United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville
ROY R. MACE III PLAINTIFF
AARON SMITH et al. DEFENDANTS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
CHARLES R. SIMPSON III, SENIOR JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT
Roy R. Mace III filed the instant pro se 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 action proceeding in forma pauperis (DN
1). The complaint is now before the Court for initial
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 stated below, the Court will
dismiss the official-capacity claims and allow the
individual-capacity claims to proceed for further
an inmate now housed at the Eastern Kentucky Correctional
Complex, filed the instant pro se 42 U.S.C. §
1983 action concerning his previous incarceration at the
Kentucky State Reformatory (KSR). He names the following
Defendants: Aaron Smith, the KSR Warden; Diane Jackson, whom
Plaintiff identifies as “Probation & Parole”
at KSR; John Doe, a unit administrator at KSR; and Jane Doe,
a “Former Sgt.” at KSR. He sues Defendants in
their individual and official capacities.
alleges that on November 11, 2015, at approximately 10:00
a.m. “the sewer pipe burst on C-wing cptn, flooding my
cell with feces.” He states as follows:
I informed the defendants of the issue but the defendants
refused to move me from the cell, but instead forced me to
walk through the feces to get my food and made me eat my
meals in the cell. I wasn't taken for a shower or the
cell cleaned until approx. 5:00 pm causing painful burning
sores on my feet that didn't heal for 6 months.
also states that on February 5, 2016, he told Defendant John
Doe that he had a conflict with an inmate who had made
threats to him. Plaintiff asserts that “I requested
protective custody to avoid this inmate but my cry's fell
on deaf ears. I was then placed in the same dorm with this
inmate and ultimately was assaulted by this inmate causing
fear of others and hearing loss in my left ear.” He
further alleges, “Thus the inaction of the Defendants
violated my right to not be subjected to cruel and unusual
relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages.
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 at 604.
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).
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)). Because all Defendants are employees of KSR, they
are employees of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and claims
brought against state employees in their official capacities
are deemed claims against the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
See Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. at 166. State
officials sued in their official capacities for money damages
are not “persons” subject to suit under §
1983. Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491
U.S. 58, 71 (1989). Additionally, the Eleventh Amendment acts
as a bar to claims for monetary damages against state
employees or officers sued in their official capacities.
Kentucky v. ...