United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
CALEB A. TAYLOR, Plaintiff,
EMPLOYEES AT SUMNER CO. JAIL, et al., Defendants.
RICHARDSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Caleb Taylor, an inmate at the Sumner County Jail in
Gallatin, Tennessee, filed this pro se civil rights
action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Doc. No. 1) and two
applications to proceed in this Court without prepaying fees
and costs (Doc. Nos. 2 and 3).
Applications to Proceed as a Pauper
Court may authorize a prisoner to file a civil suit without
prepaying the filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Plaintiff
submitted both a short form (Doc. No. 2) and a long form
(Doc. No. 3) application to proceed in forma
pauperis. The short form application is accompanied by a
copy of Plaintiff's trust account statement. (Doc. No. 2
at 3-9.) Plaintiff also submitted a “Certificate of
Prisoner Institutional/Trust Fund Account Activity, ”
apparently signed by the custodian of his account. (Doc. No.
1 at 47.) Because Plaintiff's applications reflect that
he cannot pay the full filing fee in advance, the
applications (Doc. Nos. 2 and 3) will be granted. The $350.00
filing fee will be assessed as directed in the accompanying
Order. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).
the screening requirements of the Prison Litigation Reform
Act (“PLRA”), the Court must conduct an initial
review and dismiss the complaint if it is frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. The Court
must also 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 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)).
lists thirty-three defendants at the beginning of the
complaint (Doc. No. 1 at 1-7) and refers to one additional
entity-Southern Health Partners-as a defendant in the body of
the complaint (id. at 29). The spelling of several
defendant's names and titles is inconsistent throughout
the complaint. To maintain clarity, the Court will spell each
defendant's name exactly as it first appears in the
complaint but spell each defendant's title using the
common English spelling. The Court has grouped similar
defendants together as follows.
names four entities as defendants: Employee's at Sumner
Co. Jail, Sumner County Law District, Sumner County Jail, and
Sumner County General Sessions Court. (Id. at 1, 6.)
He names ten individual defendants who, based on the
allegations in the complaint and their titles, serve in a
supervisory capacity at the Sumner County Jail: Sheriff Sonny
Weatherford, Administrator Sonya Troutt, Captain Doug Canner,
Internal Affairs Officer Keith Bean, Lieutenant Lesiley Bean,
Lieutenant Jack Babbit, Sergeant Heather Driver, Sergeant
Coldwell, Sergeant Cockerin, and Sergeant Desk. (Id.
at 4-6.) Plaintiff also sues a Specialist named Pettey.
(Id. at 3.) Plaintiff next names ten officers:
Chanler, Blake, Hopper, Keane Glover, Petterson, Innitelly,
Josha Holland, Christpher Greenhodge, Jason Gegory, and Julis
Edwards. (Id. at 2-5.) Finally, Plaintiff names nine
defendants allegedly involved in medical care at the Sumner
County Jail: Southern Health Partners, Dr. Matthew, Head
Nurse Shearal, Head Nurse Sharon, and Nurses Erica Lee, Bree,
Jenniffer, Angel, and Kaylie. (Id. at 4, 7, 29.)
complaint's statement of facts includes handwritten
allegations on an “Inmate Statement Form”
(id. at 9) and twenty-six attached pages
(id. at 10-35). Most pages are redundant because
Plaintiff repeats a set of underlying allegations, either
verbatim or nearly verbatim, before changing the defendant to
whom they apply. (Id. at 12, 15, 18, 21, 24
(applying repeated allegations to Defendants Babbit, Glover,
Greenhodge, Edwards, and Gegory, respectively); id.
at 25, 26, 27, 28 (applying repeated allegations to
Defendants Troutt, Canner, Keith Bean, and Weatherford,
respectively); id. at 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35
(applying repeated allegations to Defendants Shearal, Bree,
Sharon, Erica Lee, Angel, and Jenniffer, respectively). The
style of punctuation, grammar, and spelling also make the
complaint somewhat difficult to comprehend. Nonetheless,
drawing the necessary reasonable inferences and accepting any
specific factual allegations as true, the Court has
established the following summary of events for the purpose
of conducting an initial review.
