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McGuire v. Commonwealth Attorney

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

February 28, 2017

HUBERT L. McGUIRE PLAINTIFF
v.
COMMONWEATLH ATTORNEY et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Joseph H. McKinley, Jr., United States District Court Chief Judge

         Plaintiff Hubert L. McGuire, a pretrial detainee currently incarcerated in the Henderson County Detention Center (HCDC), filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (DN 1). This matter is before the Court on initial screening of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons that follow, the Court will dismiss a portion of the claims and allow Plaintiff to amend other claims.

         I. SUMMARY OF CLAIMS

         Plaintiff brings this action against the Henderson County “Commonwealth Attorney” and the Henderson City Police Department (HCPD) in their individual and official capacities.

         As his statement of the case, Plaintiff alleges as follows:

I. On or around April 7th 2016, I was racially profiled by the Henderson City Policy Dept. and the Commonwealth Attorney's Office. I was charged with drug trafficking without sufficient evidence or witnesses. I was in Jail from April 7th until September 12, 2016 when the case was dismissed with prejuice because commonwealth had no evidence. II. This has cost me my apartment, mental anguish, I have no stability. Lost my disability check. I have no income or place to live. III. Through this entire process no evidence was ever produced to even hold me in jail. They had plenty of chances to dismiss this case months ago but they didn't.
Now this case has been dismissed I feel like I should be rewarded the amount I stated. this is clearly a violation of my civil rights. And you can see that I was profiled because the color of my skin.

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks monetary damages in the amount of “1000 per day in detention”; punitive damages in the amount of $250, 000; and injunctive relief in the form of “release from illegal detention.”

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         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 601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007).

         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 recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.' Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders ‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual enhancement.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557).

         Although courts are to hold pro se pleadings “to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, ” Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972), this duty to be less stringent “does not require us 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 courts “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).

         III. ...


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