United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND GRANTING LEAVE TO
D. TODD, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
October 7, 2019, Plaintiff Travis Earl Casteel, who is
incarcerated at the Hardin County Correctional Facility
(HCCF) in Savannah, Tennessee, filed a pro se
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and a motion to
proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF Nos. 1 & 2.) The
Court issued an order on October 9, 2019, granting leave to
proceed in forma pauperis and assessing the civil
filing fee pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(PLRA), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(a)-(b). (ECF No. 4.) The
Clerk shall record the Defendants as Hardin County Sheriff
Johnny Alexander, HCCF Administrator Tracy White, Nurse
Amanda Moore, and Nurse Practitioner Nathan Kersey.
alleges that he has seen the nurse for medical treatment at
the HCCF only once in three months. (ECF No. 1 at PageID 3.)
He asserts that Sheriff Alexander “should know the well
b[e]ing or medical conditions of the (HCCF) inmates.”
(Id.) Casteel also alleges that Administrator White
is aware of Casteel's medical conditions but has had
“no possible involvement” except to tell Casteel
not to threaten the medical staff. (Id. at PageID
3-4.) He further alleges that Nurse Moore saw him for his
lone nurse visit, though he has “sent her sick call
after sick call” about his medical conditions.
(Id. at PageID 4.) He asserts that Moore knows about
his medical conditions “but will not relate to”
them. (Id.) Casteel also alleges that Nurse
Practitioner Kersey sent him home for his medical condition
on October 5, 2018, but will not examine him further to
determine if he “should still be out for my medical
condition, so I can get it took care of.”
(Id.) Casteel alleges that HCCF will not pay for his
medical bills, even though his medical issue stems from an
incident that he does not describe but alleges occurred at
HCCF on July 18, 2019. (Id.)
in passing also alleges that the HCCF is “pushing a
relig[ion] on me I do not bel[ie]ve in, ” does not
provide newspapers or television access, and has no law
library. (Id.) He alleges that HCCF does not provide
razors for shaving and provides only clippers for use by all
inmates even though, he alleges, “Hep[atitis] C is
being passed around.” (Id.)
seeks payment of his medical bills, monetary damages, and
payment of dental work “that they do not do at the
(HCCF) for state inma[tes].” (Id. at PageID
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 complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which
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 injured in an action
at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for
redress . . . .
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two
elements: (1) a deprivation of rights secured by the
“Constitution and laws” of the United States (2)
committed by a defendant acting under color of state ...