United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
B. Russell, Senior Judge
La'Monica Hill, proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis, initiated this action by filing a
complaint on a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint form. 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, 549 U.S. 199 (2007). For the following
reasons, the complaint will be dismissed.
SUMMARY OF CLAIMS
who is incarcerated at the Kentucky Correctional Institution
for Women, filed this complaint naming Dr. Richard D.
Carlisle at the Norton Brownsboro Hospital in Louisville,
Kentucky, as Defendant. According to the complaint, on August
15, 2016, Dr. Carlisle told Plaintiff that she had suboxone
in her system. In the portion of the form asking what
constitutional right or federal law she is alleging was
violated, she states, “My HIPA rights (slander my name,
he told me false statement).” Her complaint states:
He stated that it can't be detected in blood/urine work.
I learned he did not tell me the truth, he said that in front
of an officer who later told another officer. I'm now
label a drug user. I have never done drugs unless it was
prescribe to me.
also states that, when she requested her lab work, “it
said I had a drug overdose, but the labs said I had no drugs.
I feel I was slander against.” She states that she is
suing for $2, 000 and court costs.
prisoner initiates a civil action seeking redress from a
governmental entity, officer, or employee, the trial court
must review the complaint and dismiss the action, 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 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1) and (2). A
claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490
U.S. 319, 325 (1989). The Court may, therefore, dismiss a
claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are
clearly baseless. Id. at 327. When determining
whether a plaintiff has stated a claim upon which relief can
be granted, the Court must construe the complaint in a light
most favorable to Plaintiff and accept all of the factual
allegations as true. Prater v. City of Burnside,
Ky., 289 F.3d 417, 424 (6th Cir. 2002). While a
reviewing court must liberally construe pro se
pleadings, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365
(1982) (per curiam), to avoid dismissal, a complaint must
include “enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
rights action under § 1983 consists of two elements: (1)
the defendant acted under color of state law; and (2) the
offending conduct deprived the plaintiff of rights secured by
federal law. Bloch v. Ribar, 156 F.3d 673, 677 (6th
Cir. 1998). “If a plaintiff fails to make a showing on
any essential element of a § 1983 claim, it must
fail.” Redding v. St. Eward, 241 F.3d 530, 532
(6th Cir. 2001).
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
to which Plaintiff cites is a federal law. It governs
confidentiality of medical records and regulates how covered
entities can use or disclose individually identifiable
medical information about an individual. 45 C.F.R. §
164.512. However, an individual, like Plaintiff, cannot
maintain a private suit in her own name for a violation of
HIPAA. See Holland v. Aegon U.S. Corp., No.
3:07CV-298-S, 2008 WL 2742768, at *3 (W.D. Ky. July 11, 2008)
(citing Acara v. Banks, 470 F.3d 569, 572 (5th Cir.
also refers to slander. However, slander is a tort claim
under state law. Section 1983 does not provide redress for a
violation of a state law. Pyles v. Raisor, 60 F.3d
1211, 1215 (6th Cir. 1995); Sweeton v. Brown, 27
F.3d 1162, 1166 (6th Cir. 1994); Carter v. Muhlenberg
Cty. Det. Ctr., No. 4:12CV-P53-M, 2012 WL 4471584, at *5
(W.D. Ky. Sept. 26, 2012) (finding that slander claim was
solely a state-law tort and therefore, did not support a
§ 1983 claim).
Plaintiff fails to state a § 1983 claim because she has
not alleged a violation of a right secured by the
Constitution or federal law.