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Fisher v. Longtin

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

November 4, 2019

ANTHONY LEE FISHER, Plaintiff,
v.
AMY LONGTIN, et al ., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM

          ELI RICHARDSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Anthony Lee Fisher, an inmate of the Dickson County jail in Charlotte, Tennessee, filed this pro se, in forma pauperis action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Captain Amy Longtin, Chief Jerome Holt, Lieutenant f/n/u Quigley, Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe, the Dickson County Sheriff's Office, and Southern Health Partners. (Doc. No. 1). Plaintiff also filed a motion to appoint counsel. (Doc. No. 3).

         The complaint is before the Court for an initial review pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.

         I. PLRA Screening Standard

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the court must dismiss any portion of a civil complaint filed in forma pauperis that fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, is frivolous, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Section 1915A similarly requires initial review of any “complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity, ” id. § 1915A(a), and summary dismissal of the complaint on the same grounds as those articulated in § 1915(e)(2)(B). Id. § 1915A(b).

         The court must construe a pro se complaint liberally, United States v. Smotherman, 838 F.3d 736, 739 (6th Cir. 2016) (citing Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)), and accept the plaintiff's factual allegations as true unless they are entirely without credibility. See Thomas v. Eby, 481 F.3d 434, 437 (6th Cir. 2007) (citing Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992)). Although pro se pleadings are to be held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Jourdan v. Jabe, 951 F.2d 108, 110 (6th Cir. 1991), the courts' “duty to be ‘less stringent' with pro se complaints does not require us to conjure up [unpleaded] allegations.” McDonald v. Hall, 610 F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979) (citation omitted).

         II. Section 1983 Standard

         42 U.S.C. § 1983 creates a cause of action against any person who, acting under color of state law, abridges “rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws . . . .” To state a claim under Section 1983, a plaintiff must allege and show two elements: (1) that he was deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States; and (2) that the deprivation was caused by a person acting under color of state law. Dominguez v. Corr. Med. Servs., 555 F.3d 543, 549 (6th Cir. 2009) (quoting Sigley v. City of Panama Heights, 437 F.3d 527, 533 (6th Cir. 2006)); 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         III. Alleged Facts

         The complaint alleges that while Plaintiff has been incarcerated at the Dickson County jail since June 30, 2019, he repeatedly has asked for treatment of his Hepatitis C. According to the complaint, certain Defendants told Plaintiff that inmates at this facility will not be provided treatment for Hepatitis C. Plaintiff has received no treatment for Hepatitis C while incarcerated at the Dickson County jail. In particular, he has not received any blood work or monitoring “to see the progression of the disease or the damage progression of [his] liver.” (Doc. No. 1 at 6).

         The complaint further alleges that Defendants also refused to provide Plaintiff with dentures and instead offered to extract the teeth that were causing Plaintiff problems.[1]

         IV. Analysis

         The crux of the complaint is that Defendants have failed to provide Plaintiff with appropriate treatment and medication for his known Hepatitis C diagnosis and have refused to provide him with dentures while he has been an inmate at the Dickson County jail.

         Failure to provide medical care, including dental care, may give rise to a violation of a prisoner's rights under the Eighth Amendment. The United States Supreme Court has held that deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners constitutes the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain proscribed by the Eighth Amendment. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976); Brooks v. Celeste, 39 F.3d 125, 127 (6th Cir. 1994). A claim of deliberate indifference to a prisoner's medical needs under the Eighth Amendment has both an objective and subjective component. Rouster v. Cnty. of Saginaw, 749 F.3d 437, 446 (6th Cir. 2014). A plaintiff satisfies the objective component by alleging that the prisoner had a medical need that was “sufficiently serious.” Id. (quoting Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834). A plaintiff satisfies the subjective component “by alleging facts which, if true, would show that the official being sued subjectively perceived facts from which to infer substantial risk to the prisoner, that he did in fact draw the inference, and that he then ...


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