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Johnson v. Marcum

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

January 10, 2014

BILL MARCUM et al., Defendants.


THOMAS B. RUSSELL, Senior Judge.

Plaintiff Jeffrey Johnson filed a pro se complaint (DN 1) and two amended complaints (DNs 7 & 14) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This matter is before the Court on initial review of the complaint and amended complaints pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601 (6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007). For the reasons that follow, the Court will allow Plaintiff to file an amended complaint with respect to the claims of illegal search and excessive force and will dismiss all other claims.


Plaintiff initiated this action when he was a pretrial detainee at the Calloway County Jail. He has since been released from custody. As Defendants, Plaintiff names Calloway County Sheriff Bill Marcum;[1] the Calloway County Sheriff's Department; Calloway County Jailer Phil Hazel; and the Calloway County Jail. He sues Defendants Marcum and Hazel in their individual and official capacities.

Plaintiff raises several claims. First, Plaintiff alleges an illegal search in May 2013. He alleges that on a Friday night the "Calloway County Sherriff Dept" knocked on his door, said that "they" had a warrant, and then barged in without giving or showing him a copy of the warrant. He reports that, when asked, he denied having any weapons; that "They" asked to search; that he asked if they had a warrant; and that "They" said "no." Plaintiff states that when he turned around to put on some clothes, "the officer started searching any way. He uncovered a military Knife I use for cooking and cutting meat and started acting like He had solve some kind of [illegible] crime with his illegal search."

Second, Plaintiff alleges excessive force. When "the officer" went to handcuff Plaintiff, Plaintiff reports warning him that he had a "bad bad Back & neck problem" and needed to be cuffed in the front. According to Plaintiff, the officer nevertheless tried to force Plaintiff's hands together behind his back and injured his back. "When I grown in pain the other officer shook his head no at the officer who was hurting me He then cuff me in the front."

Next, Plaintiff alleges various conditions at the Calloway County Jail, including inadequate medical treatment, placement in an overcrowded cell, threats by guards, and denial of access to a law library. Plaintiff reports that upon arrival at the jail, while being booked, "Jailer said we know you have back problem if you need special accomidation let us know." Plaintiff reports that the next day he was given a second mat. He further states as follows:

while I laid their in the floor suffering in pain I told them as I have several times in the last 4 week I need to see a doctor but they Keep Discrimianting against me violating my Right and Americans with Disibiitys Act dening me medical treatment and giving me Ibuprofin, after They Have been told the medicine I take and other treatments use to stop the pain & suffering Ice packs, walking, etc To this date I have been given 1 Ice pack

He alleges that he has "loose the feeling in my shoulders, arms Hands & Fingers in fact I in so much pain I Have a constant migrain headache." He states that he told the guards that he needed to see a doctor but that a nurse showed up. He states that he told her he needed his "pain medication 3x a day Ibuprofin 800mg every 4-6 hr Ice packs 3x a day walk 30 min 3x a day & 2 mats." Instead, claims Plaintiff, he received "1 Ice pack 1 time and the 2 mat I was givin on 2 day in Jail was taken from me on 5th day for no reason other than the guard was mad about something." He further claims,

I don't understand why guard would tell me they know I have back problems and need special accomadation then take a 2 mat away to Intentionally cause me pain & suffering the discrimination Im suffering is unbeleaveable & unbearable. I lay her suffering in pain while the guard are letting other in the cell with no medical Issues Have 2 mats 2 blankets while Im suffering and they know it.

Plaintiff also reports that in June 2013, he was warned by a guard that "something is wrong with the medication Im being givin" and that it may not be his medication. Plaintiff reports that the pills he had been given had different numbers on them and that he knows that "they been giving me someone else meds because package didnt have prescription lable it had been removed & my name written on it in black marker & Also because a person does not have withdrawal & chill symptoms from Ibuprofin." He states that he refused to take the medication and was threatened "and told to pack my stuff I was being moved to Isolation because I refused." Plaintiff states that, in front of six or seven witnesses, he asked "her" to look in a different drawer for his medication. "She pulled out my medication with my name on the label & what medication was she look at both and said your right I signed & took the correct meds."

As to overcrowding, Plaintiff reports that during the second week at the jail, he was moved to Cell 149 and put on the floor because the 12-14 man cell housed a total of 21-22 inmates.

Plaintiff alleges being denied access to a law library. He states, "I mean what perpose does it serve to denie me access to the law library except to violate by rights by trying to stop this lawsuit from being filed." He also reports having unspecified problems with filing a grievance.

Finally, as to his claims of threats, Plaintiff reports that at the end of his second week at the jail, an inmate was called to the booking desk and that when the inmate returned, "he walks up to 2 others Inmate and tell them Rob D said for the 3 of them to beat the shit out of me The biggest of the 3 tells the other hes not doing it." Plaintiff alleges that he has been threatened by different ...

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