United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division
ORDER PARTIALLY DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING
THAT PROCESS BE ISSUED AND SERVED ON DEFENDANT ROBERSON AND
D. TODD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
13, 2019, Plaintiff Tironne Simpkins, who currently is
incarcerated at the South Central Correctional Center in
Clifton, 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
Simpkins was incarcerated at the Whiteville Correctional
Facility (WCF) in Whiteville, Tennessee. (ECF No. 1 at PageID
4.) The Court issued an order on May 14, 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 WCF Nurse Practitioner
First Name Unknown (FNU) Roberson and WCF Doctor FNU Deitz.
alleges that since 2015, he has experienced severe pain in
his neck and back and requested treatment while at the WCF.
(ECF No. 1 at PageID 5.) He alleges that he was given
ibuprofen for about a year and x-rayed on January 18, 2018.
29, 2018, Nurse Practitioner (NP) Roberson examined Simpkins,
but both Roberson and Dietz refused to give Simpkins the
results of his January 18, 2018, x-ray and allegedly did not
treat his pain. (Id.) Simpkins alleges that Roberson
and Dietz continued to refuse him treatment up to the date he
filed his complaint. (Id.) In the meantime, the pain
detrimentally affected his “ability to work, walk,
climb up and down steps to get to his housing assignment on
the top tier, sleep, exercise, take showers, and perform
other daily activities.” (Id.)
August 2, 2018, Simpkins filled out another sick-call
request, but Roberson and Dietz allegedly ignored it.
(Id. at PageID 6.) About a week later, he requested
an extra mattress and a bottom bunk and a chair to step up
and down from his bunk. (Id.) He alleges that the
WCF Medical Department, “by and through” Roberson
and Dietz, denied his requests. (Id.) As of the date
the complaint was filed, the defendants allegedly had refused
to see Simpkins for chronic care visits or provide him any
treatment whatsoever. (Id.) He also alleges that his
grievances went unanswered. (Id.) He asserts that
the WCF Medical Department retaliated against him by ignoring
his sick-call requests and grievances. (Id. at
seeks compensatory and punitive damages. (Id. at
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
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))).
filed his complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which
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 ...