
the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be
subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person
within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any
rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution
and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action
at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for
redress . . . .
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two
elements: (1) a deprivation of rights secured by the
“Constitution and laws” of the United States (2)
committed by a defendant acting under color of state law.
Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 150
has identified CCS as the insurance carrier for inmates at
the Jail. However, CCS is not an insurer but a private
company that contracts to provide medical care for inmates in
correctional facilities,  including the Shelby County Jail.
See Gladney v. Shelby Cnty., No. 13-2668-JDT-TMP,
2014 WL 4660784, at *3 (W.D. Tenn. Sept. 17, 2014);
Chambers v. Correct Care Sol., No. 3:15-CV-01021,
2015 WL 5673007, at *4 (M.D. Tenn. Sept. 25, 2015). “A
private corporation that performs the traditional state
function of operating a prison acts under color of state law
for purposes of § 1983.” Thomas v. Coble,
55 Fed.Appx. 748, 748 (6th Cir. 2003) (citing Street v.
Corr. Corp. of Am., 102 F.3d 810, 814 (6th Cir. 1996)).
The Sixth Circuit has applied the standards for assessing
municipal liability to claims against private corporations
that operate prisons or provide medical care or food services
to prisoners. Id. at 748-49; Street, 102
F.3d at 817-18; Johnson v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 26
Fed.Appx. 386, 388 (6th Cir. 2001); see also Eads v.
State of Tenn., No. 1:18-cv-00042, 2018 WL 4283030, at
*9 (M.D. Tenn. Sept. 7, 2018). To prevail on a § 1983
claim against CCS, Jackson “must show that a policy or
well-settled custom of the company was the ‘moving
force' behind the alleged deprivation” of his
rights. Braswell v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 419
Fed.Appx. 622, 627 (6th Cir. 2011).
alleges that he has been told the insurance carrier at the
Jail will not pay for his Hepatitis C medication and
treatment. It is not clear from the complaint whether Jackson
intends to sue CCS, which he has misidentified as an insurer,
or whether he intends to sue a different entity, which
Jackson has not named in the complaint, that actually
provides insurance for inmate medical care at the ...