United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Owensboro
H. McKinley, Jr., Chief Judge
Maurice Summers filed the instant pro se 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 action proceeding in forma pauperis.
This matter is before the Court on initial review pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons stated below, the
Court will dismiss Plaintiff's claims upon initial
is a convicted inmate at the Daviess County Detention Center
(DCDC). He sues DCDC; Lt. Marty Teasley; Corrections Officer
James Hicks; and Corrections Officer Renfrow. He sues
Teasley, Hicks, and Renfrow in their official capacities
statement of the claim, Plaintiff states that on September 1,
2016, he was assaulted by other inmates. He states that at
the time he was assaulted he was “robbed of 18 E-cigs
($198.05) along with approximate amount of $75.00 of
commissary and a loss of my prescription glasses
($300.00).” He states that he needs his glasses to see
“and it's causing me to have head achs.” He
states that he was “rushed to an outside urgent care
medical center to receive stiches above my right eye, and now
I have been seeing tracers out of the corner of my right eye.
Do to the blow to my eye may also be a cause of my recent
head achs.” Plaintiff further maintains, “I have
ask this facility about retrieving my glasses and my stolen
items and nothing has been do about it.” He states that
he is a state inmate housed with county inmates and that he
was assaulted by county inmates. He states that at the time
of the assault he had been sleeping on the floor. He asserts,
“This facility is quick to run in a cell to search for
extra blankets, towles, sheets but does nothing when an
inmate is assalted and robbed of their commissary and
belonging.” He continues, “All they have done is
removed me from that cell. And I am out of over $575.00 that
my family has sent me to live as comfortable as
possible.” Plaintiff also maintains that “the Lt.
nor any of the officers gave me the opportunity, choice or
chance to pursue Assault charges against the other inmates
whom Assalted me and robbed me of my belongings.” He
states, “No charges where filed. But a incident report
was filed.” As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and
punitive damages and release on parole.
prisoner initiates a civil action seeking redress from a
governmental entity, officer, or employee, the trial court
must review the complaint and dismiss the complaint, or any
portion of it, if the court determines that the complaint 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).
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)). “But the district court need not accept a
‘bare assertion of legal conclusions.'”
Tackett, 561 F.3d at 488 (quoting Columbia
Natural Res., Inc. v. Tatum, 58 F.3d 1101, 1109 (6th
Cir. 1995)). “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).
this Court recognizes that pro se pleadings are to
be held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers, Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519,
520-21 (1972); Jourdan v. Jabe, 951 F.2d 108, 110
(6th Cir. 1991), “[o]ur duty to be ‘less
stringent' with pro se complaints does not require us to
conjure up unpled allegations.” McDonald v.
Hall, 610 F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979) (citation
omitted). And this Court is not required to create a claim
for 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).
brings this action under § 1983. “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 U.S. 42 (1988).
“Absent either element, a section 1983 claim will not
lie.” Christy v. Randlett, 932 F.2d 502, 504
(6th Cir. 1991).
DCDC is not a “person” subject to suit under
§ 1983 because municipal departments, such as jails, are
not suable under § 1983. See Marbry v. Corr. Med.
Servs., No. 99-6706, 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 28072, at *2
(6th Cir. Nov. 6, 2000). The claim against DCDC is actually
brought against Daviess County. See Smallwood v.
Jefferson Cty. Gov't, 743 F.Supp. 502, 503 (W.D. Ky.
official-capacity claims “‘generally represent 
another way of pleading an action against an entity of which
an officer is an agent.'” Kentucky v.
Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 165-66 (1985) (quoting Monell
v. New York City Dept. of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691
n.55 (1978)). Therefore, Plaintiff's official-capacity
claims against Defendants Teasley, Hicks, and Renfrow are
also actually brought against Daviess County. See Lambert
v. Hartman, 517 F.3d 433, 440 (6th Cir. 2008).
§ 1983 claim is made against a municipality, this Court
must analyze two distinct issues: (1) whether Plaintiff's
harm was caused by a constitutional violation; and (2) if so,
whether the municipality is responsible for that violation.
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