United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Clifton L. Corker, United States District Judge
a prisoner proceeding pro se, has filed an amended complaint
for violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 that is before the
Court for screening pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform
Act (“PLRA”) [Doc. 8].
ALLEGATIONS OF COMPLAINT
an inmate housed at the Anderson County Detention Facility,
was shot approximately 10 days before his arrest on December
8, 2018 [Doc. 8 p. 2-3]. In January 2019, a doctor at U.T.
Medical Center ordered Plaintiff to undergo physical therapy
three times per week for four weeks [Id. at 3-4].
Benchmark Therapy, where Plaintiff was receiving physical
therapy, determined that Plaintiff's therapy need to be
extended [Id. at 4]. However, the therapy was
stopped “because of a much[-]needed surgery on March 1,
2019” that was performed at U.T. Medical Center
[Id.]. Plaintiff was cleared to return to physical
therapy on March 13, 2019, and he was scheduled a surgical
follow-up appointment in eight weeks [Id.].
maintains that his physical therapy was not reinstated, and
that he was not transported to his follow-up appointment due
to the actions of Deputy Amber Allen and Dr. Casey Dillon
[Id.]. Specifically, he claims that Deputy Amber
Allen told him that he was taken off lockdown so that he
could exercise (presumably in lieu of the physical therapy),
and that staff had spoken to U.T. Medical who advised that
Plaintiff could be cared for at the Anderson County Detention
Facility [Id.]. Plaintiff claims that no medical
staff evaluated him to make a reasonable assessment as to
whether he needed physical therapy or a follow-up, however
[Id.]. He claims that the facility's physician,
Dr. Casey Dillon, stopped his follow-ups, discontinued his
physical therapy, and denied him Tylenol, which he had been
prescribed [Id. at 8, 11].
also asserts that he fell in September 2019, and that a
mobile x-ray was ordered [Id.]. Plaintiff was sent
to Oakridge Orthopedics and was seen by a physician who
ordered a follow-up in two weeks [Id.]. Plaintiff
claims, however, that he was not transported for the
follow-up [Id.]. As a result, Plaintiff claims, he
has endured needless pain and suffering [Id. at 5].
the PLRA, district courts must screen prisoner complaints and
sua sponte dismiss any claims that are frivolous or
malicious, fail to state a claim for relief, or are against a
defendant who is immune. See, e.g., 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A; Benson v.
O'Brian, 179 F.3d 1014 (6th Cir. 1999). The
dismissal standard articulated by the Supreme Court in
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) and in
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007)
“governs dismissals for failure state a claim under [28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A] because the
relevant statutory language tracks the language in Rule
12(b)(6).” Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468,
470-71 (6th Cir. 2010). Thus, to survive an initial review
under the PLRA, a complaint “must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 570).
liberally construe pro se pleadings filed in civil rights
cases and hold them to a less stringent standard than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404
U.S. 519, 520 (1972). Allegations that give rise to a mere
possibility that a plaintiff might later establish
undisclosed facts supporting recovery are not well-pled and
do not state a plausible claim, however. Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555, 570. Further, formulaic and conclusory
recitations of the elements of a claim which are not
supported by specific facts are insufficient to state a
plausible claim for relief. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 681 (2009).
order to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must establish that he was deprived of a federal
right by a person acting under color of state law. Braley
v. City of Pontiac, 906 F.2d 220, 223 (6th Cir. 1990)
(stating that “Section 1983 does not itself create any
constitutional rights; it creates a right of action for the
vindication of constitutional guarantees found
elsewhere”). For the reasons stated herein, Plaintiff
has failed to do so.
amended complaint, Plaintiff asserts that Nurse Norwood is
responsible for the alleged constitutional violations,
because, as head nurse, she should have evaluated Plaintiff
and not permitted other medical personnel to stop his
appointments [Doc. 8 p. 11]. However, Plaintiff's
complaint concedes that the nurses are not responsible for
ordering or halting any treatment, the facility's medical
doctor is. [See, generally, Doc. 8]. Additionally,
Plaintiff's complaint contains no facts from which the
Court could infer that Nurse Norwood is personally
responsible for any of the constitutional violations alleged,
and therefore, he has failed to state a claim against her.
See Frazier v. Michigan, 41 Fed.Appx. 762, 764 (6th
Cir. 2002) (providing that “a complaint must allege
that the defendants were personally involved in the alleged
deprivation of federal rights” to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted). Moreover, Plaintiff cannot seek
to impose liability on Nurse Norwood as “head nurse,
” as a court may not impose liability under § 1983
based a theory of respondeat superior. Shehee v.
Luttrell, 199 F.3d 295, 300 (6th Cir. 1999). We do not
normally override a party's concession
Defendant Nurse Norwood will be DISMISSED.
asserts that Defendants S. Yowell, J. Maples (also listed on
the docket as “Lt. Maples”), M. Fenton, R.
Parker, and Russell Barker were all “active
participants” who are “directly and
vicariously” liable for the alleged violations of his
constitutional rights [Doc. 8 p. 8]. However, Plaintiff's
allegations are conclusory. He has alleged no facts from
which the Court could infer that any of these Defendants had
any personal involvement in the wrongdoing alleged. Rather,
Plaintiff seeks to impose liability on these Defendants based
on their status as ...