United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Owensboro Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. McKinley, Jr., Chief Judge
Jason Christopher Warren, proceeding pro se and
in forma pauperis, initiated this 42 U.S.C. §
1983 action. 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, Plaintiff will be
given an opportunity to amend.
SUMMARY OF CLAIMS
is a pretrial detainee currently housed at the Henderson
County Detention Center (HCDC). He sues the Henderson County
Department of Corrections and the Henderson Police
alleges that on March 26, 2017, he was pulled over while
riding a moped. At that time he was recovering from an injury
to his right ankle/heel. He states that he had “pins
sticking out of [his] right heal, ” yet he was made to
stand on the side of the road “in pain crying and in
massive amounts of pain for 5 to 10 mins” and then
forced to walk more than 30 feet to the squad car. He alleges
that he was “forced into the police car hitting the
protected pin and made to walk without my crutches.” He
also alleges that he was pulled from the squad car and forced
to walk in to the HCDC, where he collapsed in pain.
further alleges that he was told to unwrap his bandage making
the pin coming out of his right heel visible, yet he was
forced to walk to medical where he was given no pain
medication and then forced to walk to a holding cell. He
states that he was bleeding, yet was given no bandage and was
later made to walk to be booked in to the facility.
states that he was forced to sleep on the floor where his
ankle and foot were kicked and stepped on several times. He
states that one of his pins became stuck in his mat and came
out. He states that he did not see a doctor for two weeks and
did not receive any pain medication for three weeks. He
states that, even after his pins were removed, he was kept in
general population where he had to sleep on the floor,
resulting in his foot being kicked and stepped on. He alleges
that his ankle is still painful and swollen.
relief, Plaintiff asks for compensatory and punitive damages
and release from incarceration so that he may seek outside
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).
Henderson County Department of Corrections and the Henderson
Police Department are not persons subject to suit under
§ 1983 because municipal departments, such as jails and
police departments, are not suable under § 1983. See
Rhodes v. McDannel, 945 F.2d 117, 120 (6th Cir.1991)
(holding that a police department may not be sued under
§ 1983); see also Marbry v. Corr. Med. Serv.,
No. 99-6706, 2000 WL 1720959 at *2 (6th Cir. Nov. 6, 2000)
(holding that a jail is not an entity subject to suit under
§ 1983). The claims against these Defendants are
actually brought against Henderson County. See Smallwood
v. Jefferson Cty. Gov't, 743 F.Supp. 502, 503 (W.D.
Ky. 1990). Further, Henderson County is a
“person” for purposes of § 1983. Monell
v. New York Dept. of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658 (1978).
The Court will, therefore, construe the claims as being
brought against Henderson County.
§ 1983 claim is made against a municipality, like
Henderson County, a court must analyze two distinct issues:
(1) whether the plaintiff's harm was caused by a
constitutional violation; and (2) if so, whether the
municipality is responsible for that violation. Collins
v. City of Harker Heights, Tex., 503 U.S. 115,
120 (1992). The Court will address the issues in reverse
municipality cannot be held liable solely because it
employs a tortfeasor - or, in other words, a municipality
cannot be held liable under § 1983 on a respondeat
superior theory.” Monell v. New York City
Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. at 691 (emphasis in
original); Searcy v. City of Dayton, 38 F.3d 282,
286 (6th Cir. 1994); Berry v. City of Detroit, 25
F.3d 1342, 1345 (6th Cir. 1994). “[T]he touchstone of
‘official policy' is designed ‘to distinguish
acts of the municipality from acts of
employees of the municipality, and thereby make
clear that municipal liability is limited to action for which
the municipality is actually responsible.'”
City of St. Louis v. Praprotnik, 485 U.S. 112, 138
(1988) (quoting Pembaur v. Cincinnati, 475 U.S. 469,
479-80 (1986)) (emphasis in Pembaur).
municipality cannot be held responsible for a constitutional
deprivation unless there is a direct causal link between a
municipal policy or custom and the alleged constitutional
deprivation. Monell, 436 U.S. at 691; Deaton v.
Montgomery Cty., Ohio, 989 F.2d 885, 889 (6th Cir.
1993). Simply stated, the plaintiff must “identify the
policy, connect the policy to the city itself and show that
the particular injury was incurred because of the execution
of that policy.” Garner v. Memphis Police
Dep't, 8 F.3d 358, 364 (6th Cir. 1993) (quoting
Coogan v. City of Wixom, 820 F.2d 170, 176 (6th Cir.
1987), overruled on other grounds, Frantz v.
Vill. of Bradford, 245 F.3d 869 (6th Cir. 2001)). The
policy or custom “must be ‘the moving force of
the constitutional violation' in order to establish the
liability of a government body under § 1983.”
Searcy, 38 F.3d at ...