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Wilson v. Thompson

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

July 8, 2013

MICHAEL DEWAYNE WILSON Plaintiff,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS LADONNA THOMPSON et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

THOMAS B. RUSSELL, District Judge.

Plaintiff Michael Dewayne Wilson filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. By Memorandum Opinion and Order entered February 8, 2013, the Eastern District performed an initial review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A; dismissed the § 1983 claims against Defendant Judge Overstreet; and transferred to this Court for review Plaintiff's § 1983, individual and official-capacity, conditions-of-confinement claims against Defendants LaDonna Thompson, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Corrections (KDOC), and Randy White, Warden of the Kentucky State Penitentiary (KSP). On initial review under § 1915A, this Court will dismiss the instant action.

I.

Plaintiff raises several claims regarding his detention at KSP. He alleges that when he went to KSP, he "got into a rustle with the guards and suffered numerous injuries: a fracture above my right eye and a broken bone in my left arm." As a result, claims Plaintiff, "I was forced by Warden Randy White to pay restitution. This is a violation of my right to harsh prison conditions (cruel & unusual punishment)."

Plaintiff also alleges as follows:

The Medical Staff at K.S.P. doesn't perform their jobs as they're suppose to. They claim to be Licensed Nurses & Doctors but they don't care about the inmates. My right to a safe and health environment is violated when I have to live in a nasty, stinking prison where the medical help I need isn't given. I've pissed out blodd twice and they didn't care. They said I would get over it. This was a serious health issue but, I never was given the proper medical treatment. I've sent a letter to the Commissioner, LaDonna Thompson, but she hasn't sent me anything. Another inmate had to wait 2 months before he got his blood work done. This prison is unhealthy and unsafe for anyone. The inmates here have died from lack of medical attention and the lack of the right proportions to be served.

In addition, Plaintiff alleges that his "Constitutional Amendment to the right to free speech, religion, & etc. has been violated because when I try to explain the situation, I am given the options to either file a grievance or to be quiet." He further states that "[w]hen the inmates try to sign a grievance together we're being told that it's not grievable. We've asked the Commissioner for help but, she denies us as well."

Finally, Plaintiff claims, "I've been trying to get shipped but no one will listen to me not even the caseworkers or unit administrator. I'm being held against my own free will & this is a violation of cruel and unusual punishment along with due process."

As relief, Plaintiff seeks monetary and punitive damages; for Defendant White "to pay me for a fracture over my eye, broken bone in my arm"; and for Defendant Thompson "to pay me $10, 000 for damages done to me at K.S.P. & the restitution I had to pay to go to medical."

II.

Because Plaintiff is a prisoner seeking relief against governmental entities, officers, and/or employees, this Court must review the instant action under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under § 1915A, the trial court must review the complaint and dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the court determines that it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See § 1915A(b)(1), (2); McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997).

A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). The trial court may, therefore, dismiss a claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are clearly baseless. Id. at 327. In order to survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, "a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "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." Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). "[A] district court must (1) view the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and (2) 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)). "A pleading that offers labels and conclusions' or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.' Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders naked assertion[s]' devoid of further factual enhancement.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557).

Although courts are to hold pro se pleadings "to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, " Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972), this duty to be less stringent "does not require us to conjure up unpled allegations, " McDonald v. Hall, 610 F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979), or to create a claim for a plaintiff. Clark v. Nat'l Travelers Life Ins. Co., 518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir. 1975). To command otherwise would require courts "to explore exhaustively all potential claims of a pro se plaintiff, [and] would also transform the district court from its legitimate advisory role to the improper role of ...


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