United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Owensboro
H. McKinley, Jr., Chief Judge.
a civil rights action brought by a prisoner pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has granted Plaintiff Mark
Leslie Hatfield 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 action against Daviess County Detention Center
(DCDC) and DCDC Lieutenant Marty Teasley in his official
capacity.,  In his complaint, Plaintiff states as
Lt. Marty Teasley came into the hole and accused me and my
cellmate of banging on the cell door and as a consequence of
that he told the C.O. working shift that me and my cellmate
could not be given our daily Rec (our One Hour Out) I
wasn't banging on my cell door He never seen me bang on
my cell door and when he asked me and my cellmate if we were
banging we told him “NO” However he still took
our recreation we are supposed to get that 60 minutes out
that's our right not only was I not banging on my cell
door However I believe he took my hour of rec time as
retaliation for my filing a PREA report against him prior to
this regardless of the reasons why my 1 hour of recreation
should not have been taken from me I have that coming that is
my right and I never banged on NO door or kicked it. And even
if I did which I didn't I wasn't supposed to get my
hour out for another 8 hours so you can't say I was so
disruptive by kicking a door 8 hours prior.
As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory 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 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 (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 section 1983 claim
will not lie.” Christy v. Randlett, 932 F.2d
502, 504 (6th Cir. 1991).
DCDC and Official-Capacity Claim against Defendant
the Court will dismiss the claims against DCDC because it is
not an entity subject to suit under § 1983. Matthews
v. Jones, F.3d 1046, 1049 (6th Cir. 1994). Rather, the
claims against the detention center are against Daviess
County as the real party in interest. Id.
(“Since the Police Department is not an entity which
may be sued, Jefferson County is the proper party to address
the allegations of Matthews's complaint.”). In
addition, “[o]fficial-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 claim against Defendant
Teasley is actually also against Daviess County. See
Lambert v. Hartman, 517 F.3d 433, 440 (6th Cir. 2008)
(stating that civil rights suit against county clerk of
courts in his official capacity was equivalent of suing
clerk's employer, the county).
§ 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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