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Scott v. Haun

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

June 7, 2017

AVREN LAMONT SCOTT, Plaintiff,
v.
MIKE HAUN et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          David J. Hale, Judge.

         Plaintiff Avren Lamont Scott 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 development.

         I.

         Plaintiff, an inmate housed at the Kentucky State Reformatory (KSR), names the following Defendants: Mike Haun, identified as a nurse practitioner at KSR; and Frederick Kemen, identified as a doctor at KSR. He sues Defendants in their individual and official capacities.

         Plaintiff states that on January 20, 2016, Defendant Kemen “wrote an order for the Plaintiff to be catheterized, with out the consent of the Plaintiff and with no medical reason.” He asserts that Defendant Kemen's “unlawfull actions violated the Plaintiff United State's constitutional rights by causeing pain and injury. This is in violation of Plaintiff right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment, Plaintiff's Right to due process and the Convention Against Torture, ratified in 1994.”

         Plaintiff further states that Defendant Haun “placed a catheter in plaintiff bladder with no medical reason. This was done against the consent of the plaintiff and was only done to cause cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the plaintiff United States' constitutional right to be free of such punishment.”

         Plaintiff maintains that the catheter was “put in plaintiff's bladder to attempt him from throughing urain and so he could be kept in restraints longer. The institution has a mental health unit to deal with mental health inmates and the record will clearly show that this was done maliciously and sadistically and against the Constitution.”

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages and injunctive relief.

         II.

         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 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)). “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).

         III.

         A. Official-capacity claims

         “Official-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)). Defendants are employees of KSR. 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. Moreover, 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. Graham, 473 U.S. at 169. ...


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