United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division
CHARLES E. GREER, Plaintiff,
MADISON COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, ET AL., Defendants.
ORDER DISMISSING CASE, CERTIFYING AN APPEAL WOULD NOT
BE TAKEN IN GOOD FAITH AND DENYING LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA
D. TODD, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
October 18, 2019, the Court entered an order dismissing
pro se Plaintiff Charles E. Greer's complaint
and granting leave to file an amended complaint. (ECF No.
13.) On October 28, 2019, Greer filed what the Court will
construe as an amended complaint. (ECF No. 14.) In addition,
on November 12, 2019, Greer filed a “Motion Opposing to
the Order Dismissing Complaint and Granting Leave to
Amend.” (ECF No. 16.)
document the Court presumes was intended as an amended
complaint, Greer merely lists various general conditions at
the Madison County Criminal Justice Complex (CJC), where he
previously was confined. The conditions listed include
double-celling of inmates in crowded conditions; confinement
of inmates for more than one week in a cell without hot
water; confinement of inmates in a building “unfit for
human habitation” that is contaminated with mold;
failure to maintain sanitary conditions with food storage,
service and preparation; failure to protect inmates from the
likelihood of violent assault; failure to provide inmates
with timely, minimal adequate medical care; confinement of
inmates in segregation for more than one week without
physical exercise; having to sleep on a concrete floor with
only a plastic mat; having to “hold bodily
wastes” for thirty minutes or more; and having to share
an eight-man pod with nineteen or more inmates. (ECF No. 15.)
Greer's motion “opposing” the dismissal with
leave to amend, he recites portions of the Court's
previous order. However, Greer also seems to request
appointment of counsel and note that he cannot afford to pay
the civil filing fee. (ECF No. 16 at PageID 95.) He describes
the Court's previous order as a
“misunderstanding” of whether he sought to sue
the State of Tennessee, “a body of peoples, ” or
the Madison County Sheriff's Department, “a
indiv[idu]al.” (Id. at PageID 96-97.) He
states that his claim is “against the Madison County
Sheriff's Department (CJC)” because “its
[sic] were the Madison County Sheriff whom held and
demonstrated those unconstitutional acts and behaverial [sic]
action taken on the person of the plaintiff.”
(Id. at PageID 97.)
Court previously granted Greer's motion to proceed in
forma pauperis, (ECF No. 5), and also denied his motion
to appoint him an attorney, (ECF No. 10 at PageID 71). The
Court is not persuaded there is reason to revisit those
legal standards for assessing the claims in an inmate's
complaint were set forth in the prior order of dismissal,
(ECF No. 6 at PageID 30-31), and will not be reiterated here.
Court previously noted, the Madison County Sheriff's
Department is not an entity subject to suit under §
1983. See Jones v. Union Cnty., Tennessee, 296 F.3d
417, 421 (6th Cir. 2002) (citing Matthews v. Jones,
35 F.3d 1046, 1049 (6th Cir. 1994)). Greer's suit is
construed as against Madison County, which may be held liable
only if Greer's injuries were sustained pursuant
to an unconstitutional custom or policy of the County.
See Monell v. Dep't. of Soc. Serv., 436 U.S.
658, 691-92 (1978). However, Greer does not allege that the
problems at the CJC, or any injury he suffered as a result,
are attributable to a policy or custom of Madison County.
Indeed, as pointed out in the previous order, Greer does not
allege he suffered any injury at all from the conditions of
which he complains.
is a suggestion in Greer's motion that he may intend to
sue the Madison County Sheriff, (see ECF No. 16 at
PageID 97), but the Sheriff is not actually identified.
However, even if Greer does seek to sue the Sheriff
individually, he does not allege any specific actions or
omissions by the Sheriff. Instead, he appears to seek to hold
the Sheriff personally responsible for the conditions at the
CJC based solely on his position. That is not a sufficient
basis for imposing liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
conclusion, the Court finds that Greer's amended
complaint also fails to state a claim on which relief can be
granted. Leave to further amend is DENIED, and this case is
hereby DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and 1915A(b)(1).
to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 24(a) and 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a)(3), the Court must also consider whether an
appeal by Greer in this case would be taken in good faith.
The good faith standard is an objective one. Coppedge v.
United States, 369 U.S. 438, 445 (1962). The same
considerations that lead the Court to dismiss this case for
failure to state a claim also compel the conclusion that an
appeal would not be taken in good faith. Therefore, it is
CERTIFIED that any appeal in this matter by Greer would not
be taken in good faith. Leave to appeal in forma
pauperis is DENIED.
analysis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g) of future filings, if
any, by Greer, this is the first dismissal of one of his
cases as frivolous or for failure to state a claim. This
strike shall take effect when judgment is entered. See
Coleman v. Tollefson, 135 S.Ct. 1759, 1763-64 (2015).
Clerk is directed to ...