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Posey v. Jackson

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

October 29, 2019

CHRISTOPHER ALLEN POSEY, Plaintiff,
v.
KARL JACKSON, ET AL., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND GRANTING LEAVE TO AMEND

          JAMES D. TODD, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On July 23, 2019, Plaintiff Christopher Allen Posey, who is incarcerated at the Obion County Jail (Jail) in Union City, Tennessee, filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and a motion to proceed in forma pauperis in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. (ECF Nos. 1 & 2.) On September 4, 2019, Chief U.S. District Judge John A. Jarvey issued an order transferring the case to this Court. (ECF No. 3.) After the case was transferred, and after Posey filed the requisite financial documents, this Court issued an order 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. 9.) The Clerk shall record the Defendants as Obion County Sheriff Karl Jackson and Jail Administrator Kent Treece.

         Posey's allegations are as follows:

My Constitutional rights have been violated. There[']s personal conflict from the officers towards me. I[']m suffering from cruel and unusual punishment. I have been placed among federal inmates and had an altercation with one and was subjected to bodily harm. I had 5 stitches in my lower lip and placed back in the pod with federal prisoners. Karl Jackson has repeatedly taken me off the prison transport.

(ECF No. 1 at PageID 4.) Posey seeks compensatory damages, a release on parole or a transfer to another facility, and payment of his court costs and attorney fees. (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))).

         Posey 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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