Williams v. Clarksville Montgomery County Jail et al, No. 3:2015cv01280 - Document 6 (M.D. Tenn. 2017)

Court Description: MEMORANDUM OPINION OF THE COURT. Signed by District Judge Aleta A. Trauger on 5/30/2017. (xc:Pro se party by regular mail. ) (DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(eh)
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Williams v. Clarksville Montgomery County Jail et al Doc. 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE NASHVILLE DIVISION FRED D. WILLIAMS Plaintiff, v. MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL, et al. Defendants. ] ] ] ] ] ] ] No. 3:15-1280 Judge Trauger M E M O R A N D U M The plaintiff, proceeding pro se, is an inmate at the Montgomery County Jail in Clarksville, Tennessee. He brings this action against the Jail and Robert Felthauser, a deputy at the Jail, seeking injunctive relief and damages. The plaintiff complains about conditions of his confinement. More specifically, the plaintiff alleges that Deputy Felthauser verbally abused him and his religion (Islam). To establish a claim for § 1983 relief, the plaintiff must plead and prove that the defendants, while acting under color of state law, deprived him of a right guaranteed by the Constitution or laws of the United States. Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 535 (1981). It is well settled that mere words, no matter how offensive, threatening, or insulting, do not rise to the level of a 1 Dockets.Justia.com constitutional violation. McFadden v. Lucas, 713 F.2d 143, 147 (5th Cir.1983). Consequently, the Supreme Court has held that defamation is not a constitutional tort and does not state a cognizable claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Paul v. Davis, 424 U.S. 693 (1976). Thus, the alleged slander of the plaintiff and his religious beliefs, while reprehensible, fails to offend the Constitution. Because the allegations in the complaint do not rise to the level of a constitutional deprivation, the plaintiff is unable to prove every element of a § 1983 cause of action. The plaintiff, therefore, has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Under such circumstances, the Court is obliged to dismiss the instant action sua sponte. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). An appropriate order will be entered. ____________________________ Aleta A. Trauger United States District Judge 2