United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division
ORDER DENYING AS MOOT MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME
(ECF No. 11), DIRECTING CLERK TO MODIFY THE DOCKET, PARTIALLY
DISMISSING AMENDED COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING THAT PROCESS BE
ISSUED AND SERVED ON DEFENDANT MAYBERRY
D. TODD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
5, 2019, the Court dismissed the pro se complaint
filed by Plaintiff Nichole Turner and granted him leave to
amend. (ECF No. 10.) Turner timely filed an amended
complaint. (ECF No. 12.) He names as Defendants only
Officer First Name Unknown (FNU) Mayberry and the Madison
County Criminal Justice Complex (CJC). The Clerk is DIRECTED
to terminate the other Defendants from the docket.
alleges that on April 20, 2018, while he was a pretrial
detainee at the CJC, Officer Mayberry asked him to step out
of his holding cell. (ECF No. 12 at PageID 36.) The officer
allegedly told Turner “he was sick of my attitude and
grabbed my arm.” (Id.) Turner told Mayberry
“to take his hands off me.” (Id.)
Mayberry instead allegedly forced Turner into a holding cell,
punched him in the face, and slammed him on the ground,
breaking his left hand. (Id.) Other unnamed officers
allegedly “mased and tased on [Turner's] face,
back.” (Id.) Turner was placed in isolation
the next day. (Id.) He alleges that he sent several
medical requests over the following days for treatment of his
hand, which was swollen and causing him pain. (Id.)
Turner received an x-ray of his hand on May 15, 2018, which
showed a fracture. (Id.) He alleges that he sent
grievances about his ongoing pain and received a response but
never received any further treatment for his injury.
(Id.) Turner seeks damages from each Defendant.
(Id. at PageID 36-37.)
legal standards for assessing the claims in an inmate's
complaint were set forth in the prior order of dismissal,
(ECF No. 10 at PageID 28-29), and will not be reiterated
does not specify the capacity in which he seeks to sue the
Defendants. Turner's claims against the CJC are construed
as against Madison County. To the extent he seeks to bring an
official-capacity claim against Officer Mayberry, that claim
also is construed as against Madison County. See Matthews
v. Jones, 35 F.3d 1046, 1049 (6th Cir. 1994) (citing
Will v. Michigan Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S.
58, 68 (1989)). However, as with his initial complaint,
Turner does not allege that that he suffered an injury
because of an unconstitutional policy or custom of Madison
County. Therefore, for the same reasons discussed in the
previous order, he fails to state a claim against Madison
County or Officer Mayberry in his official capacity. (ECF No.
10 at PageID 29-30.)
allegations against Office Mayberry in his individual
capacity amount to a claim of excessive force. Turner
clarifies in his amended complaint that he was a pretrial
detainee at the time of the alleged events. His claim is
therefore analyzed under the Fourteenth Amendment's
standard of objective reasonableness, which “turns on
the ‘facts and circumstances of each particular
case.'” Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 135 S.Ct.
2466, 2473 (2015). Under an objective reasonableness inquiry,
“the question is whether the officers' actions are
objectively reasonable in light of the facts and
circumstances confronting them, without regard to their
underlying intent or motivation.” Graham v.
Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 397 (1989) (citations omitted).
The proper application of this standard requires
consideration of the following factors:
the relationship between the need for the use of force and
the amount of force used; the extent of the plaintiff's
injury; any effort made by the officer to temper or to limit
the amount of force; the severity of the security problem at
issue; the threat reasonably perceived by the officer; and
whether the plaintiff was actively resisting.
Kingsley, 135 S.Ct. at 2473. This list is not
exhaustive but illustrates some of the “objective
circumstances potentially relevant to a determination of
excessive force.” Id.
alleges that Officer Mayberry forced him into a cell, punched
him, and slammed him into the ground because “he was
sick of [Turner's] attitude.” Turner alleges that
he told Mayberry “to take his hands off me” but
did not resist or physically react to the officer's
actions. Turner does not specify whether he was handcuffed or
physically restrained, but his allegations do not suggest he
was posing a threat or security problem at the time: Turner
was in a holding cell, and Officer Mayberry allegedly acted
because of “attitude” Turner previously had
shown. The facts as alleged suggest Officer Mayberry's
use of force was needless and therefore not objectively
reasonable. See Morabito v. Holmes, 628 Fed.Appx.
353, 358 (6th Cir. 2015) (concluding that the actions of an
officer who entered non-threatening detainee's cell
“out of frustration with his repeated verbal outbursts
and demands for medical treatment, ” slapped him, tased
him, and punched him were not objectively reasonable).
Accordingly, Turner has stated a claim of e x cessive fo r c
e against Officer Mayberry, and this claim may proceed.
allegation that he was denied medical treatment for his
fractured hand amounts to a claim of deliberate indifference.
“The Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and
unusual punishment generally provides the basis to assert a
§ 1983 claim of deliberate indifference to serious
medical needs, but where that claim is asserted on behalf of
a pre-trial detainee, the Due Process Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment is the proper starting point.”
Winkler v. Madison Cnty., 893 F.3d 877, 890 (6th
Cir. 2018) (quoting Phillips v. Roane Cnty., 534
F.3d 531, 539 (6th Cir. 2008)). Like an Eighth Amendment
claim, a Fourteenth Amendment claim of deliberate
indifference has both an objective and a subjective
component. Id. To satisfy the objective component,
“the detainee must demonstrate the existence of a
sufficiently serious medical need.” Id.
(quoting Spears v. Ruth, 589 F.3d 249, 254 (6th Cir.
2009)). “For the subjective component, the detainee
must demonstrate that the defendant possessed a sufficiently
culpable state of mind in denying medical care.”
Id. at 891 (quoting Spears, 589 F.3d at
254). A defendant has a sufficiently culpable state of mind
if he “knows of and disregards an excessive risk to
inmate health or safety.” Farmer v. Brennan,
511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994).
Turner's hand injury was a sufficiently serious medical
need, he fails to state a claim because he does not satisfy
the subjective component. Turner alleges only generally that
he filed grievances but never received treatment for his
pain. He does not allege that any named Defendant knew of yet
disregarded his condition.
conclusion, the Court DISMISSES Turner's claims against
the Madison County Criminal Justice Complex and his
official-capacity claim against Officer Mayberry for failure
to state a claim on which relief may be granted, pursuant to
28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and 1915A(b)(1).
Turner's excessive force claim against Officer Mayberry
in his individual capacity may proceed.
ORDERED that the Clerk shall issue process for Defendant
Mayberry and deliver that process to the U.S. Marshal for
service. Service shall be made on Defendant Mayberry pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(e) and Tennessee Rules
of Civil Procedure 4.04(1) and (10) by registered or
certified mail or personally if mail service is not
effective. All costs of service shall by advanced by the
further ORDERED that Turner shall serve a copy of every
subsequent document he files in this case on the attorneys
for Defendant Mayberry or on Defendant Mayberry if he is
unrepresented. Turner shall make a certificate of service on
every document he files. Turner shall familiarize ...