United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah
ANTONIO G. STEWART PLAINTIFF
CHRISTAN COUNTY JAIL et al. DEFENDANTS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. Russell, Senior Judge
a civil rights action brought by a pretrial detainee pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has granted Plaintiff
Antonio G. Stewart leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. This matter is before the Court for screening
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons set forth
below, the Court will dismiss the claims against the
Christian County Jail (CCJ) and the official-capacity claims,
but will allow Plaintiff to amend his complaint.
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
brings this action against the CCJ and four CCJ deputies in
their official capacities -Adam Wayne Ellison, James Bradley
Hageman, Steven Alan Kelley, and Christopher Du Marlar.
complaint, Plaintiff states as follows:
On May 14, 2017 . . . upon detainment at [CCJ], I was met by
the deputies as listed . . . I was then took to a detox cell
. . . The four deputies take me to the ground with
[illegible] force. Once on the ground, . . . [Defendant]
Kelley had my left arm gripped tightly in his arm & two
hands. He began kneeing me in my face & beating my face
into the floor. [Defendants] Hageman & Marlar had my
legs. [Defendant] Ellison was stratled across my back. As I
began to try to protect my face from the kneeing &
pounding by [Defendant] Kelley, I began getting tased with a
X26P Tazer in my back. Another deputy then dry taze me with
another X26P Tazer in the back right calf of my leg. In the
mist of the second tazer in my leg, [Defendant] Ellison was
struck by my foot around his face. I was hit by another cycle
from a X26P Tazer in my back. After asking, begging, &
pleading for them to stop, [Defendant] Ellison sprayed OC
aerosol around my right eye forcing the aerosol into my eye.
When [Defendant] Ellison got to my left eye, without concern
about the eye patch, forced his fingers under my eye patch
where I sustained major injury to both of my eyes. While
laying helpless, one of the deputies in question then began
to remove my rings off my left hand. My pinky finger &
thumb on my left hand was both injured could be even broken.
I do know both will not bend at the joint. On May 22, 2017, I
finally got to go to an eye doctor on the outside but the
jail gave the doctor limitations to aid me & give me the
proper treatment that I need. On June 6, 2017 is when I go so
x-rays done & the nurse at [CCJ] would not allow me to
see the x-rays & still to this date of August 17, 2017, I
still yet to have had the proper medical attention. The eye
doctor said I will never see right ever again. My eye sight
went from 20/20 left eye, 20/20 right eye to 20/70 left eye
and 20/40 right eye. It finally got to 20/40 left eye &
20/25 right eye. The Jail would not allow the eye doctor do
the muscle surgery nor give me any type of glasses for the
time I'm here at the jail. The left eye gives me pain in
bright light such as the lights in the cell & the sun
light. My sight will never be the same, especially waiting
this long to get out & get the medical attention I need.
attaches, as exhibits to the complaint, a copy of CCJ's
incident report from May 14, 2017, and copies of his requests
to see his x-rays.
relief, Plaintiff seeks 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 601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997),
overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 544
U.S. 199 (2007). 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
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
(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 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 (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 section 1983 claim
will not lie.” Christy v. Randlett, 932 F.2d
502, 504 (6th Cir. 1991).
Court construes Plaintiff's complaint as attempting to
bring constitutional claims for the use of excessive force
and for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs.
As written, however, Plaintiff's ...