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Branham v. Bolton

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division

May 25, 2017

BRYAN ANTHONY BRANHAM, Plaintiff,
v.
MARK BOLTON et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          David J. Hale, Judge United States District Court.

         This is a civil rights action brought by a convicted prisoner pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has granted Plaintiff Bryan Anthony Branham 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, but Plaintiff will be allowed to amend his complaint.

         I. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff brings this action against three Defendants in their official capacities: Mark Bolton, Louisville Metro Department of Corrections (LMDC) Jailer; Martha Knox, Bullitt County Detention Center (BCDC) Jailer; and Joe Blue, Hopkins County Detention Center (HCDC) Jailer. As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

         A. LMDC

         Plaintiff first complains about incidents which occurred at LMDC. Plaintiff states that while he was incarcerated at LMDC, he was searched several times and “sometimes multiple times daily.” He alleges that during these searches, he would have his “genitals groped along with [his] penis, while in same motion the searching deputies would run their hands in the circle of my buttox and this would be very humiliating and uncomfortable.” Plaintiff next states that while he was at LMDC, he was “denied medical treatment for mental illness numerous times.” He states that he requested evaluations for such and was told “no.” Plaintiff states that during the time he was incarcerated at LMDC he filed grievances regarding this issue but no action was ever taken.

         Further, Plaintiff asserts that while at LMDC he complained to medical staff regarding “headaches, dizziness, blackouts, and vision.” He states that “nothing was done” and that as a result he passed out the week of May 10, 2015, causing him “to bust [his] mouth on the floor and break “one of [his] front teeth in half.” He states that “medical” then scheduled procedures to be run, “such as blood tests and an EKG, ” but that he was transferred before any of these took place.

         B. BCDC

         Plaintiff alleges that upon being transferred to BCDC, he notified the jail of his ongoing medical and mental health issues and requested to be seen by both a nurse and a “psych doctor” for an evaluation. Plaintiff states that he was seen by a nurse who told him that they would not run blood tests or conduct any of the other procedures ordered by medical staff at LMDC. With regard to his mental health issues, Plaintiff alleges that he was also told that BCDC had no doctor to conduct a psychological evaluation and that the only inmates to receive medication were those “who were under treatment before incarceration.”

         Plaintiff also alleges that on one occasion a BCBC deputy told other inmates that Plaintiff “was telling on them” and that “they were losing privileges” because of Plaintiff. Plaintiff states that when he told the deputy that those statements were unprofessional, the deputy “tried to taunt me into a fight, then put me in segregation taking my mat, making me sit on metal from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. each night.” Plaintiff states that he filed grievances on this deputy and, after they were reviewed by other officers, Plaintiff was released and placed back in his original cell. Plaintiff states that because the deputy's actions “made a bad name for [him], . . .[he] believe[s] [his] life has been put in jeopardy and will continue causing [him] problems.”

         Moreover, Plaintiff states that BCDC officials “conducted strip searches on [him] even though [his] charges are not drug related and [he] was not a new arrest.”

         He also complains that BCDC officials would not allow him to have the hygiene products he had purchased at LMDC and that he had to buy new ones at BCDC.

         C. HCDC

         Plaintiff states that upon being transferred to HCDC, he notified the “jail” of his medical and mental conditions and “they continued to overlook and told me to pay medical even though I'm a state inmate and medical is covered.”

         Plaintiff also indicates that he was strip-searched on two occasions after “court transfers” during which he had no opportunity to receive contraband. Plaintiff states that these searches were “unnecessary and discriminative.”

         Plaintiff also states that he had clothing stolen because it was placed in the wrong cell and HCDC refused to replace the clothing.

         Finally, Plaintiff alleges that he is “in the post-conviction appeal process” and that HCDC does not have “ample legal aid library assistance only a law book it's tore up.”

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Because 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 ...


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