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Humphrey v. Fulton Co. Detention Ctr./Medical

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

October 23, 2013

JOSEPH P. HUMPHREY Plaintiff,
v.
FULTON CO. DETENTION CTR./MEDICAL et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

THOMAS B. RUSSELL, Senior District Judge.

Plaintiff Joseph P. Humphrey filed the instant pro se 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action proceeding in forma pauperis. This matter is before the Court on initial review of the action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons stated below, the Court will dismiss the action.

I.

Plaintiff's allegations concern his incarceration as a convicted inmate at the Fulton County Detention Center (FCDC). He has since been transferred to the Roederer Correctional Complex. He sues the following Defendants: "Fulton Co. Detention Ctr./Medical"; Ricky Parnell, the FCDC Jailer; Sheila, an FCDC nurse practitioner; Dr. Paulius, an FCDC doctor; and Jamie, an FCDC officer. He sues Defendants Parnell, Sheila, and Jamie in their official capacities only. He does not identify in what capacity he sues Defendant Paulius.

Plaintiff states that on March 22, 2013, he was sent to FCDC because of "[illegible] right incident at another facility" in violation of the Constitution and for "retaliatory reasons." Plaintiff avers that when he arrived at FCDC Defendant Jamie placed him in a pod "with two thin matt's that was to accomadate me staying in [illegible] pod, but yet already had 13 other men in a ten man cell." He states this violated his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. He reports that he is obese and has back problems, high blood pressure, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis. Plaintiff states that it "was unconstitutional that I had to sleep on the floor, that was concrete, and very poor space to eat and very overcrowded." He contends that he should have had a bunk "due to me being a state prisoner and chronic back problems, high blood pressure, gout, etc...." (Ellipses in original.) He states that he was transferred to Jefferson County on April 8, 2013. Plaintiff avers that Defendant Jamie also looked at his residence report sheet and said that "they wouldn't be able to classify me there either." He states that he waited until he was transferred to file his complaint out of fear of retaliation. Plaintiff also avers that he was one of three black inmates in a predominantly white cell and that white inmates made racist comments to him and made threats against him.

Plaintiff states that on March 25, 2013, he signed up for sick call at FCDC "to discuss [his] medical issues" and was charged $25.00. He avers that he was supposed to have seen the doctor at the Marshall County Jail "to review x-ray results, and discuss chronic backpain, and shortness of breath." He states, "it was asked if a medical override could be put in place, " and Defendant Sheila "said no, there are inmates with heart problems and they aren't going to be transferred either." According to Plaintiff, Defendant Sheila "stated that I would have to live with chronic pain and there was not treatment that would be provided besides the antiinflammotory medicine for my gout I was taken." Plaintiff states that this was a violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Plaintiff further avers that Defendant Paulius "also refused to treat me as well, and said there's nothing he can do." Plaintiff further states, "After coming to Lou. Jefferson Co. Jail it has still been giving me more problems. And it was said that it's athritic and have been trying to be treated with Ibuprofen, & Tylenol. Still to no avail."

Plaintiff contends the Defendant Parnell knows that the "jail is overcrowded and, and that I'm a controlled intake that must be transferred to D.O.C. has refused to transfer. Knowing that I've been locked down since 8-29-13 until 4-8-13 when transferred, and has refused to transfer, or put a medical override on me, as well as other inmates." He states this is a violation of his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

Plaintiff also states that his Second Amendment rights were violated by the "racist dorm I was placed, knowing that I was transferred from a racist jail in the first place, which violated my First Amendment right, and this was the other jail, Marshall Co. Det. Ctr's way of getting rid of me because of 2nd Amendment right by speaking on it...." He states that the Marshall County Jailer retaliated against him.

As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

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 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915A(b)(1), (2); McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549 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)). "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 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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