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Henley v. Smith

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

October 14, 2013

JEREMY CHAPLIN HENLEY, Plaintiff
v.
CATHY SMITH, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

JOSEPH H. McKINLEY, Jr., Chief District Judge.

Plaintiff Jeremy Chaplin Henley filed the instant pro se 28 U.S.C. § 1983 action proceeding in forma pauperis. This matter is before the Court on initial review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Upon review, the Court will dismiss the action.

I.

Plaintiff currently is an inmate at the Hickman County Detention Center. His complaint involves his previous incarceration at the Union County Jail. He reports that he is a pre-trial detainee. Plaintiff sues Cathy Smith, the Jailer of the Union County Jail, in her official capacity only.

Plaintiff states that on February 5, 2013, his due process rights were violated. He contends that, when he was booked into the Union County Jail, the arresting officer would not take out a criminal complaint on his behalf.

Plaintiff also states that on March 5, 2013, his due process rights were violated when he was denied "legal access for plaintiff is working Pro Se on a state habeas corpus petition...." He states that he made a formal request to the presiding judge and that the judge denied him access to the county law library. Plaintiff reports that the Union County Public Library allowed him to check out available legal materials. Plaintiff states that he also requested to be taken to the Union County Public Library to view materials that could not be checked out but that his request was denied on grounds that it could compromise safety and security.

Plaintiff further avers that he was put in "isolation involuntary protective custody for no valid reason from 2-5-2013 - X-XX-XXXX." He states that he requested "to come out and work on short detail" but he was "denied access to work program." He also contends that on March 21, 2013, he was denied a recreation period.

Finally, Plaintiff states, "Personal injury statute is being applied to bar inmate's action for declaratory relief which is based on his alleged violation of his right to access court as a result of UCJ Operations, cause of action for declaratory relief...." He also cites "departmental policy and procedure."

As relief, Plaintiff seeks $750, 000 in compensatory damages. Plaintiff also states in the complaint that he filed a habeas corpus action in the Union County Circuit Court, which is pending.

II.

When a prisoner initiates a civil action seeking redress from a governmental entity, officer, or employee, the trial court must review the complaint and dismiss the complaint, or any portion of it, if the court determines that the complaint 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), overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 548 U.S. 199 (2007).

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)). "But the district court need not accept a bare assertion of legal conclusions.'" Tackett, 561 F.3d at 488 (quoting Columbia Natural Res., Inc. v. Tatum, 58 F.3d 1101, 1109 (6th Cir. 1995)).

Although this Court recognizes that pro se pleadings are to be held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Jourdan v. Jabe, 951 F.2d 108, 110 (6th Cir. 1991), "[o]ur duty to be less stringent' with pro se complaints does not require us to conjure up unpled allegations." McDonald v. Hall, 610 F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979) (citation omitted). And this Court is not required to create a claim for Plaintiff. Clark v. Nat'l Travelers Life Ins. Co., 518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir. 1975). To command otherwise would require the Court "to explore exhaustively all potential claims of a pro se plaintiff, [and] would also transform the district court from its legitimate advisory ...


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