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Tingle v. Grayson Co. Det. Center

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

December 27, 2016




         This is a pro se civil rights action brought by a pretrial detainee 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). For the reasons set forth below, the action will be allowed to continue in part and will be dismissed in part.


         Plaintiff initially filed this action in the Southern District of Indiana. It was transferred to this Court on June 6, 2016. The Court directed Plaintiff to complete and file a Court-supplied application to proceed in forma pauperis and a Court-supplied 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint form which was to include all the claims he would like to bring in this action and name all Defendants. Plaintiff filed his application to proceed in forma pauperis (DN 18) and his Court-supplied 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint form (DN 17) on September 6, 2016. The Court granted Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis on September 12, 2016 (DN 21), but Plaintiff proceeded to pay the $350.00 filing fee on September 19, 2016. Plaintiff then filed a letter (DN 20), which the Court construes as an amended complaint. It is Plaintiff's complaint (DN 17) and amended complaint (DN 20) that are now before the Court for review.


         In his complaint, Plaintiff states that he is suing the Grayson County Detention Center (GCDC) and Mrs. Rita Wilson, the medical supervisor at GCDC, in both her individual and official capacities.

         Plaintiff first alleges that he is served foods at GCDC that he cannot or should not eat because he has been diagnosed with diverticulosis. He states that he believes that Defendant Wilson has been deliberately indifferent to his medical needs because she refuses to place him on a special diet for diverticulosis.

         Plaintiff also states that he believes his rights have been violated based upon the following:

[N]o computer access to research everything about my claims, dates, etc. This along with my problems with my mail as they stated I now can no longer receive computer-generated mail from Sandy Boettcher whom is my only help from the outside. I cannot provide you with exact dates or the names of persons responsible as they are unknown to me. There are also other people in my cell still receiving computer-generated mail from family members.

         As relief, Plaintiff states that he is seeking compensatory and punitive damages and injunctive relief in the form of being provided dentures, “a diet of foods [he] can eat and digest properly, a internal medicine doctor, or release from prison until court dates.”


         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 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)).

         “[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] 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).

         IV. ANALYSIS

         “Section 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 ...

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