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Massie v. Commonwealth

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

November 13, 2013

CHARLES W. MASSIE, pro se, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

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

This matter is before the Court on the Motion to Dismiss of Defendants Commonwealth of Kentucky, Kentucky Department of Corrections, Governor Steve Beshear, and Commissioner LaDonna Thompson (collectively the "State Defendants") [DN 9]; the Motion to Dismiss of Defendant Bourbon County, Kentucky and Defendant James Watt, the Bourbon County Assistant Jailer (collectively the "Bourbon County Defendants") [DN 11]; and the Motion to Dismiss of Defendant Gregory T. Kapusta, the Bourbon County Jail Administrator (hereinafter "Kapusta") [DN 16]. In these motions, the Defendants seek to dismiss all claims brought against them by the Plaintiff, Charles W. Massie (hereinafter "Massie"). Also before the Court is the Cross-Motion to Dismiss of Plaintiff Massie [DN 13]. Fully briefed, this matter is ripe for decision.

I. BACKGROUND[1]

On March 2, 2010, Plaintiff Massie was convicted of, and incarcerated for, marijuana trafficking and related charges in Cumberland County, Kentucky. (Compl. [DN 1] 6, 7.) He was sentenced to five years of incarceration. (Id. at 7.) During his incarceration, Plaintiff Massie was transferred among several county jails because he had medical issues and could not perform his assigned work detail. These jails included: the Adair County Jail, the Marion County Jail, the Boyle County Jail, the Bourbon County Detention Center, the Powell County Jail, the Webster County Jail, the Crittenden Detention Center, and the Marshall County Jail. (See id. at 7-9.) In total, Plaintiff Massie alleges that he was transferred fifteen times to various county jails in an eighteen-month period. (Id. at 2, 9.) According to Plaintiff Massie, instead of being transferred to county jails, he should have been sent to "prison medical facilities." (Id.)

Plaintiff Massie argues that because he was not sent to a prison medical facility, he was deprived of his "medical rights as a prisoner." (Id.) Plaintiff Massie's allegation of improper medical care is based on the fact that he has a history of heart problems, including Atherosclerosis, Thrombotic-Thrombocytopenic-Purpura, bypass surgery, and Angioplasty. (Id. at 2, 6-9.) Plaintiff Massie states that since he was not transferred to a prison medical facility, he "could have died...." He also states that while he requested a medical evaluation, that request was ignored. (Id. at 7.) In essence, Plaintiff Massie alleges that the Defendants failed to adequately care for him and his heart conditions while he was incarcerated. (Id. at 10.)

In addition, Plaintiff Massie alleges that his constitutional rights were violated because during his incarceration, he was wrongly charged with, and prosecuted for, promoting dangerous contraband and possessing a controlled substance. (Id. at 6.) This allegation is based on the fact that on July 29, 2010, during intake procedures at the Bourbon County Detention Center, Plaintiff Massie was searched and found to be in possession of a bottle of Nitro-Glycerin tablets. (Id. at 8.) Plaintiff Massie had been prescribed these tablets for his heart problems and was required to carry them on his person at all times, in case of a medical emergency. The jailers, however, wrongly believed that the bottle contained cocaine. As a result, criminal charges were filed against Plaintiff Massie in Bourbon County. (See id.)

Plaintiff Massie states that the substance found in his possession was ultimately tested by the Kentucky State Police Laboratory and found to be Nitro-Glycerin. Consequently, the Bourbon County charges against him were dropped in February of 2011. After the charges were dropped, medical staff provided Plaintiff Massie with a new bottle of Nitro-Glycerin tablets. (See id. at 2, 9.) Nevertheless, he alleges that his rights were violated because of this wrongful prosecution.

Finally, Plaintiff Massie alleges that his constitutional rights were violated because during his incarceration at the Bourbon County Detention Center, he was "frequently threatened with application of a Taser Shock" by Defendant Kapusta and Defendant Raymond B. Campbell.

Plaintiff Massie was released from incarceration on July 5, 2011 after payment of his $50, 000 appeal bond. (Id. at 9.)

On June 17, 2013, Plaintiff Massie, pro se, filed the instant action against the Defendants. In his complaint, Plaintiff Massie alleges that the Defendants violated 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by infringing on his First, Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. He also alleges that the Defendants violated Ky. Rev. Stat. § 532.100. (Compl. [DN 1] 1.) Plaintiff Massie names several Defendants in his complaint, including: the Commonwealth of Kentucky; Kentucky Department of Corrections; Governor Steve Beshear; Commissioner LaDonna Thompson; Bourbon County, Kentucky; James Watt, the Bourbon County Assistant Jailer; Raymond B. Campbell, a Bourbon County Deputy; and Gregory T. Kapusta, the Bourbon County Jail Administrator. (See id.)

The Defendants have now filed various motions to dismiss Plaintiff Massie's complaint.[2] Also, Plaintiff Massie has filed a "cross-motion to dismiss, " in which he asks the Court to enter default judgment against the Bourbon County Defendants. The Court will address the motions below.

II. DISCUSSION OF THE DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO DISMISS

A. The State Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [DN 9]. The State Defendants argue that Plaintiff Massie's complaint must be dismissed under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) because it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. According to the State Defendants, Plaintiff Massie fails to allege how they perpetrated an alleged deprivation of his rights. Further, he "fails to make any factual allegations, or any claims at all, that indicate he requested and did not receive medical care." (Mem. in Supp. of Mot. to Dismiss [DN 9-1] 2.)

In addition, the State Defendants argue that the applicable one-year statute of limitations bars Plaintiff Massie's claims. (Id. at 4.) In this respect, the State Defendants note that Plaintiff Massie's complaint is based on actions that allegedly occurred while he was incarcerated in 2010 and 2011. In fact, Plaintiff Massie has alleged that he was released from incarceration on July 5, 2011 after payment of his $50, 000 appeal bond. Therefore, the State Defendants argue that Plaintiff Massie had until July of 2012, at the latest, to begin litigation pertaining to his treatment during incarceration. ...


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