September 2018 Incident
alleges that, at 11:30 a.m. on September 11, 2018, he was
given a one-hour recreation while lunch was being served.
(Doc. No. 1 at 10.) During that time, another inmate gave his
lunch tray to Plaintiff, and Plaintiff ate that tray at a
table while Officer Julis Edwards distributed trays to other
inmates at their cells. (Id.) Edwards did not stop
when he got to Plaintiff's cell, so Plaintiff told
Edwards that he did not give Plaintiff a tray. (Id.)
A standoff ensured.
Edwards responded that Plaintiff already received his tray.
(Id.) Plaintiff explained that another inmate gave
him that try, and he did not receive his own tray.
(Id.) Edwards refused to give Plaintiff a tray and
told him to “lock down.” (Id.) Plaintiff
said he would not lock down until he got his own lunch tray,
and Edwards again refused to give him one. (Id.)
Plaintiff said he was “not locking down.”
(Id.) Edwards called for assistance. (Id.)
jail officials arrived minutes later-Officer Jason Gegory,
Officer Keane Glover, Officer Christpher Greenhodge, and
Lieutenant Jack Babbit. (Id.) Plaintiff tried to
explain his side of the standoff, and someone told him to
“shut the f*** up” and go to his cell.
(Id.) Plaintiff responded that he would not go to
his cell until he got his lunch tray. (Id.) Someone
threatened to spray Plaintiff with “P2 freeze pepper
spray” if he did not “lock down.”
(Id.) Plaintiff said “f*** yall” and
turned to walk away. (Id.)
sprayed Plaintiff with pepper spray, but the spray did not
affect him. (Id.) Officer Gegory grabbed Plaintiff,
and Plaintiff alleges he was not being aggressive because he
“threw [his] hands up while [his] back was
facing” Gegory. (Id. at 11.) Someone
“body slam[m]ed” Plaintiff onto the concrete
floor, breaking Plaintiff's shoulder. (Id.) The
five jail officials-Edwards, Gegory, Glover, Greenhodge, and
Babbitt-then “jerked” Plaintiff's arm behind
his back and handcuffed him. (Id.) The five
officials dragged and threw Plaintiff out of the pod door and
into a restraint chair. (Id.) Plaintiff told Officer
Gegory that he needed to see medical because his shoulder was
broken. (Id.) Gegory told “the officer in the
tower” to call and inform medical that Plaintiff
required treatment, but Plaintiff did not receive treatment
at that time. (Id.)
Plaintiff was in so much pain that he started yelling and
cursing, at which point Officer Greenhodge tried to put
Plaintiff back in his cell. (Id.) Plaintiff told
Greenhodge that he would not return to his cell until he
received medical treatment. (Id.) Greenhodge then
grabbed Plaintiff's broken shoulder. (Id.)
Plaintiff “quickly swung from” Greenhodge's
grasp to avoid further injury to his shoulder. (Id.
at 11-12.) Greenhodge then “body slam[m]ed”
Plaintiff's shoulder onto the concrete floor, adding a
broken collarbone (id. at 12) and arm (id.
at 25) to Plaintiff's already-broken shoulder. Officer
Greenhodge then jerked Plaintiff's arm behind his back,
causing Plaintiff's shoulder to pop three times, before
handcuffing him. (Id. at 13.)
Greenhodge ultimately made Plaintiff wait for medical
treatment “over six hours.” (Id. 11-12.)
After he got to medical, Plaintiff underwent an x-ray that
confirmed his broken shoulder and collarbone. (Id.
at 12.) According to Plaintiff, however, medical staff
refused to x-ray his broken right arm (id. at 25),
despite Plaintiff requesting it “several times”
(id. at 29).
Medical Care Following ...