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Lawrence v. Thompson

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

June 26, 2015

LADONNA H. THOMPSON et al., Defendants.


DAVID J. HALE, District Judge.

Plaintiff Marcus J. Lawrence filed the instant pro se 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action proceeding in forma pauperis. This matter is before the Court on the initial review of the action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Upon review of the complaint and its attachments, the Court will dismiss some of Plaintiff's claims and allow others to proceed for further development.


Plaintiff is an inmate at the Kentucky State Reformatory (KSR). He sues the following Defendants: LaDonna Thompson, the Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Corrections (KDOC); Governor Steven L. Beshear; Aaron Smith, the Warden of KSR; James Coyne, the Deputy Warden of Security of KSR; Tiffany Ratlif, the Deputy Warden of Operations at KSR; and Michael Williams, the Captain of Internal Affairs at KSR. He sues each person in his or her individual and official capacities. Although he does not identify them as Defendants in the body of the complaint, in the caption, Plaintiff also lists the following as Defendants: the "Commonwealth of Kentucky Department of Corrections"; the "Commonwealth of Kentucky State Reformatory"; the County of Oldham; the City of LaGrange; and the State of Kentucky.

Plaintiff states that on October 9, 2014, between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm "more than 4 correctional officers shot me with mace on camera for no legal reason. (Excessive force)." He further describes the incident as follows:

After shot officers jumped on my back and applied a illegal choke hold. (Blocking & restricting airways is attempted murder). While on the floor officers kicked me with their feet. (Assault) While handcuffed officers slamed my head into a steel gate & door for no reason. (Assault) I was called a ni**** because I stumbled when my head had been slamed for the third time. (Hate Crime)

Plaintiff further states, since that date, he has been "forced into a hole by the same assaulting officers without a order or report. (robbery) This began over officer making threats against me if I did not sign his document with my signature (Extortion) I have been refused the right to a fair trial & due process." He states that the officers responsible for the alleged excessive-force incident "have illegally imposed a maximum penalty, fine & punishment against me for violations I did not comit during the arrest. (Retaliation against the victim, witness and informant)."

Plaintiff further states, "Officers committed perjury making claims that they were killed and injured during this event on camera. The Administration is well aware of these cameras recording these officers illegal actions and have been notified by complaints." He further maintains that "Warden James Coyne is responsible for these officers & these recording cameras and is avoiding these videotapes and allowing other officers to punish me for crimes they' comitted against me."

To the complaint, Plaintiff attaches a letter he sent to Warden Aaron Smith concerning the October 9, 2014, incident dated December 2, 2014; a document captioned as both a "Show Cause Petition to Dismiss with Prejudice & Settlement Kentucky State Reformatory-2014-03755" and "Objection & Counter Claim Opposition (All Judgments Denied)" dated November 25, 2014; and a document captioned as a "Grievance/Direct Appeal/Complaint XXXX-XXXXX" dated October 25, 2014. The attachments largely discuss the alleged incident, request that the surveillance tapes be provided, allege criminal violations, and demand criminal sanctions and civil remedies. The Court considers these attachments as offering to show that Plaintiff attempted to exhaust his administrative remedies. In the "Show Cause Petition, " Plaintiff states, "Officer Jeannette M. Sysco[1] told me to get out' for objecting to her applying hearsay that was false & perjury on a tape records as record." He also states, "It is ordered that JUDGE' Jeanette Sysco is arrested for treason by affirmative action without delay." In the "Grievance/Direct Appeal/Complaint, " Plaintiff contends that he was assaulted because of a disagreement over his legal mail. He states, "Officers are retaliating due to the filed complaints."

In addition, Plaintiff also attaches a document he captioned as a "Title 18 U.S.C.A. Motion, Writ Petition & Court Order for Violent Criminal Offense Sanctions" dated October 22, 2014. The document purports to bring a variety of criminal charges against several of the named Defendants and other individuals for their actions concerning the October 9, 2014, alleged incident. He maintains that various people engaged in a conspiracy to violate his rights. The document also contains a lengthy description of the alleged incident, which the Court will not set forth in full herein but will summarize the factual allegations relevant to the Court's initial review. Plaintiff states, "For no legal reason on the night of October 9th, 2014 after 5:00 pm officers who claim their name's are KEVIN R. MAZZA & Lt (first name unknown?) SCHANK used unnecessary excessive force against me to teach me a lesson about who is the BOSS over some legal mail." Plaintiff states that after he was sprayed with "OC spray, " the following occurred:

After officers shot me for no legal reason I was turning around to look and point at the officer so I would remember his face, I was put in a neck choke hold. I did not have any intentions of causing injury or harm to officers before or after being shot. I was about to ask the officer who shot me "what in the hell did you do that for?"... Officers handcuffed and yanked me from the floor and purposely ran me head first into a steel gate and door trying to knock me out (ASSAULT & BATTERY). When I stumbled one of the officers stated "you are going to walk ni****." (HATE CRIME). From the face slam and the slams in the gate and door I received a lump or knot on me the top of my head and eye. Other persons in dorm 4 claim the officers kicked me with their feet. Somehow the skin was knocked off my left leg.

Plaintiff also states, "From the night of this extortion & robbery incident I have been forced & locked in a hole (or segregation) by the assaulting Defendants without due process of law...." He further states as follows:

On October 20th, 2014 (11 days later) the exact same officers have conducted a ILLEGAL SECRET COURT HEARING (OFF RECORD) without Marcus J. present, ... the SAME ASSAULTING OFFICERS have purposely & fraudulently created some documents claiming they are together finding Marcus J. guilty knowing they are DEFENDANTS. (PLAYING OFFICER, ATTORNEY, PROSECUTOR, JUDGE, JURY and PUNISHER is TREASON & TYRANNY)... It is a fact correction officers KEVIN R. MAZZA, Lt (first name unknown) SCHANK, ERICK S. STEINBERGEN and MICHAEL DESPAIN are not a court, judge or jury.

Plaintiff maintains that a telephone call from an unknown officer instigated the incident and requests that the surveillance tapes and an audio recording of the telephone call be provided.

In the same attachment, under the heading "Deliberate Indifference & inadequate medical Emergency Care after the Assault, " Plaintiff states the following:

THE KENTUCKY STATE REFORMATORY'S MEDICAL DEPARTMENT refused medical care thanks to the officers after the excessive force incident. 18 hours later on October 10th, 2014 after 11:30 I was taken to the doctor after this attempt to reshape a steel door with my head and told "NO" when asking for a xray. The lady doctor stated IBROPIN would take the "edge" and pain away. THE OFFICERS came 14 days later asking "Did I want a xray done?" (Neglect and Medical Malpractice) It is ordered that arrest be made because these officers are dangerous. They know exactly how to cover up the wrong they do to people. (TEAM PLAYERS)

As relief, Plaintiff requests compensatory and punitive damages, injunctive relief in the form of release from detention, production of the ...

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