United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Owensboro
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. McKinley, Jr., Chief Judge
James Tyler Holzworth, a pretrial detainee currently
incarcerated in the Daviess County Detention Center, filed a
pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
(DN 1). This matter is before the Court on initial screening
of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the
reasons that follow, the Court will dismiss the complaint but
allow Plaintiff to amend.
SUMMARY OF CLAIMS
brings this action against the following Defendants in their
official capacities: Brandon Sims, Detective at the Owensboro
Police Department; Penny Butler, Case Worker at Child
Protective Services; and Emily Neal, Pediatric Forensic Nurse
Specialist at the University of Louisville School of
Medicine. He also sues Vinod Rao, a Child Abuse Pediatrician
at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, but does
not indicate in which capacity he sues that Defendant.
statement of the case, Plaintiff alleges that on February 18,
2015, while under his watch, one of his girlfriend's
children fell and hit his head. Plaintiff reports that he
called his girlfriend, who told him “to watch him and
put A&O ointment on it!” He claims that soon
thereafter, the child “started acting weird So worried
I called the emt's, who came and transported us to
Owensboro Mercy health hospital.” Plaintiff indicates
that while the child was taken to be examined, “they
put me in a private room, were I met a CPS Worker and a
Detective. I then explained to them what had happened and
wrote out a statement of what Happened.” He continues,
“After that I guess they looked up my record and seen
that Ive been in trouble before and started to make
accusations of Child abuse! Never in my life have I laid my
hands on any Child nor have I ever whipped my own!”
then states, “Almost two years Later after thinking all
of that was out of my life and found innocent they Come to my
work and arrest me for Criminal abuse 1st
and assault 1st. This is affecting me physically
and mentally from being the father I am! And on top of that
not to mention my Place of employment were Ive been employed
for five years!” Plaintiff contends that he is innocent
and locked up on false charges which is affecting his mental
relief, Plaintiff seeks monetary and punitive damages;
injunctive relief in the form of “expunging my Record
and Release Me”; and other relief in the form of
“mak[ing] sure no one else is wrongfully
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 601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997),
overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549
U.S. 199 (2007).
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.
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)). “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).
courts are to hold pro se pleadings “to less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers,
” Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972), this
duty to be less stringent “does not require us 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 courts “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).