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Powell v. Shaw

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division

May 22, 2019

MICHAEL POWELL PLAINTIFF
v.
FRANK SHAW DR. KUMAR RUTH SAUCIER MARY ANN JONES KENDRA STEPHENS CAPTAIN MICHAEL JONES WARDEN DOTY LT. THOMAS SGT. A. HART WINIDRED ANDERSON MICHAEL MURPHY TIRA JACKSON GABRIEL WALKER ELLA SCOTT VIRGIL RIGDON LATOYA GAINES SHARONDA AMOS NADIA LETCHER CHARLIS DUKES TUCKER HAROLD TAYLOR WILLIAMSON HEALTH ASSURANCE, LLC DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          DAVID A. SANDERS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter comes before the court on the pro se prisoner complaint of Michael Powell, who challenges the conditions of his confinement under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. For the purposes of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the court notes that the plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed this suit. The plaintiff has brought the instant case under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which provides a federal cause of action against “[e]very person” who under color of state authority causes the “deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws.” 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         The plaintiff, an inmate in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, appeared before the undersigned for a hearing as set forth in Spears v. McCotter, 766 F.2d 179 (5th Cir. 1985), to determine whether any claims in the present case filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 have sufficient merit to proceed. A plaintiff's claim must be dismissed if “it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact, such as when a prisoner alleges the violation of a legal interest that does not exist.” Martin v. Scott, 156 F.3d 578 (5th Cir. 1998)(citations omitted). The plaintiff has brought the instant case under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which provides a federal cause of action against “[e]very person” who under color of state authority causes the “deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws.” 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Prison Litigation Reform Act applies to this case because the plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed this lawsuit.[1]

         Allegations Arising Outside the Limitations Period

         Mr. Powell has made a host of allegations spanning the period from 2009 through 2018. He filed the instant suit with the court on February 5, 2019; he signed his complaint on January 16, 2019. The plaintiff has sued the following defendants for actions or omissions occurring outside the three-year limitations period for claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983: Ruth Saucier, Mary Ann Jones, Kendra Stephens, Tira Jackson, Gabriel Walker, Ella Scott, Virgil Rigdon, Latoya Gaines, Sharonda Amos, Nadia Letcher, Charlis Dukes, Tucker, and Health Assurance, LLC. As the plaintiff's allegations against these defendants arose outside the limitations period, the court will not discuss those actions. The plaintiff has made two sets of allegations against defendant Frank Shaw, some involving events outside the limitations period, some involving separate events within that period. The court will not discuss the allegations against Mr. Shaw arising outside the limitations period.

         Allegations Arising Within the Limitations Period

         The plaintiff alleges that, from July 5, 2016, through August of 2017, while he was housed at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility (EMCF), defendant Frank Shaw did not ensure that the plaintiff received proper treatment for his mental illness. The plaintiff also alleges that in August of 2017, defendant Shaw failed to turn in prison grievance forms regarding events occurring in 2014.

         The plaintiff also alleges that from July 2014 until January of 2016, while he was housed at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution, defendant Dr. Kumar failed to provide him with mental health treatment.

         In addition, the plaintiff alleges that on August 3, 2016, while he was housed at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, defendant Captain Michael Jones beat him while he was wearing handcuffs, causing a black eye and a cut to his head.

         The plaintiff alleges that, during his stay at the Marshall County Correctional Facility beginning in August of 2017, Warden Doty failed to properly supervise her subordinates (such as Frank Shaw, Lt. Thomas, and Sgt. Hart).

         The plaintiff further alleges that Lt. Thomas and Sgt. A. Hart used excessive force against him on December 22, 2017, while he was housed at the Marshall County Correctional Facility. The incident arose after Corrections Officer Gooden accused the plaintiff of “touching her butt.” The plaintiff alleges that his towel accidentally touched Officer Gooden when they were in close proximity as she escorted him to the shower. The plaintiff states that defendants Thomas and Hart cuffed him, then beat him, stomped him, kicked him, and slammed his head on the floor.

         The plaintiff alleges that defendant Winidred Anderson refused to make copies of his legal documents for four or five months in 2018. When asked, the plaintiff could not identify any harm he had suffered to a legal position as a result of Anderson's refusal to make copies.

         The plaintiff also alleges that defendant Michael Murphy witnessed the attack on December 22, 2017, but did not stop it. The plaintiff also alleges that defendant Murphy removed a wet mattress from the plaintiff's cell, but did not replace it for 10 days.

         Statute ...


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