United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
RICHARDSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is a pro se complaint for alleged violation of
civil rights (Doc. No. 1), filed by Ricky Oliver, an inmate
at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center in Hartsville,
Tennessee. After initially filing an application to proceed
in forma pauperis (IFP) supported by evidence of his attempts
to procure the necessary documents from his inmate trust
account custodian (Doc. No. 2), Plaintiff filed a second IFP
application with these documents attached. (Doc. No. 4.)
matter is now before the Court for a determination of
Plaintiff's pauper status and an initial review of the
complaint pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(PLRA), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A, and 42
U.S.C. § 1997e.
TO PROCEED AS A PAUPER
the PLRA, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), a prisoner bringing a
civil action may apply for permission to file suit without
prepaying the filing fee of $350.00 required by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1914(a). Because it is apparent from Plaintiff's
IFP application that he lacks the funds to pay the entire
filing fee in advance, his application (Doc. No. 4) will be
granted by separate Order.
REVIEW OF THE COMPLAINT
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court must dismiss any
IFP complaint that is facially frivolous or malicious, fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. Similarly, Section 1915A provides that the Court
shall conduct an initial review of any prisoner complaint
against a governmental entity, officer, or employee, and
shall dismiss the complaint or any portion thereof if the
defects listed in Section 1915(e)(2)(B) are identified. Under
both statutes, this initial review of whether the complaint
states a claim upon which relief may be granted asks whether
it contains “sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face, ” such that it would survive a motion to dismiss
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Hill v.
Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010) (quoting
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)).
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Applying
this standard, the Court must view the complaint in the light
most favorable to Plaintiff and, again, must 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)). Furthermore, pro se
pleadings 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) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106
(1976)). However, pro se litigants are not exempt from the
requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989),
nor can the Court “create a claim which [a plaintiff]
has not spelled out in his pleading.” Brown v.
Matauszak, 415 Fed.Appx. 608, 613 (6th Cir. 2011)
(quoting Clark v. Nat'l Travelers Life Ins. Co.,
518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir. 1975)).
SECTION 1983 STANDARD
seeks to vindicate alleged violations of his federal
constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Section
1983 creates a cause 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 Section 1983
claim, Plaintiff must allege two elements: (1) a deprivation
of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United
States, and (2) that the deprivation was caused by a person
acting under color of state law. Carl v. Muskegon
Cty., 763 F.3d 592, 595 (6th Cir. 2014).
ALLEGATIONS AND CLAIMS
claims that the Defendant, Correctional Officer Daniel
Knight, was deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's
safety in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. (Doc. No.
1 at 6.) He succinctly states the facts in support of this
claim, as follows:
As Oliver was working at his regular job in the prison
kitchen on 13 May 2018, a huge gang-affiliated inmate
approached him and accused him in a loud voice of stealing
some items which the inmate had stashed to steal himself and
ordered Oliver “to get out of his chow hall.”
When Oliver denied the false accusation, the inmate placed
his arms around Oliver's neck putting Oliver into a
choke-hold, lifted Oliver upwards until his feet no longer
touched the floor rendering Oliver's ability to escape
harm impossible and causing Oliver to lose consciousness.
After Oliver had lost consciousness, the inmate dropped
Oliver causing him to strike his head on a metal table.
Oliver suffered blunt impact head trauma and was