United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division
ORDER DISMISSING AMENDED COMPLAINT AND GRANTING LEAVE
TO FURTHER AMEND
D. TODD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
24, 2019, Plaintiff Jermaine Moore and ten other individuals,
all of whom at the time were incarcerated at the Madison
County Criminal Justice Complex (CJC) in Jackson, Tennessee,
filed a joint pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. (ECF No. 1.) On August 7, 2019, the Court
ordered each Plaintiff to file a motion to proceed in
forma pauperis and a copy of his prison trust account
statement. (ECF No. 2.) Only four Plaintiffs complied, and
the Court granted their motions and severed each
Plaintiff's case into a separate matter. (ECF No. 5.)
Once Moore's case had been severed, the Court assessed
the pro rata civil filing fee for Moore pursuant to
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(a)-(b). (ECF No. 7.)
September 11, 2019, Moore and Plaintiff Tony Latrell Moore,
Sr., submitted an amended complaint that listed six
Plaintiffs but was signed by only Moore and Moore. (ECF No.
12.) The amended complaint is now before the Court for
screening. The Clerk shall record the Defendants as
the Madison County Sheriff's Department and Lieutenant
alleges numerous issues with “the living conditions of
the CJC.” (ECF No. 4 at PageID 15.) He alleges that
there is insufficient living space, beds, and mats; there is
black mold and mildew on the cell and shower floors and
walls; the cells are overcrowded; and inmates are locked in
their cells for 72 hours at a time without showers or
“communication with the outside world.”
(Id.) Moore also alleges that Lieutenant Balderrama
denied his request for a “Whole Foods Diet” in
compliance with his Jewish religion. (Id.)
separate filing, Moore alleges that he wrote to Balderrama
multiple times about the leaks in the cell, the broken toilet
in the pod, and the mold and mildew throughout the CJC. (ECF
No. 8.) He also wrote to her about inmates being locked in
their cells for days at a time without access to showers,
phones, or recreation. (Id.) Moore attached to his
filing three grievances he sent about the issues in the CJC,
two of which are addressed to Balderrama. (ECF No. 8-1.) The
third, dated October 1, 2019, is addressed to Captain Rudder
(who is not listed as a Defendant) because, according to the
grievance, Moore had “written LT Balderrama multiple
request form informing her of these issues and I
have[n't] heard anything back from her.”
(Id. at PageID 27.) The grievance is addressed to
Captain Rudder “[be]cause you're LT [B]alderrama
superior an[d] if you can't help I do not know what other
precaution to take.” (Id.)
seeks monetary damages, a Whole Foods Diet, and condemnation
of the CJC. (ECF No. 4 at PageID 16.)
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 amended 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 ...