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Means v. Brown

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Owensboro Division

October 22, 2014

DAVID MEANS, Plaintiff,
v.
ALAN BROWN, WARDEN et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

JOSEPH H. McKINLEY, Jr., Chief Judge.

This matter is currently before the Court on initial review of Plaintiff David Means's pro se second amended complaint (DN 16)[1] 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, a portion of the claims will proceed and the others will be dismissed.

I. SUMMARY OF CLAIMS

Plaintiff, a convicted inmate currently incarcerated at the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex, brings suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the following officials at the Green River Correctional Complex (GRCC) in their individual and official capacities: Warden Alan Brown, former Warden Patti Webb, and Sergeant Angela Hampton. He also sues GRCC fellow inmate Brandon Dockery in his individual capacity.

Plaintiff claims that upon arrival into the custody of the Department of Corrections at the Roederer Correctional Complex (RCC) "Controlled Intake/Assessment Center, " he made known "by documentation of a conflict with the defendant, Brandon Dockery, the Victims son of his [Plaintiff's] crime." He states that after the assessment at RCC, he was transferred to GRCC and that on July 24, 2013, he was "severely attacked"[2] by Defendant Dockery, "even though the conflic[t] was lodged on his record." Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Brown and Webb failed "to prevent or protect plaintiff from this documented conflict" and that Defendant Hampton failed "to obtain medical help" for his injuries for a month despite Plaintiff's requests. Plaintiff asserts Eighth Amendment claims and state-law tort claims.

As relief, Plaintiff seeks monetary and punitive damages and an injunction directing Defendants to "Abid[e] by the documented Conflict and follow-up on Medical treatment."

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

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, 114 F.3d at 604.

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).

III. ANALYSIS

A. 42 U.S.C. § 1983

"Section 1983 creates no substantive rights, but merely provides remedies for deprivations of rights established elsewhere." Flint ex rel. Flint v. Ky. Dep't of Corr., 270 F.3d 340, 351 (6th Cir. 2001). Two elements are required to state a claim under § 1983. Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980). "[A] plaintiff must allege the violation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States, and must show that the alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting under color of state law." West v. Atkins, ...


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