United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, London
CARLTON B. CHATMON, Plaintiff,
P.A. WEST, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. REEVES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
recently, Plaintiff Carlton B. Chatmon was confined by the
Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) at the United States
Penitentiary (“USP”)-McCreary in Pine Knot,
Kentucky.[1" name="FN1" id=
"FN1">1] In May 2016, while still confined at that
location, Chatmon filed this pro se civil rights
proceeding, asserting constitutional claims under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331, pursuant to the doctrine announced in Bivens
v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388
(1971). Chatmon alleges that, in 2015, the
defendants refused to provide him with prescribed
medical shoes and were deliberately indifferent to his
serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment to
the United States Constitution.
Court conducts a preliminary review of Chatmon's
Complaint because he asserts claims against government
officials, and because he has been granted in forma
pauperis status in this action. 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2)(B); 1915A. In such cases, a district court must
dismiss any action which: (i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii)
fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune
from such relief. Id. Further, the Court liberally
construes Chatmon's claims and accepts his factual
allegations as true because he is proceeding without an
attorney. Erickson v. Pardus, 1 U.S. 89');">551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555-56 (2007).
explained below, Chatmon will be allowed to proceed with some
of his claims, while others will be dismissed.
alleges that he suffers from several medical conditions,
including diabetes, neuralgia, and dermatophytosis of the toe
nails. He claims that his diabetic condition has caused
severe foot problems and varicose veins.
states that, in July 2015, while he was confined at
USP-McCreary, an outside podiatrist prescribed special
medical shoes to accommodate his various medical issues.
[Record No. 1, pp. 2-3] Chatmon claims that, in disregard of
the podiatrist's instructions, Defendants West, Jones,
and Cimarosa refused to issue him the prescribed shoes,
stating that BOP policy prevents inmates confined in the
Segregated Housing Unit (“SHU”) from wearing such
devices. [Id., p. 4] Chatmon alleges that, as result
of the defendants' intentional denial of the prescribed
medical shoes, his foot problems worsened and he has
experienced severe pain, suffering, and various adverse
permanent side-effects, including but not limited to gout,
chronic calluses, and deep-vein thrombosis. [Id.,
seeks compensatory and punitive damages from all defendants,
and from the USP-McCreary officials in their official and
individual capacities. [Id., p. 5] Additionally, he
seeks injunctive relief in the form of an order directing the
BOP to provide him with immediate medical treatment, and
instructing Defendants West, Jones, and Cimarosa
“… to cease their illicit style of performance,
and their atrociusness [sic] towards the plaintiff and each
and every inmate that housed in this Penitentiary.”
[Id.] Chatmon also demands a jury trial, costs, and
any other relief.
Court will require Defendants West, Jones, and Cimarosa, in
their individual capacities, to respond to
Chatmon's Eighth Amendment Bivens claims
alleging deliberate indifference to his serious medical
needs. The United States Marshals Service
(“USMS”) for the Eastern District of Kentucky
will be directed to serve these defendants with the Summons,
Complaint, and other necessary documents on Chatmon's
behalf, in accordance with the instructions set forth below.
Fed.R.Civ.p. 4(c)(3); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d).
Eighth Amendment claims asserted against the
individually-named defendants in their official
capacities will be dismissed with prejudice for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. A
Bivens claim alleging a constitutional violation may
not be asserted against federal officers in their official
capacities. Instead, such claims may be asserted against a
federal officials only in their individual capacities.
Fed. Deposit Ins. Corp. v. Meyer, 10 U.S. 471');">510 U.S. 471,
484-86 (1994); Okoro v. Scibana, 63 F. App'x
182, 184 (6th Cir. 2003); Berger v. Pierce, 933 F.2d
393, 397 (6th Cir. 1991); Blakely v. United States,
276 F.3d 853, 870 (6th Cir. 2002) (federal employees sued in
their official capacity are immune from suit unless sovereign
immunity has been expressly waived).
claim seeking compensatory and punitive damages under
Bivens from both the BOP and USP-McCreary's
“Health Service Administration” will be also
dismissed because these entities are immune from liability
for such claims. The United States is immune from suit unless
it explicitly waives its immunity. United States v.
Sherwood, 12 U.S. 584');">312 U.S. 584, 590-91 (1941). Congress defines
the exact terms and conditions upon which the government and
its agencies may be sued and the terms of its consent define
the parameters of federal court jurisdiction to entertain
suits brought against the United States. United States v.
Orleans, 425 U.S. 807, 814 (1976); Honda v.
Clark, 386 U.S. 484 (1967). A waiver of sovereign
immunity must be strictly construed, unequivocally expressed,
and cannot be implied. United States v. King, 395
U.S. 1, 4 (1969)
the principle of sovereign immunity applies equally to
agencies of the United States, the BOP is immune from suit in
the absence of a waiver of sovereign immunity. Kentucky
v. Graham, 159');">473 U.S. 159, 166 (1985); Whittle v.
United States, 1259');">7 F.3d 1259, 1262 (6th Cir. 1993). The
United States has not waived sovereign immunity for itself or
for any of its agencies for a Bivens action. See
Meyer, 510 U.S. at 484-86; Okoro, 63 F.
App'x at 184 (stating that a federal prisoner cannot
bring a Bivens action against the BOP). Accordingly
Chatmon's claim seeking money damages from both the BOP
and USP-McCreary's “Health Services
Administration” will be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. §
because Chatmon has been released from federal custody, his
claims seeking various forms of injunctive relief will be
denied. A prisoner's claim for injunctive relief becomes
moot when he or she is no longer confined at the prison where
the claim allegedly arose. Lyons v. Azam, 58 F.
App'x 85, 87 (6th Cir. 2003); Kensu v. Haigh, 87
F.3d 172, 175 (6th Cir.1996)); see also Sharpe v.
Patton, No. 08-CV-58-HRW, 2010 WL 227702, at *7 (E.D.
Ky. Jan. 19, 2010) (prisoner's release from custody
mooted his request for injunction for release to outside
medical provider for evaluation and treatment); Easely v.
Cheatham County Jail, No. 3:09-0537, 2009 WL 2038139, at
*2 (M. D. Tenn. Jul. 9, 2009) (“Given Plaintiff's
release from custody, his claim for injunctive relief is