Matthews v. Civic Core et al
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION: The undersigned Magistrate Judge respectfully RECOMMENDS that the motion to dismiss (Docket Entry No. 19 ) filed by Defendants Rhonda Staggs, Rhonda Riley, and Cherry Lindamood be GRANTED and that these Defendants be DISMI SSED from the lawsuit. ANY OBJECTIONS to this Report and Recommendation must be filed with the Clerk of Court within fourteen (14) days of service of this Report and Recommendation and must state with particularity the specific portions of this Repo rt and Recommendation to which objection is made. Signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara D. Holmes on 5/8/2017. (xc:Pro se party by regular mail. ) (DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(mg)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
CORECIVIC, et al.
TO: Honorable Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr., Chief District Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
By Order entered December 20, 2016 (Docket Entry No. 3), the Court referred this pro se
and in forma pauperis prisoner civil rights action to the Magistrate Judge for pretrial proceedings
under 28 U.S.C. §§ 636(b)(1)(A) and (B), Rule 72(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and
the Local Rules of Court.
Presently pending is the motion to dismiss filed by Rhonda Staggs, Rhonda Riley, and Cherry
Lindamood (Docket Entry No. 19), to which no response in opposition has been filed. For the
reasons set forth below, the undersigned Magistrate Judge respectfully recommends that the motion
Mack Matthews (“Plaintiff”) is an inmate of the Tennessee Department of Correction
(“TDOC”) currently confined at the Hardeman County Correctional Facility. He filed this lawsuit
pro se and in forma pauperis on December 12, 2016, seeking relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
violations of his constitutional rights alleged to have occurred during his prior confinement at the
South Central Correctional Facility (“SCCF”) in Clifton, Tennessee. Upon the Court’s initial review
of the lawsuit under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A, Plaintiff was found to have alleged an
arguable Eighth Amendment claim based upon allegations that he was denied constitutionally
adequate medical care. All other claims alleged by Plaintiff, including claims for the unlawful
deprivation of property, were dismissed for failure to state a colorable claim for relief under Section
1983. See Docket Entry No. 3 at 2-3.1
An answer was filed on behalf of Defendant CoreCivic (formerly doing business as
Corrections Corporation of America). See Docket Entry No. 18. In lieu of an answer, Defendants
Rhonda Staggs, Rhonda Riley, and Cherry Lindamood (hereinafter referred to collectively as the
“Individual Defendants”) have filed the pending motion to dismiss. The Individual Defendants argue
that they should be dismissed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Specifically, they contend that the only factual allegation made against them in the Complaint pertain
to the wrongful deprivation of property claims that were dismissed upon initial review and that there
are no factual allegations made against them that support their individual liability with respect to
Plaintiff’s inadequate medical care claim. See Memorandum in Support (Docket Entry No. 20) at
3. They further argue against the viability of either a Fourteenth Amendment deprivation of property
claim or a state law claim brought pursuant to discretionary supplemental jurisdiction under
28 U.S.C. § 1367. Id. at 4-6.
By Order entered March 16, 2017 (Docket Entry No. 34), the Court denied Plaintiff’s
“motion to add joinder” to the extent that he sought to reassert a claim that was dismissed upon
initial review. Although Plaintiff filed a “response” to the Order, see Docket Entry No. 36, he did
not file a motion for review of the Order, despite an explanation of the procedure for filing a motion
for review being included in the Order itself.
By Order entered March 14, 2017 (Docket Entry No. 32), the Court notified Plaintiff of the
motion to dismiss and gave him a deadline of April 21, 2017, to file a response. To date, Plaintiff
has not filed a response to the motion.2
II. STANDARD OF REVIEW
A motion to dismiss filed under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is
reviewed under the standard that the Court must accept as true all of the well-pleaded allegations
contained in the complaint and construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Morgan v. Church’s Fried Chicken, 829 F.2d 10, 11-12 (6th Cir. 1987). Although a complaint need
not contain detailed factual allegations, the factual allegations supplied must be enough to show a
plausible right to relief. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-61, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167
L.Ed.2d 929 (2007) (abrogating Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 78 S.Ct. 99, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957)).
See also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). A 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.
In review of the sufficiency of the complaint, the Court need not accept as true legal conclusions or
unwarranted factual inferences. See Gregory v. Shelby County, 220 F.3d 433, 446 (6th Cir. 2000).
Although Plaintiff recently notified the Court of a change in his mailing address (see Docket
Entry No. 38), as of March 14, 2017, when Plaintiff was directed by an Order entered on that date
of the deadline for responding to the motion to dismiss (see Docket Entry No. 32), his address had
not changed. At the time his complaint was filed, Plaintiff’s address was the South Central
Correctional Complex in Clifton, Tennessee (see Docket Entry No. 1-1, which remained his address
at least as of March 29, 2017. See Response notarized on March 29, and mailed from SCCC, Docket
Entry No. 36 at pp. 3-4.
The motion to dismiss should be granted. A defendant cannot be held individually liable
under Section 1983 for constitutional violations absent a showing that the defendant was personally
involved in some manner in the allegedly unconstitutional conduct. Miller v. Calhoun County, 408
F.3d 803, 817, n.3 (6th Cir. 2005); Hardin v. Straub, 954 F.2d 1193, 1196 (6th Cir. 1992). Although
the Complaint contains specific factual allegations against the Individual Defendants pertaining to
the dismissed wrongful deprivation of property claims, see Docket Entry No. 1 at 4-5, the
Complaint’s fairly brief factual allegations concerning Plaintiff’s medical care are devoid of any
allegations of involvement by the Individual Defendants in his medical care. Id. at 10. There are
simply no allegations made by Plaintiff supporting a claim that these three Defendants violated his
Eighth Amendment right to adequate medical care. Additionally respondeat superior is not a basis
for liability under Section 1983, see Monell v. Department of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691, 98 S.Ct.
2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978); Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 371-72, 375-77, 96 S.Ct. 598, 46
L.Ed.2d 561 (1976), and the Individual Defendants cannot be held personally liable under Section
1983 merely because they hold supervisory positions at the SCCF. See Phillips v. Roane Cnty.,
Tenn., 534 F.3d 531, 543 (6th Cir. 2008); Shehee v. Luttrell, 199 F.3d 295, 300 (6th Cir. 1999), cert.
denied, 530 U.S. 1264, 120 S.Ct. 2724, 147 L.Ed.2d 988 (2000); Hays v. Jefferson Cnty., 668 F.2d
869, 872 (6th Cir. 1982).
Based on the foregoing, the undersigned Magistrate Judge respectfully RECOMMENDS that
the motion to dismiss (Docket Entry No. 19) filed by Defendants Rhonda Staggs, Rhonda Riley, and
Cherry Lindamood be GRANTED and that these Defendants be DISMISSED from the lawsuit.
ANY OBJECTIONS to this Report and Recommendation must be filed with the Clerk of
Court within fourteen (14) days of service of this Report and Recommendation and must state with
particularity the specific portions of this Report and Recommendation to which objection is made.
Failure to file written objections within the specified time can be deemed a waiver of the right to
appeal the District Court's Order regarding the Report and Recommendation. See Thomas v. Arn,
474 U.S. 140, 106 S.Ct. 466, 88 L.Ed.2d 435 (1985); United States v. Walters, 638 F.2d 947 (6th Cir.
BARBARA D. HOLMES
United States Magistrate Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?