Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Summers v. Teasley

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

March 31, 2017

MAURICE SUMMERS PLAINTIFF
v.
SGT MARTY TEASLEY et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Joseph H. McKinley, Jr., Chief Judge

         Plaintiff 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 screening.

         I.

         Plaintiff 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 only.

         As his 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.

         II.

         When a 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).

         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)). “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).

         Although 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).

         III.

         Plaintiff 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).

         Defendant 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. 1990).

         Moreover, 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).

         When a § 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. Collins v. City of Harker Heights, Tex., 503 U.S. 115');">503 U.S. 115, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.