United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division
N. Stivers, Judge
Michael Thompson, filed a pro se complaint on this
Court's form for prisoners bringing a civil-rights suit
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 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,
549 U.S. 199 (2007). For the reasons set forth below, the
action will be dismissed.
SUMMARY OF CLAIMS
is a pretrial detainee at the Warren County Regional Jail
(WCRJ). He sues the WCRJ and WCRJ Correctional Officer Misse
Causey in her individual capacity. His complaint alleges,
Defendants refused to allow me to go to the law library on
November 30th, 2016, and December 3rd
and 4th 2016. Defendants refused to call my lawyer
from November 30th - December 5th,
2016. Defendants put me isolation for 6 days even though I
had no disciplinary violations. Defendants repeatedly placed
me in a top bunk despite my medical condition that requires
me to be on a bottom bunk.
asks for relief in the form of monetary and punitive damages
and an injunction allowing him to sleep on the bottom bunk
and giving him access to “my lawyer and law
prisoner initiates a civil action seeking redress from a
governmental entity, officer, or employee, the trial court
must review the complaint and dismiss the action, 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 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1) and (2). 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 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. When determining
whether a plaintiff has stated a claim upon which relief can
be granted, the Court must construe the complaint in a light
most favorable to Plaintiff and accept all of the factual
allegations as true. Prater v. City of Burnside,
Ky., 289 F.3d 417, 424 (6th Cir. 2002). While a
reviewing court must liberally construe pro se
pleadings, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365
(1982) (per curiam), to avoid dismissal, a complaint must
include “enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
alleges that he was not allowed to go to the law library on
three different days. The courts have recognized repeatedly
that there is no constitutionally protected right of access
to a law library. Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343,
350-51 (1996). Prisoners do have a right of access to the
courts, but it does not guarantee access to a prison law
library. Id.; Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S.
817, 830-31 (1977); Walker v. Mintzes, 771 F.2d 920,
932 (6th Cir. 1985). In order to state a claim for a denial
of access to the courts, a prisoner must demonstrate actual
prejudice to pending litigation that challenges his
conviction or conditions of confinement. Lewis v.
Casey, 518 U.S. at 351 (“[A]n inmate cannot
establish relevant actual injury simply by establishing that
his prison's law library or legal assistance program is
subpar in some theoretical sense.”).
does not allege any actual prejudice to a pending litigation
challenging his conviction or conditions of confinement.
Consequently, this claim will be dismissed for failure to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
Plaintiff alleges that he was not allowed to call his
attorney for a period of six days. The Sixth Amendment
guarantees that “[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the
accused shall enjoy the right . . . to have the Assistance of
Counsel for his defence.” U.S. Const. amend. VI. This
right includes the right to communicate with one's
criminal-defense attorney while confined awaiting trial.
See Maine v. Moulton, 474 U.S. 159, 170 (1985).
However, Plaintiff does not allege that he did not have
alternate means of communication with counsel, such as
letters or personal visits. See Aswegan v. Henry,
981 F.2d 313, 314 (8th Cir. 1992) (“Although prisoners
have a constitutional right of meaningful access to the
courts, prisoners do not have a right to any particular means
of access, including unlimited telephone use.”);
White v. Blue, No. 4:15-CV-P100-JHM, 2015 WL
9244491, at *2 (W.D. Ky. Dec. 17, 2015) (finding that, where
plaintiff did not allege that he ...