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Martinez v. Bolton

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

July 13, 2017

MARK BOLTON, Defendants.


          David J. Hale, United States District Judge.

         Pro se Plaintiff Mauricio Martinez, a pretrial detainee at Louisville Metro Department of Corrections (LMDC), initiated this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action by filing a complaint (DN 1). Upon review, the Court directed Plaintiff to file a more specific and detailed amended complaint (DN 6), which Plaintiff has now filed (DN 7). The complaint and amended complaint are now 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 reasons set forth below, the action will be dismissed in part, but Plaintiff will be allowed to amend his complaint.


         Based upon a combined reading of Plaintiff's complaint and amended complaint, it appears that Plaintiff is suing Mark Bolton, in both his individual and official capacities;[1]“LMDC Security;” and fellow inmate Nicholas Espinoza.

         In his amended complaint, Plaintiff writes as follows in the section titled Statement of Claim(s):

I am in protective custody on H6-S1-#12 this morning 1-20-17. I was asleep in my bed and was attacked by another inmate outside of P.C. fro East walk from admis. Seg. 2 Separate Gates were left unlocked to allow me to be assaulted. Nicholas Espinoza came through both gates and into my cell and attacked me, punching me multiple times on my mouth and eye. I have a loose tooth and a blur eye. I am suppose to be protected while in P.C. but I was assaulted while asleep by someone outside of P.C. because of a lack of proper protection from LMDC personnel. I feel my life is in jeopardy while here in LMDC I'm still having dreams of being attack by inmates that is housed around me. All this whole incident was on DVR. Around the whole South 1 of H6 every minute was recorded on that date which was ones again 1-20-17 time was 7:45/9:45 between that time. I feel for my life and safety in the LMDC jail. I been tryin get the names of the C.O.'s who was working that day they tell me they can't.

(emphasis added). In his complaint, Plaintiff also writes: “This was a set up on behalf of LMDC which is ran by Mark Bolton.” (emphasis added).

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.


         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 ‘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] 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)). “[A] pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89 (2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)). However, while liberal, this standard of review does require more than the bare assertion of legal conclusions. See Columbia Natural 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).

         III. ANALYSIS

         Section 1983 creates no substantive rights but merely provides remedies for deprivations of rights established elsewhere. Flint ex rel. Flint v. Ky. Dep't of Corr., 270 F.3d 340, 351 (6th Cir. 2001). Two elements are required to state a claim under § 1983. Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980). “A plaintiff must allege the violation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States, and must show that the alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting under color of state law.” West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). “Absent either element, a § 1983 claim will not lie.” Christy v. Randlett, 932 F.2d 502, 504 (6th Cir. 1991).

         A. ...

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