United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville
Charles R. Simpson III, Senior Judge United States District
a civil rights action brought by a convicted prisoner
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has granted
Plaintiff 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, 594 U.S. 199 (2007). For the reasons set
forth below, the action will be dismissed.
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
brings this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against the
“Jefferson County Judicial District”; the
“Jefferson County District Attorney Office”;
Judge Charles Cunningham of the Jefferson County Circuit
Court, in both his official and individual capacities; an
unnamed prosecutor from the Jefferson County District
Attorney's Office; Public Defender Erin Melchior; the
“Jefferson County Detention or Jail”; and
“Vititow Refrigeration Owner.” Plaintiff alleges
that, in 2008, “Vititow Refrigeration” reported
to the Laurel County (Kentucky) Attorney that Plaintiff had
written “bad checks” to the company. Plaintiff
further alleges that this case was “sent to the
District Court and then sent to the Laurel County Grand Jury
in Dec. of 2008, they vote for a no bill and charges was drop
by the court.”
alleges that Vititow Refrigeration then “filed a
warrant in the Jefferson County District Attorney Office, Bad
Checks Unit on 7-10-12, . . . about 4 years after the charges
drop in London, Ky.” Plaintiff states: “This is a
very clear case of Double Jeopardy by the Jefferson County
Circuit Court and District Attorney of Jefferson
County.” In the complaint, Plaintiff specifies that it
was Brian Lowe, presumably the owner of Vititow Refrigeration
whom Plaintiff sues, who brought the same charges against
Plaintiff in two courts.
further alleges that Louisville Public Defender Erin Melchior
was appointed as his counsel for the case in Louisville.
Plaintiff states that he told Defendant Melchior about the
case in London (Laurel County) but that she refused to
investigate this matter. Plaintiff also indicates that
neither Defendant Judge Cunningham nor “the
prosecutor” would consider his argument regarding the
prior charges. Plaintiff suggests that, as a result, he was
wrongfully incarcerated at the Defendant “Jefferson
County Detention or Jail” from June 25, 2013, to
December 4, 2014, and then placed with the Kentucky
Department of Corrections.
Plaintiff alleges that Vititow Refrigeration “lied to
the District Attorney Office when they filed charges on
[Plaintiff] on bad checks.” Plaintiff states that the
checks he wrote to Vititow Refrigeration were “all post
date” and that Vititow Refrigeration knew the money was
not in Plaintiff's bank account at the
relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
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 608.
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).
Defendants “Jefferson County Judicial District” &
“Jefferson County ...