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Miles v. Shelby County Criminal Justice Center

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

October 22, 2019

BENJAMIN F. MILES, IV, Plaintiff,
v.
SHELBY COUNTY CRIMINAL JUSTICE CENTER, ET AL., Defendants.

          ORDER PARTIALLY DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING THAT PROCESS BE ISSUED AND SERVED ON DEFENDANTS CONNOLLY, BARKER AND WHITE

          JAMES D. TODD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On April 17, 2019, Plaintiff Benjamin F. Miles, IV, a pretrial detainee at the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center in Memphis, 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 Court issued an order on April 22, 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 the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center (Jail), Lieutenant A. Connolly, and Corrections Officers (C/O) Taliha Barker and Kimberly White.

         Miles asserts that he has been subjected to punishment, physical and sexual abuse, and harassment at the Jail on various dates since February 2019. (ECF No. 1 at PageID 2.) He alleges that Lieutenant Connolly failed to supervise and instruct his officers to follow proper protocol and instead advised them to “perform the actions of cruel & unusual punishment, ” including not giving soap to inmates on lockdown after they have used the restroom. (Id.) Connolly also allegedly placed Miles in “predetention” for thirty days, where he was not able to shower, change clothes, or clean. (Id.)

         Miles alleges that C/O Barker failed to give him a meal on one occasion and had him sent to administrative segregation for thirty days “because of personal feelings” and based on false allegations (Id.) Miles alleges that Barker verbally abused him and “defimated [sic] my character and caused problems for my upcoming trial.” (Id.) Barker also allegedly had Miles sent to “deadlock & detention” because he filed grievances. (Id.)

         Miles alleges that C/O White choked him and pushed his head into a wall on one occasion. (Id.) He alleges she harasses him and has sexually abused him by grabbing his penis, pulling his pants up into his buttocks, and telling him that he is “going to get fucked in prison.” (Id.)[1]

         Miles seeks monetary damages against all defendants. (Id. at PageID 5.)

         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))).

         Miles 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 ...

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