United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Owensboro Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. McKinley, Jr., Chief Judge United States District Court
Gaylon Betar, a pretrial detainee presently incarcerated in
the Hopkins County Jail (HCJ), filed a pro se
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (DN 1). Plaintiff
subsequently filed a letter (DN 6) with the Court. Attached
to the letter are a document and some medical records (DN 6,
p. 2 & DN 6-1) which appear to be an amendment to the
complaint. The Court construes the attachments as a motion to
amend the complaint. Upon consideration, the motion to amend
(DN 6, p. 2 & DN 6-1) is GRANTED. The Clerk of Court is
DIRECTED to docket the letter at ¶ 6 also as a motion to
complaint and amendment are before the Court for initial
review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and McGore v.
Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 608 (6th Cir. 1997),
overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549
U.S. 199 (2007). For the reasons that follow, the Court will
allow the Fourteenth Amendment conditions-of-confinement and
medical-treatment claims to proceed against Defendant Jodie
in her individual capacity. All other claims and Defendants
will be dismissed.
SUMMARY OF CLAIMS
identifies the following six Defendants in the complaint and
amendment: (1) Advance Correctional, which Plaintiff
identifies as the medical department at the HCJ; (2) the HCJ;
(3) Joe Blue, the Hopkins County Jailer; (4) Captain Lewis, a
Captain at the HCJ; (5) Jodie, the head nurse at the HCJ; and
(6) Sgt. Coy, the grievance officer presumably at the HCJ.
With the exception of Defendant Coy, Plaintiff indicates that
he is suing Defendants Advance Correctional, HCJ, Blue,
Lewis, and Jodie in their individual and official capacities.
Plaintiff named Defendant Coy in the amendment and does not
state in what capacity he is suing Defendant Coy. Plaintiff
seeks monetary damages, punitive damages, and injunctive
relief in his complaint. More specifically, he requests the
Court to put Plaintiff “in a cell with a bunk”
and to make “medical give [him his] medicine” and
put him “in [a] hospital.”
complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he is “being treated
bad because [he] is sick.” He states that he is in
segregation and is unable to “order any eatable foods
are over the counter medicine.” According to Plaintiff,
he is suffering, and “no one will listen to [him]
because medical over rides everything.” He claims that
Defendant Lewis's girlfriend is the head nurse. Plaintiff
states that Defendant Jodie “is the one behind all of
this. She tells the doctor pretty much what to do.”
Plaintiff also asserts that “[t]heir all in this
states that medical has taken away medicine “that the
hospital doctors put [him] on.” Later he states that
the “LPN at the Jail” has taken away his
medicine. He further states that the jail is giving him his
blood pressure medicine and Lasix, but “[t]hey [have]
taken [his] heart medicine and [his] pysc medicine.”
Plaintiff states that his liver and stomach are both
bleeding. According to Plaintiff, he has asked to go to the
hospital, but “the Jail and medical staff won't
send [him].” Plaintiff also asserts that he has asked
to see a doctor, but Defendant Jodie will not respond to his
requests. Plaintiff states that this has caused him a great
deal of pain and suffering. According to Plaintiff, the
“medical staff is sitting here watching [him] die
states that the “medical department has place[ed] [him]
on the floor at the Jail.” He states that he is
“laying on a concrete slab. By no means theses cells
are medical cells. This is a detox cell built for
drunks.” According to Plaintiff, the cell has a
“sewer system in the middle of the floor.” He
states that all the Defendants “know what type of grems
that this cell has.” He also states that Defendant
Jodie “has taken all [his] privileges away.”
states that he is unable to call his attorney or speak to an
attorney. He also states that “[t]hey let me use the
phone on Tuesday for a hour, ” but he “wasn't
able to call anyone because lawyers aren't up at 6
A.M.” Plaintiff states that his telephone and canteen
privileges have been taken away from him. Plaintiff states
that he has repeatedly filed grievances, and “[t]he
Jailer is responsible for maintaining the actions of his
officers and to make sure inmates are done right.”
amendment to the complaint, Plaintiff states that he has been
“laying in the floor here since Febuery 23,
2017.” According to Plaintiff, he “lay for 3
months in this cell and the Jail medical staff won't
help.” Plaintiff states that he is freezing and sick.
He describes his medical conditions as follows: (1) his liver
is failing; (2) he has cirrhosis of the liver; (3) he has
Hepatitis C; (4) he has an enlarged spleen; (5) he has heart
problems; (6) his blood count is abnormal; and (7) he has a
hemorrhage in his liver, stomach, and spleen. Additionally,
Plaintiff states that he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia,
but the jail took his medicine for this condition.
Plaintiff states that Defendant Coy has punished him
“for talking back to the guards because I'm in
STANDARD OF REVIEW
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 608.
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 trial 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. 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)).
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 v. M & G Polymers,
USA, LLC, 561 F.3d at 488 (quoting Columbia Nat.
Res., Inc. v. Tatum, 58 F.3d 1101, 1109 (6th Cir.
1995)). The court's duty “does not require [it] to
conjure up unpled allegations, ” McDonald v.
Hall, 610 F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979), or to create a
claim for a 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 legitimate advisory role to the improper role
of an advocate seeking out the strongest arguments and most
successful strategies for a party.” Beaudett v.
City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985).