United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky
H. McKinley, Jr., Chief Judge
a civil rights action brought by a convicted prisoner
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has granted
Plaintiff Scott Everett White leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. 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). For the reasons set forth below, the action
will be dismissed.
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
was formerly incarcerated at the Henderson County Detention
Center (HCDC). He brings this action against HCDC
“Capt. Hendricks” and an “unknown
deputy” of the Henderson County Sheriff's
Department. He indicates that he is suing these two
Defendants in their official capacities.
complaint, Plaintiff states as follows:
On 5/28/16 at approx. 9-11 a.m. a search was conducted at
[HCDC]. The search was done by a Sheriff Deputy and his K-9.
During this search, the Deputy had his firearm on his person.
I asked Capt. Hendricks why the Deputy had his weapon on him
and I was instructed to keep quiet. I felt unsafe because the
Deputy had his weapon on his person in the facility. Cameras
in the facility will show he had his weapon on his person. I
wrote a grievance and it was responded to stating:
“Acknowledged and will relay info the Sheriff.” I
have a copy of the grievance. Capt. Hendricks is in charge of
facility where I was being housed and he allowed Deputy in
with his firearm and continued to allow this even after the
situation was brought to his attention.
relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages.
Plaintiff is a prisoner seeking relief against governmental
entities, officers, and/or employees, the 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 v.
Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d at 604. 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)).
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] pro se
complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89
(2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106
(1976)). However, while liberal, this standard of review does
require more than the bare assertion of legal conclusions.
See Columbia Natural Res., Inc. v. Tatum,
58 F.3d 1101, 1109 (6th Cir. 1995). The court's duty
“does not require [it] to conjure up unpled
allegations, ” McDonald v. Hall, 610 F.2d 16,
19 (1st Cir. 1979), or to create a claim for a plaintiff.
Clark v. Nat'l Travelers Life Ins. Co.,
518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir. 1975). To command otherwise
would require the court “to explore exhaustively all
potential claims of a pro se plaintiff, [and] would
also transform the district court from its legitimate
advisory role to the improper role of an advocate seeking out
the strongest arguments and most successful strategies for a
party.” Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d
1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985).
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 (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, 487 U.S. 42, 48
(1988). “Absent either element, a section 1983 claim
will not lie.” Christy v. Randlett, 932 F.2d
502, 504 (6th Cir. 1991).
suits . . .‘generally represent another way of pleading
an action against an entity of which an officer is an
agent.'” Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159,
166 (1985) (quoting Monell v. New York City Dep't of
Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691 n.55 (1978)). Thus,
Plaintiff's official-capacity claims against both
Defendants are actually against Henderson County. See
Lambert v. Hartman, 517 F.3d 433, 440 (6th Cir. 2008)
(stating that ...