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Keeling v. Louisville Metro Corrections Department

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

May 29, 2015

HERMAN ANTHONY KEELING, Plaintiff,
v.
LOUISVILLE METRO CORRECTIONS DEPARTMENT et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

DAVID J. HALE, District Judge.

Plaintiff Herman Anthony Keeling, who was a pretrial detainee at the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections (LMDC) at the pertinent time, filed this pro se, in forma pauperis action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This matter is before the Court for screening 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).

I. SUMMARY OF CLAIMS

Plaintiff names as Defendants the LMDC and Mark Bolton, LMDC Director, in his official capacity. He states that on October 1, 2013, he was incarcerated at LMDC and requested medical care but was denied. He states that only with repeated requests and "taking the chance of being assaulted would [he] get care." He states: "I was denied one of my medications because of a[n] incident with nurse and inmate. Some nurses would give it to me after seeing my condition and were confronted for doing so."

Plaintiff complains that after he was moved to a single cell he asked to have the showers cleaned but was denied, even after he offered to clean them himself. He states that he filed a grievance and received a response that he could show to get cleaning supplies, which worked "for a while." Plaintiff next alleges that he filed a grievance about not getting toiletries and soap and explained in that grievance that when he asked the officer for those items, he was cursed at with "vulgar or abusive language." He also states that he was put in crowded dorms, designed to hold 24 inmates but which had 32-34 inmates fighting over toiletries, soap, seating, and beds.

Plaintiff next complains of "criticism and retaliation for reporting of use of accessive force, reporting of misconduct, use of vulgar or abusive language, cold cells, my taking of a sworn statement with the police about the death of a inmate, and poisoning of my food." He further alleges that he was "assaulted by a officer (Higgons) which I filed a grievance about. The grievance was rejected and returned to me." He also complains about exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke and chemicals sprayed in the air to mask the smell of smoke. He further alleges that since they found out about him filing[1] this § 1983 form he has not been allowed to use the law library kiosk. He asks for monetary and punitive damages and to be "allowed to stay in single cell and all wright ups expungement of records."

II. ANALYSIS

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 action, 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 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1) and (2). 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 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. When determining whether a plaintiff has stated a claim upon which relief can be granted, the Court must construe the complaint in a light most favorable to Plaintiff and accept all of the factual allegations as true. Prater v. City of Burnside, Ky., 289 F.3d 417, 424 (6th Cir. 2002). While a reviewing court must liberally construe pro se pleadings, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per curiam), to avoid dismissal, a complaint must include "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).

Request for injunctive relief

Plaintiff's requests for injunctive relief are moot because he is no longer incarcerated at the LMDC. See Kensu v. Haigh, 87 F.3d 172, 175 (6th Cir. 1996). Dismissal of that requested relief is, therefore, proper.

Conditions of confinement

The Cruel-and-Unusual-Punishments Clause does not apply to pretrial detainees. Spencer v. Bouchard, 449 F.3d 721, 727 (6th Cir. 2006) ( abrogated on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007)). However, pretrial detainees, like Plaintiff, are shielded from cruel and unusual punishment by the Due-Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which provides similar if not even greater protection than the Cruel-and-Unusual-Punishments Clause. Id.

Plaintiff alleges that his request to have the showers cleaned was denied, even after he offered to clean them himself. However, he states that he received a response to a grievance that he could show to get cleaning supplies from December 20, 2013, until September 23, 2014. He also complains of "cold cells" and "poisoning of my food."

With regard to his ability to get cleaning supplies, Plaintiff admits in his complaint that he was given cleaning supplies until September 23, 2014. He signed his complaint on ...


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