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McDonald v. Prior

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah

July 1, 2015

LYNN PRIOR et al. Defendants.


THOMAS B. RUSSELL, Senior District Judge.

This matter is currently before the Court on initial review of Plaintiff Lazarus McDonald's pro se complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons that follow, a portion of the claims will continue, Plaintiff may amend his complaint with respect to one claim, and all other claims will be dismissed.


Plaintiff is a pretrial detainee incarcerated at the Christian County Jail (CCJ). He brings this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against the following Defendants: (1) Lynn Prior, "State Attorney" in Hopkinsville, Kentucky; (2) Micheal Cuttoff, "Asst. State Attorney" in Hopkinsville; (3) Eric Bearden, Attorney; (4) Unknown Doctor X at CCJ; (5) Unknown Nurse X at CCJ; (6) CCJ Sgt. McIntosha; (7) Judge Andrew Self, in Hopkinsville; (8) CCJ Colonel Howard; (9) CCJ Cpt. Burd; (10) CCJ Deputy Marlar; (11) CCJ Nurse Tammie; and (12) CCJ Nurse Lindsey. Plaintiff sues Defendants Prior, Cuttoff, Judge Self, McIntosha, and the Unknown Doctor and Nurse in their individual and official capacities but does not indicate the capacity in which he sues the other Defendants.

As to his claims, Plaintiff first reports that at intake at the CCJ on August 10, 2014, he "informed the jailers and nurses that I suffer from Mental Health Issues and needed my Medication. However I was denied medication and Mental Health Consoulering." He further reports that upon intake, "I was placed in cell blocks were Regular inmates were lodged where I [] was Reticude because of my illness and was in numerous fist Fights were I suffered physical and mental abuses." He continues, "Also the jailers never responded to any of my notes because they dont Have a grevieance system so you have to send notes."

As to his second claim, Plaintiff reports that in October and November 2014, Defendants Judge Self, Attorney Bearden, and Prosecutors Prior and Cuttoff were also notified of Plaintiff's "Mental Health capacity while in the [CCJ] and was Further denied immediate Mental Health treatment but was instead Placed on A Mental Evalution List for K.C.P.C that took 6-8 weeks to recieve treatment." He alleges that these four Defendants violated his rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Next, Plaintiff complains that on January 3, 2015, "Jailer Sgt. McIntosha" and the Unknown Doctor and Nurse violated his constitutional rights by "inflicting unecessary pain... when the plaintiff complained that his sphyactica nerve was damage, and that [he] was in severe pain and couldn't walk or sit down on his buttocks at all." He claims:

When the Nurse arrived to the inmate cell block the plaintiff was lying on the cell floor with his bed mat on the Floor And when she left she left me on the Floor And Refuse to give the plaintiff a pan to use the restroom with or an extra matteress to comfort the plaintiff while lying on the cell block floor... Violating my Rights to the 8th Amendment cruel and unusal Punishment.

(ellipsis by Plaintiff). Plaintiff further claims that Defendant Unknown Doctor X violated the Eighth Amendment "by describing the smallest dosage for a sphyactica nerve problem without even seeking or visiting me. 400 milo grams Ibupropen for just 2 A day. However, the dosage 2 A day have not given me any Relief during each intake 2 twice A day."

Plaintiff then alleges that on January 5, 2015, Defendant Col. Howard came to his cell along with Defendants Deputy Marlar and Cpt. Burd "and threaten to cut all access off in the unit if the plaintiff could not go to the informary by wheel chair." He claims that he "pleaded to no avail with the Colonel that I couldn't sit because the pain was to great to withstand." Thus, claims Plaintiff,

The Colonel and His Fellow officers Left and they had cell block 782 the unit where the plaintiff was confined excess denied shutting everything off. 15 minutes Later the Colonel got on the intercome system and ask was the inmate ready to use the wheel chair. So After much discussion with 15 other inmates they asked Colonel could they make a travios to carry me to the informary and the Colonel refused and said the only way was the wheel chair. After an hour of no excess my fellow inmates became hostle and the Plaintiff told an officer to bring the wheel chair were the plaintiff suffered so much pain that he soiled his pants to get to the infirmary. Once I seen the nurses at the informary The Colonel and His Fellow officers along with the approval of the nurses put me in a so called watch cell with one blanket and one mattress which I had to sleep on the concrete Floor for 3 days.

Finally, Plaintiff maintains that on January 7, 2015, he complained to Defendant Cpt. Burd that Defendant "Deputy Marlar was threatening me to put me in lock up and because I [] can barely walk I told Capt. Burd I felt though that Deputy Marlar wanted to hurt me in lock up." After Plaintiff asked Defendant Cpt. Burd for a grievance form, states Plaintiff, " [Burd] advise me to write my complaint on a peice of paper because the dont have an actual greivance complaint form. So Capt. Burd proceeded and put the plaintiff on lock down status were the plaintiff is at right now."

As relief, Plaintiff seeks monetary and punitive damages and an injunction "having the defendants to start an Accute Mental Health cell within the [CCJ]."


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 ...

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