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Ross v. Davidson County Sheriff's Office

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

September 23, 2019

KAMERON ROSS, Plaintiff,
v.
DAVIDSON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM

          WILLIAM L. CAMPBELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Kameron Ross, a pre-trial detainee currently in the custody of the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office in Nashville, Tennessee, filed this pro se, in forma pauperis action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Correct Care Solution, and Trenady Food Service. (Doc. No. 1).

         I. Motion to Add Supplemental Pleadings

         After he filed his complaint, Plaintiff filed a motion to add supplemental pleadings. (Doc. No. 4). In his motion, Plaintiff elaborates on allegations he made in his original complaint. He also alleges for the first time that his living quarters are “nasty” (Doc. No. 4 at 3) and the showers are never clean. He further alleges that he is a 5’ 9” adult male whose average weight is 180 pounds but, due to the lack of nutritionally inadequate meals at the facility, he now weighs 169 pounds. (Id. at 4).

         Rule 15(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a party to file a motion seeking permission to serve a supplemental pleading “setting out any transaction, occurrence, or event that happened after the ate of the pleading to be supplemented.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(d). However, the new allegations Plaintiff makes in his motion concern events that occurred prior to Plaintiff filing his original complaint. Nevertheless, Rule 15(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a plaintiff to amend his complaint with permission of the Court or with the opposing party’s consent. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). The rule provides that leave to amend should be freely given “when justice so requires.” Id. In deciding whether to grant a motion to amend, courts should consider undue delay in filing, lack of notice to the opposing party, bad faith by the moving party, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by previous amendments, undue prejudice to the opposing party, and futility of amendment. Brumbalough v. Camelot Care Ctrs., Inc., 427 F.3d 996, 1001 (6th Cir. 2005).

         Here, the proposed amendments to the complaint provide additional context for the claims raised in the original complaint. The amendments also seek to add new claims. With respect to the futility of the amendments, the Court finds that the proposed amendments to the complaint raise legal and factual issues that the Court should consider when evaluating Plaintiff’s complaints concerning the conditions of his confinement at the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office. There appears to be no undue prejudice to the opposing parties by permitting Plaintiff to amend his complaint at this time; no Defendant has been served. The Court therefore will grant the motion (Doc. No. 4), construed as a motion to amend the complaint under Rule 15(a)(2).

         Accordingly, the Court will screen the original complaint, as informed by the Plaintiff’s amendments to the original complaint, pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

         II. PLRA Screening Standard

         Under 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 Section 1915(e)(2)(B). Id . § 1915A(b).

         The 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).

         II. 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.

         III. Alleged Facts

         The complaint, as amended, primarily concerns the conditions of Plaintiff’s confinement while detained at the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office. According to the complaint, Plaintiff became very sick on June 7, 2018, due to improperly-cooked food. In July of 2018, Plaintiff developed scabies but was not treated until August 16, 2018, due to the “malpractice of nurses and doctors.” (Doc. No. 1 at 9). Plaintiff needs additional medical treatment because he “still feal [sic] itchy” and is having “emotional problems.” (Id.)

         On January 20, 2019, Plaintiff asked numerous corrections officials if he could get a different mattress because his mattress has holes in it and “goes flat after so long of sleeping on it do [sic] to small or little amount of plush.” (Id. at 10). None of the corrections officials would get Plaintiff a different mattress and, as a result, he is experiencing back pain, neck, and shoulder pain and he thinks he has bed sores. (Id.; Doc. No. 4 at 3).

         On June 19, 2019, Plaintiff was served rotten and uncooked food. According to Plaintiff, he receives special meal trays for inmates with allergies, but the amount of food he receives on his allergy trays is not enough to keep him healthy because he is only served 600 to 650 calories daily. (Id. at 11). Plaintiff believes he has a “right to 2000 or 1800 calories” daily and “to have bread.” (Id.) He alleges that he is a 5’ 9” adult male whose average weight is 180 pounds but, due to the lack of nutritionally inadequate meals at the facility, he now weighs 169 pounds. (Doc. No. 4 at 4). On July 26, 2019, Plaintiff’s tray contained a tomato, to which he is allergic.

         On June 27, June 28, June 30, and June 31 of 2019, Plaintiff was not able to use the telephone due to a facility lockdown. Typically, the only time Plaintiff is permitted to make a telephone call is during his recreational period, but his mother is at work during that time. His requests to make a short telephone call during the times his mother is available to talk have been denied. Plaintiff believes it violates his federal constitutional rights not to be able to talk to his mother.

         The complaint further alleges that Plaintiff is only allowed one hour of outdoor recreational time each day. His doctor recommended that he exercise more, and he believes that he should ...


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