United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division
ORDER DENYING PENDING MOTIONS (ECF NOS. 12, 13, 15
& 16), PARTIALLY DISMISSING COMPLAINT, AND DIRECTING THAT
PROCESS BE ISSUED AND SERVED ON DEFENDANTS CADNEY AND
D. TODD, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
April 6, 2018, Plaintiff Calvin Tankesly, who is incarcerated
at the Turney Center Industrial Complex (TCIX) in Only,
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.) His complaint addresses
events that occurred during his previous confinement at the
Northwest Correctional Complex (NWCX), in Tiptonville,
Tennessee. (ECF No. 1 at PageID 3.) The Court issued an order
on April 9, 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.
§§ 1915(a)-(b). (ECF No. 4.) Tankesly also moved
for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary
injunction, (ECF No. 6), which the Court denied (ECF No. 11).
Tankesly has moved for reconsideration of that denial. (ECF
No. 12.) However, nothing in the motion persuades the Court
the ruling was erroneous; therefore, for the reasons
previously stated, the motion for reconsideration is DENIED.
Clerk shall record the Defendants as Aramark Correctional
Services; M. Slad, Dietician; Pam Wright, Food Service
Director; Jeremy Pickrel, former Food Service Manager; Sammy
Taylor, former Food Service Manager; Veronica Cadney, Food
Steward; Willie Ramsey, Food Steward; Susan Redden, Food
Supervisor; Linda Moran, Food Steward; Freddie Thomas,
Sergeant; and Carla Cole, Correctional Officer
alleges that in 2013, he underwent treatment for throat
cancer that has caused throat inflammation; loss of his
saliva glands and taste buds; and damage to his throat
lining, sinuses, and teeth. (ECF No. 1 at PageID 12.) Because
of the treatment, Tankesly cannot produce saliva and is
limited in what he can chew and safely swallow.
(Id.) He alleges he cannot eat with the general
prison population because of “unsightly sinus drainage,
[and] forced extraction of foods that accumulate while
eating.” (Id. at 12 n.7.)
generally alleges that the Aramark Defendants knew of his
condition but refused to provide him sufficient nutrition
through foods he could eat. (Id. at PageID 8.) He
alleges that the Aramark Defendants did not provide him the
required 2, 500 calories per day of nutrition, causing him
“to suffer unnecessarily” from weight loss, dizzy
spells, light headedness, fatigue and tooth breakage.
(Id. at PageID 13.) Tankesly states he was
temporarily housed at the Lois M. Deberry Special Needs
Facility (SPND) in Nashville while he awaited court
proceedings in February 2018. (Id. at PageID 14.)
There he received a “‘Special Diet' with
proper portions.” (Id. (emphasis omitted).) He
asserts that the Defendants at NWCX had the same options
available but refused to provide them to him. (Id.)
Instead, he often went without eating or consumed well below
2, 500 calories per day, which he believes is necessary to
maintain his health. (Id. at PageID 15-16.) Tankesly
asserts that he was medically prescribed a special diet, but
the Defendants refused to comply with the directive,
“citing ‘Corp. policy.'” (Id.
at PageID 16.) He separately alleges that Defendants Cadney
and Ramsey intercepted Tankesly's food tray from the
inmate serving the meals and threw into the trash foods that
he could eat. (Id. at PageID 17.)
alleges that Aramark Defendants Slad, Wright, Pickrel, and
Taylor “had a duty to hire and train competent food
stewards” who would provide him adequate nutrition.
(Id. at PageID 9.) He asserts that these Defendants
were aware of the food stewards' refusal to provide him
alternative foods and were “actively complicating
Plaintiff's plight, denying him sufficient
nutrition.” (Id. at PageID 17.) Tankesly
claims that “the unwritten policies, customs and
practices providing sufficient nutrition to post cancer
patients is unreasonable and outdated, ” leading to his
inadequate nutrition. (Id. at PageID 21 (emphasis
suggests that Aramark, “for financial reasons and gain,
” has broken its contract with the Tennessee Department
of Correction “to provide sufficient nutrition of 2,
500 calories per inmate, per day.” (Id. at
PageID 10.) He asserts that Aramark has “the means and
capacity to adjust their general menu to accommodate
‘specific' medical conditions - but insist on
putting profit interest ahead of providing sufficient
nutrition to Plaintiff.” (Id. at PageID 20.)
He also suggests in passing that Aramark and its employees
conspired to deny inmates required food, which Tankesly
asserts amounts to violations of his rights under the Eighth
and Fourteenth Amendments. (Id. at PageID 10-11.)
alleges that the NWCX Defendants ordered Tankesly to leave
the dining area on several occasions before he received his
meal because Tankesly did not sign an unspecified document.
(Id. at PageID 21.) He also alleges that Defendant
Cole ordered diet line workers to remove food from his tray.
seeks nominal, compensatory, and punitive damages from each
Defendant, as well as declaratory and injunctive relief.
(Id. at PageID 23.) He sues the Aramark Defendants
in their official and individual capacities, (id. at
PageID 20), but sues the NWCX Defendants in only their
individual capacities (id. at PageID 23).
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