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Roark v. Major

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division

October 5, 2017



          Greg N. Stivers, United States District Court Judge

         Plaintiff Cecil Roark II, a prisoner currently incarcerated at the Pike County Detention Center, filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (DN 1) concerning his pretrial detention at the Simpson County Detention Center (SCDC). 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 complaint will be dismissed in part, but Plaintiff will be given a chance to amend his complaint with regard to one of his claims.


         Plaintiff brings suit against the following Defendants: (1) SCDC Major Tim Phillips; (2) Simpson County Jailer Eric Vaughn; (3) SCDC Chief Jailer Brent Deweese; and (4) Southern Health Partners. He sues the individual Defendants in their individual and official capacities.

         In the complaint, Plaintiff asserts several claims. First, Plaintiff alleges that since December 1, 2016, [1] he filled out “medical request after medical request for chronic migraines that I have suffered since childhood.” He alleges, “I have always been prescribed medicine to prevent my chronic migraines, and since I've been here the nurse practioner has denied the prescribe me a medicine to prevent my migraines, so days after day, night after night, If I have a migraine, I have to suffer and be in terrible pain.” He asserts that Defendant SHP “gives inmates in the [SCDC] very little treatment, and non-exsistent if it cost any money. This causes me and other inmates here to suffer cruel and unusual punishment.”

         Second, Plaintiff reports filing numerous grievances on the “food services” at SCDC. He alleges that “the food is never at the right tempature or right size perportions. The way it's prepared, handled and served is very unsanitary. Inmates are constantly sick with diarrhea and vomitous sickness.” He states that Defendant Phillips responded “that no one else is complaining, not addressing the issue of the food.”

         Third, Plaintiff indicates that grievances and appeals at SCDC are handled by Defendant Phillips and that Defendant Phillips never addressed the grievance issues, was confrontational and disrespectful with his responses to grievances, and had “no regard to the grievance process.”

         Finally, Plaintiff alleges:

This jail is housing state and county inmates are piled into cells over crowding with people sleeping on the floors, one phone, 2 toilets and one shower for over 20 inmates. There's not even enough seats at the tables for everyone to eat at meals. There's not the required square foot per inmate, required by federal guidelines, in a cell for over 23 hours per day, 7 days a week.

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks monetary and punitive damages and injunctive relief in the form of ordering the “proper medical, food and grievance services.”


         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 601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007).

         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 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. 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 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 ...

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