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.
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
of Plaintiff's amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A. For the reasons set forth below, this action
will be allowed to proceed in part and dismissed in part.
a pretrial detainee at the Louisville Metro Department of
Corrections (LMDC), initiated this action by filing a
complaint against LMDC Director Mark Bolton in his official
capacity; the LMDC “Classification” Department;
Medical Service “Healthcare CCS”; and the
University of Louisville Hospital.
complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he has been diagnosed with
bipolar paranoid schizophrenia. He further 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 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 further 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 then 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 that he “did not get any help.” As relief,
Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
Court conducted an initial review of Plaintiff's
complaint on July 19, 2017, and dismissed Plaintiff's
claims against all named Defendants pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(b)(1) for failure to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted (DN 6). The Court, however, allowed
Plaintiff the opportunity to amend his complaint to name as
Defendants the jail and/or medical officials whom he believes
were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical
needs.Plaintiff has now filed an amended
complaint and amended complaint is now before the Court for
amended complaint (DN 7), Plaintiff names as Defendants
“Ms. Walker, ” from the LMDC
“Classification” Department, in her individual
capacity; “Ms. Wyatt” from the LMDC
“Medical Services” Department, in her individual
capacity; and LMDC Director Mark Bolton, in his individual
capacity. Plaintiff alleges that “Ms. Walker ignored my
physically disability . . . I was placed in a high behavior
dorm . . . instead of in a mental health dorm.” With
regard to “Ms. Wyatt, ” Plaintiff states:
“I got into a physical altercation which started as an
argument at first and because of that I am now charged with
an assault 2 which could have been prevented if I would been
on the right and proper medication. I ask for mental health
and did not get the help. I hear voices and suicidal
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); 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).
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 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).
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 ...