United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. Hale, Judge
pro se 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights action was
opened on November 18, 2016. This matter is before the Court
for initial review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e) and McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d
601, 608 (6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by
Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007). For the reasons that
follow, the action will be dismissed in part and allowed to
continue in part.
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
brings this action against four Louisville Metro Police
Department (LMPD) officials in both their official and
individual capacities. These individuals are LMPD Chief Steve
Conrad and LMPD Officers Thomas Franklin, D. Slovak, and N.
first alleges that on or about June 18, 2016, he was stopped
for speeding. He states that he was then arrested on
outstanding warrants and that a “warrantless impound
order” was issued for his vehicle by Defendant Benge
even though Plaintiff was not intoxicated, and he offered to
have a family member retrieve his vehicle. Plaintiff states
that he ultimately secured the release of his vehicle on or
about June 21, 2016, at a cost of $177.00.
next alleges that on or about July 7, 2016, Plaintiff was
again subjected to a traffic stop for “allegedly
failing to use a turn signal and having a defective
headlight.” Plaintiff continues: “This racially
profiled stop search and seizure/arrest of Plaintiff and his
vehicle was ordered/executed by . . . Defendants Franklin,
Slovak, and Benge.” Plaintiff states that his vehicle
was “legally parked at a mutual acquaintance's
house” and that a family member was willing to retrieve
his vehicle. Plaintiff further states that he was not
intoxicated and that “there was no evidence of
additional crimes inside of the vehicle that may have been
removed by family.” Plaintiff then writes that all
charges related to these two arrests and impoundments were
dismissed on July 26, 2016, except “Escape 2nd.”
Plaintiff seems to claim that his second stop and arrest and
both impoundments violated his rights under the Fourth,
Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments.
then states that “Chief Conrad is responsible for the
promulgation and enforcement of the rules, by-laws,
regulations, orders, policies, and procedures governing the
LMPD acting under ‘color of state law.'”
relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages and
Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, but is no
longer incarcerated, the Court must review this action under
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). This statute requires a district
court to dismiss a case at any time if it determines that the
action 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. 28 U.S.C. §
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).
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, 640 (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 § 1983 claim will not
lie.” Christy v. Randlett, 932 F.2d
502, 504 (6th Cir. 1991)