United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville
FREDDIE LEE DOWNER, JR. PLAINTIFF
MARK BOLTON et al. DEFENDANTS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
CHARLES R. SIMPSON III, SENIOR JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT
a pro se civil rights action brought by a pretrial
detainee pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has
granted Plaintiff 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, 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.
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
is a pretrial detainee at the Louisville Metro Department of
Corrections (LMDC). He brings this action against LMDC
Director Mark Bolton in his official capacity; the LMDC
“Classification” Department; Medical Service
“Healthcare CCS”; and the University of
alleges that he has been diagnosed with bipolar paranoid
schizophrenia. He alleges that this mental illness caused him
to jump out of a building one year ago and break multiple
bones in his back and suffer from two brain bleeds and a
collapsed lung. Plaintiff then states that as a result of his
“classification” at LMDC, he was placed in a
“high behavior dorm” instead of in a
“mental health dorm.” Plaintiff alleges that he
told both officers and doctors that he feared for his life
and needed to be placed in the “mental health
dorm.” Plaintiff states that on May 1, 2017, he got
into an altercation with another inmate and was charged with
assault. Plaintiff claims that this incident could have been
prevented if he had been on the “right floor and been
administered the proper medication.” Plaintiff further
states that he is now in a single cell for 23 hours a day and
that he hears voices and has suicidal thoughts. He also
writes that his jaw was broken “in the jail” and
he “did not get any help.” Finally, Plaintiff
states that he was denied medical care at the University of
Louisville Hospital because he did not have insurance.
relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
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.
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, 94
(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).
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).
well established that “[t]he Eighth Amendment forbids
prison officials from unnecessarily and wantonly inflicting
pain on an inmate by acting with deliberate indifference
toward [his] serious medical needs.” Jones v.
Muskegon Cty, 625 F.3d 935, 941 (6th Cir. 2010)
(internal quotations and citations omitted). A claim for
deliberate indifference “has both objective and
subjective components.” Alspaugh v. McConnell,
643 F.3d 162, 169 (6th Cir. 2011). The United States Court of
Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has explained:
The objective component mandates a sufficiently serious
medical need. [Blackmore v. Kalamazoo Cty., 390 F.3d
890, 895 (6th Cir.2004).] The subjective component regards
prison officials' state of mind. Id. Deliberate
indifference “entails something more than mere
negligence, but can be satisfied by something less than acts
or omissions for the very purpose of causing harm or with
knowledge that harm will result.” Id. at
895-96 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). The
prison official must “be aware of facts from which the
inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious
harm exists, and he must also draw the inference.”
Id. at 896 (internal quotation marks and citation
Barnett v. Luttrell, 414 F. App'x 784, 787-88
(6th Cir. 2011). Where the risk of serious harm is obvious,
“it can be inferred that the defendants had knowledge
of the risk.” Hendricks v. DesMarais, No.
13-4106, 2015 U.S. ...