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Brasher v. White

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division

January 7, 2020

TRACEY WHITE, ET AL., Defendants.



         On November 25, 2019, Plaintiff Shane Brasher, 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 subsequently issued an order 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. 6.) The Clerk shall record the Defendants as HCCF Administrator Tracey White, former HCCF Administrator Derek Cortez, Hardin County Sheriff Johnny Alexander, and the HCCF.

         Brasher alleges that when he entered the HCCF in April 2019, three other inmates “hollered at me, and I was lured in the cell, and I was beat.” (ECF No. 1 at PageID 2.) As Brasher was “bleeding everywhere, ” unnamed corrections officers put him in a six-foot by six-foot segregation cell, “as if I was punished, ” where he remained for two days, allegedly without medical attention. (Id.) Brasher eventually was taken to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with a broken nose and other injuries. (Id.) Two detectives later asked Brasher “to give them Any Info I Could that would help them” and gave him “a Five thousand dollar Bond (Signature Bond) So I could get out.” (Id. at PageID 3.) Two weeks later, Brasher was returned to the HCCF and again placed in segregation for two days. (Id.) He alleges that he was being punished for not giving the detectives any information “to help them solve any cases.” (Id.)

         Brasher also alleges that the prosecutor in his state-court criminal case misprinted dates on his arrest papers, improperly charged him with new crimes, and caused a delay in his prosecution. (Id.) A detective “signed off on” the papers, but those signatures and the dates on his papers allegedly differ from the information on the papers Brasher's attorney has. (Id.)

         Brasher alleges that he has a seizure disorder and, because of that condition, should have been housed in an “Open Pod” and given a bottom bunk. (Id. at Page ID 2, 3.) He allegedly requested medication for his seizures but did not receive the medication for thirty-two days. (Id. at PageID 3.) In the interim, he suffered multiple seizures, but “nothing was done.” (Id.) He alleges that his grievances about being denied an open pod and lower bunk were ignored. (Id. at PageID 4.)

         Brasher further alleges that he has written several requests for law books but has never received any. (Id. at PageID 3.) He also alleges that he has access to only one secure phone line, which is provided to sixteen inmates. (Id. at PageID 4.) He alleges that even that phone now does not work, so he has “no communication with the outside.” (Id.)

         Brasher seeks dismissal of his new criminal charges, payment of his hospital bills, compensatory damages, and immediate release from custody. (Id. at PageID 5.)

         The Court is required to screen prisoner complaints and to dismiss any complaint, or any portion thereof, if the complaint-

(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 such relief.

28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         In 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.

         “Pro 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 ...

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