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Galloway v. Henderson County

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

May 23, 2017



          Joseph H. McKinley, Jr., Chief Judge

         Plaintiff Jason E. Galloway filed the instant pro se 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action proceeding in forma pauperis. The complaint 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.


         Plaintiff is a pretrial detainee at the Henderson County Detention Center (HCDC). He sues Henderson County; the HCDC; and HCDC Jailer Ron Herrington in his individual and official capacity.[1]

         Plaintiff asserts that Henderson County is “not providing oversight” to HCDC and Defendant Herrington. He alleges that Henderson County has “grossly allowed overcrowding conditions of the [HCDC] resulting in a hostile living environment for inmates and detainees, and unsanitary living conditions due to facility infrastructure being inadequate for the population held within.” Plaintiff states, “The facility houses on a consistent basis 13 (thirteen) to 14 (fourteen) inmates in a 400 sq ft cell for 24 hour periods up to a week long at a time. Federal, state, and county inmates are housed together, causing great stress to all inmates.”

         Further, Plaintiff maintains that the facility's “indoor recreational room is frequently used to house inmates limiting available recreation to the general population of inmates. The available recreation areas are limited to 17 (seventeen) inmates at a time. The facility is held at around 700 (seven hundred) inmates.” He states, “It is logistically . . . impossible to offer recreation time to inmates to relieve stresses built up in the over crowded cells.”

         Plaintiff also complains of “unsanitary living conditions” at HCDC. He states, “The facility was constructed for the cells to hold 8 (eight) persons. The only upgrade to this has been to add one additional set of bunkbeds and one additional towel hook per cell.” He maintains that for a 400 square foot cell housing thirteen to fourteen inmates that there is “one toilet and one shower, cell have seating and beds permanently installed for 10 (ten) people.”

         Moreover, Plaintiff alleges that the facilities are inadequate for the population held at HCDC. He states, “The ventilation system is inadequate for exhausting humidity in facility causing molds in cells and paint to peel. The kitchen facilities are inadequate for the demand of the population. Proper sanitation procedures are not followed due to demand on facility.” Finally, he states, “Laundry facilities have not been upgraded to properly launder and dry the demand of the facility.”

         As relief, he seeks punitive damages and injunctive relief.


         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 ...

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