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Hudson v. Corecivic

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division

October 18, 2019

MATEEM HUDSON, Plaintiff,
v.
CORECIVIC, ET AL., Defendants.

          ORDER PARTIALLY DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING THAT PROCESS BE ISSUED AND SERVED ON DEFENDANT FISH

          JAMES D. TODD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On April 4, 2019, Plaintiff Mateem Hudson, who is incarcerated at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center in Hartsville, 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 complaint addresses events that allegedly occurred while Hudson was incarcerated at the Whiteville Correctional Facility (WCF) in Whiteville, Tennessee. (ECF No. 1 at PageID 3.) The Court issued an order on April 9, 2019, 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. §§ 1915(a)-(b). (ECF No. 4.) The Clerk shall record the Defendants as CoreCivic, WCF Internal Affairs Coordinator Ellery Grier, and WCF Officer Amy Fish.

         In his complaint and its attachments, Hudson alleges that on June 21, 2018, Officer Fish allowed into his housing pod two gang members who resided in an adjacent housing pod. (ECF No. 1 at PageID 4.) Hudson had earlier seen Fish allegedly fraternizing with the gang members, who are members of the Vice Lords gang, and she allegedly facilitated their attack on Hudson. (ECF No. 1-1 at PageID 9.) He alleges that Fish knew the gang members did not live in Hudson's housing pod but allowed them in to attack Hudson for writing complaints against two other corrections officers. (Id.) The gang members entered Hudson's cell and attacked him, causing injuries that required hospitalization. (ECF No. 1 at PageID 4.) During the attack, the gang members allegedly asked Hudson why he wrote the complaints against the two officers. (ECF No. 1-1 at PageID 9.) Neither gang member was disciplined for the attack. (ECF No. 1 at PageID 4.)

         Once returned to WCF, Hudson was placed in protective custody and restrictive housing but was “denied the same rights afforded to all inmates in general population.” (Id.) Hudson wrote a grievance alleging violations of his Eighth Amendment rights but received no response. (Id.) He alleges that his commissary trust account also was “put on block by Internal Affairs, ” even though he had not received a disciplinary infraction. (Id. at PageID 5.)

         Hudson seeks compensatory damages. (Id.) He also wants to pursue criminal charges against Fish and wants Grier fired for not investigating the assault. (Id.)

         The Court is required to screen prisoner complaints and to dismiss any complaint, or any portion thereof, if the complaint-

(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 such relief.

28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         In 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.

         “Pro 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))).

         Hudson filed his complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which provides:

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 . . . .

         To 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 ...


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