United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Cookeville Division
ALLEN M. GEE #410565, Plaintiff,
SMITH CTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, et al., Defendants
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR., CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Gee, a convicted inmate currently housed in the Northeast
Correctional Complex in Mountain City, Tennessee, has filed
this pro se civil rights action under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 (Doc. No. 2), along with an application to
proceed in district court without prepaying fees and costs.
(Doc No. 1.) The case is before the Court for a ruling on the
application and for an initial review pursuant to the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A, and 42 U.S.C. §
APPLICATION TO PROCEED AS A PAUPER
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a), a prisoner bringing a civil action may
be permitted to file suit without prepaying the filing fee of
$350 required by 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). Because it is
apparent from Plaintiff's submission that he lacks the
funds to pay the entire filing fee in advance, his
application to proceed as a pauper (Doc. No. 1) is
to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(b) and 1914(a), Plaintiff is
nonetheless assessed the $350.00 civil filing fee. The
custodian of Plaintiff's trust account is
DIRECTED to submit to the Clerk of Court, as
an initial payment, the greater of: (a) 20% of the average
monthly deposits to Plaintiff's credit at the jail; or
(b) 20% of the average monthly balance to Plaintiff's
credit for the six-month period immediately preceding the
filing of the complaint. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).
Thereafter, the custodian shall submit 20% of the
Plaintiff's preceding monthly income (or income credited
to Plaintiff for the preceding month), but only when the
balance in his account exceeds $10.00. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(b)(2). Payments shall continue until the $350.00 filing
fee has been paid in full to the Clerk of Court. 28 U.S.C.
Clerk of Court MUST send a copy of this
Order to the Warden of Northeast Correctional Complex to
ensure compliance with that portion of 28 U.S.C. § 1915
pertaining to the payment of the filing fee. If Plaintiff is
transferred from his present place of confinement, the
custodian must ensure that a copy of this Order follows
Plaintiff to his new place of confinement, for continued
compliance with the Order. All payments made pursuant to this
Order must be submitted to the Clerk of Court for the United
States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee,
801 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203.
INITIAL REVIEW OF THE COMPLAINT
Standard for Initial Review
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court is required to
conduct an initial review of any complaint filed in forma
pauperis, and to dismiss the complaint if it is facially
frivolous or malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief
against a defendant who is immune from such relief. In
reviewing the complaint to determine whether it states a
plausible claim, “a district court must (1) view the
complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and
(2) take all well-pleaded factual allegations as true.”
Tackett v. M & G Polymers, USA, LLC, 561 F.3d
478, 488 (6th Cir. 2009) (citing Gunasekera v.
Irwin, 551 F.3d 461, 466 (6th Cir. 2009) (citations
omitted)). A pro se pleading must be liberally
construed and “held to less stringent standards than
formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citing Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).
seeks to vindicate alleged violations of his federal
constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Section
1983 confers a private federal right of action against any
person who, acting under color of state law, deprives an
individual of any right, privilege or immunity secured by the
Constitution or federal laws. Wurzelbacher v.
Jones-Kelley, 675 F.3d 580, 583 (6th Cir. 2012). Thus,
to state a § 1983 claim, a plaintiff must allege two
elements: (1) a deprivation of rights secured by the
Constitution and laws of the United States, and (2) that
“the deprivation was caused by a person acting under
color of state law.” Tahfs v. Proctor, 316
F.3d 584, 590 (6th Cir. 2003) (citations omitted); 42 U.S.C.
alleges two sets of unrelated facts about time he spent in
the Smith County Jail from February to August 2019 before he
was transferred to the Tennessee Department of Correction.
(Doc. No. 1 at 3-4.) First, he alleges that he sometimes has
low blood sugar and has to have his blood sugar checked, and
that while he was in jail “they would not give me
anything for it properly or at the right level.”
(Id. at 4.) Second, he alleges that he began asking
to use the law library in February but was not permitted
access until August after he submitted a grievance.
demands “to be compensated for [his] pain and suffering
for [his] denied blood sugar control” by Defendant
Quality Corrections Health Care. (Id. at 5.) And he
demands compensation from the Smith County Sheriff's
Office “for the time [he is] doing cause [he]
couldn't get to the law library to plead [his]