United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
CHARLES P. GULDENSCHUH, Plaintiff,
JOHN DOE et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. Hale, Judge United States District Court
a civil rights action brought by a pretrial detainee pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has granted Plaintiff
Charles P. Guldenschuh 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 in part and allowed to continue in part.
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
is incarcerated at Louisville Metro Department of Corrections
(LMDC). He brings this action against unidentified
individuals - John Doe, LMDC “Warden, ” in his
official capacity; John Doe, LMDC doctor, in both his
official and individual capacities; John Doe, “Correct
Care” medical staff, in both his official and
individual capacities; and Jane Doe, LMDC medical staff, in
both her official and individual capacities.
complaint, Plaintiff states as follows:
My arm/elbow was broken during an altercation in Dorm 12 of
[LMDC]. I requested assistance from staff and photos were
taken of my right arm and my arm was x-rayed. They waited
[six] days to x-ray my arm even though I complained of
extreme pain and no mobility of the arm. The results of the
x-ray revealed that my elbow was broken. They then wrapped it
in an ace bandage and refused to take me to the hospital.
After complaining for [three] weeks about pain, they took me
to U of L hospital. They x-rayed my arm again and determined
that my arm/elbow set improperly and had to be re-broken and
reset. They had to operate on me and put pins, wires, and a
rod into my arm. I suffered extreme pain due to the medical
care given by the doctors of Correct Care, the [LMDC] staff.
relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages, punitive
damages, and injunctive relief in the form of
“providing physical therapy and repairing [his right]
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 604. 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)).
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).
has sued each Defendant in his/her official-capacity.
“Official-capacity suits . . . ‘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, 166 (1985) (quoting Monell v.
New York City Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658,
691 n.55 (1978)). Thus, Plaintiff's official-capacity
claims against the John/Jane Doe Defendants employed by LMDC
are actually against the Louisville Metro Government, and his
official-capacity claims against the John/Jane Defendants
employed by “Correct Care” are actually against
“Correct Care.” See Lambert v. ...