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Jones v. Todd Catron @

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

November 3, 2017




         Plaintiff Timothy Dean Jones, currently a prisoner at the Northpoint Training Center, filed a pro se complaint (DN 1) and supplement (DN 9) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (DN 1). This matter is before the Court on initial screening of the complaint and supplement pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons that follow, the Court will dismiss the action.


         Plaintiff brings this civil-rights action against the following Defendants in their individual and official capacities: (1) “Todd Catron @, ” a social services clinician in the Warren County Permanency Unit; (2) Debbie Prioffydale, who he indicates is the Edmonson Circuit Clerk; (3) Hon. Mary Gaines Locke, who he designates as “assistant counsel”; (4) Tonya Hodges, “Edmonson County Courts” Clerk; (5) Thomas Vallandingham, Plaintiff's court-appointed guardian ad litem; (6) Gloria Hennion, a social services worker for the Commonwealth of Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS); (7) Hon. Mark Rice, Plaintiff's public defender in a Jefferson Circuit Court criminal action; and (8) Hon. Mica Wood, a guardian ad litem.

         While Plaintiff's complaint and supplement are not a model of clarity, the Court has attempted to set out his claims as clearly as possible. In reading the complaint, its supplement, and the various attachments to both, it appears that Plaintiff is complaining that two petitions for involuntary termination of parental rights filed in Edmonson Family Court were negligently brought against him because he was not the father of either child. He also seems to claim that the petitions indicated that he was a murderer, which he states he is not.

         Plaintiff claims, “The neglect in petition is obvious, at face value, of the little research it would have took, to confirm trueth.” He further states, “For me, this is a lot deeper mistake, than a clerical error of mistaken identity” because “Defendants made a murderer a sex-offender and a murder a sex-offender. . . . This is a credibility attack . . . . The petition clearly states in No. 13 prior incident 2006-2007 ‘where was parental rights, or was I a murderer then, ' ignored.” In the supplement, Plaintiff attaches a “print out of (KOOL) Kentucky Offender Online Lookup” and claims “Everyone with the internet, can see I'm not in jail for murder. Why? Did petitioners not look or counsel.” He also seems to indicate that Defendant Catron obtained his prior criminal records which fail to show that he is convicted for murder.[1] Plaintiff states that according to “Rule 602-petitions, state, factual allegations. Then in KRS 422.180 Notice; of Guardian ad litem duties; shall protect against fraud, imposition, or injury.”

         Plaintiff claims,

I found my self, repeatedly questioning the intent of this petition. Because, the basis was the welfare of the children involved. Every defendant 1-7, made me feel like a personal attack took place, on me, while I'm defenseless. By using, a erroneous corollary for the ground for a culpability. That could have not even included me in. Just by doing their job. But, no I've had three months of trying to confirm information, to prepare a salient against attack that should have been confirmed before a petition was even drawn up.

         He states, “Someone implicated me and convicted me of murder and endangering a child (3) kids, when it could have been researched, to not include me at all.”

         The complaint, supplement, and attachments indicate that Defendant Vallandingham was appointed on December 19, 2016, as Plaintiff's guardian ad litem in the two Edmonson Family Court actions seeking involuntary termination of Plaintiff's parental rights. Plaintiff states that during a January 13, 2017, phone call with Defendant Vallandingham,

I express my concern with being implicated for a crime. [Defendant Vallandingham] assured me, this is not what it is. But, if I see my name as a defendant and has obvious statements saying I'm responsible for childrens well being. I seen, not only am I being implicated, I've been prosecuted with no Indictment or Due process. Based on fraudulent information, that “I” had to confirm as false. Not the defendants, who had access to research easily.

         Plaintiff additionally alleges that on February 18, 2017, he wrote Defendant Clerk Hodges “asking for any and all documents with my name on them or surrounding my name.” Plaintiff advises that he received various documents in response. He claims that review of those documents revealed that while the filing notices indicated they were sent to all parties, some of the notices were not sent to him but to Lisa Jones, the children's mother; David Philpott, Jr.; “and counsel Comm. Greg Vincent, [Defendant] Thomas Vallandingham and [Defendant] Gloria Hennion.” Although not clear, he also seems to allege that Defendant Locke submitted a filing on January 7, 2017, with a certificate sent to everyone, except Plaintiff. Plaintiff states, “I see a cover up because, no one is wanting to give me any information regarding the phone call [with Defendant Vallandingham] or who is responsible, for such a fraudulent neglect for professionalism.” He further states, “I believe it's obvious the information is being withheld. Just like the state provided counsel not letting me know a conclusion, of the January 25, 2017 court hearing.”

         Attachments to the complaint and supplement indicate that Defendant Vallandingham filed motions to dismiss the petitions for involuntary termination of parental rights on the basis that, because Plaintiff is not the biological or legal/putative father of either child, CHFS cannot terminate rights that do not exist. At a March 8, 2017, hearing, the Edmonson Family Court granted the motions to dismiss without objection, and by order entered March 10, 2017, Plaintiff was dismissed as a party from the termination actions.

         To the supplement, Plaintiff attaches a July 14, 2017, [2] letter he received from Defendant Vallandingham, who responded to various questions Plaintiff asked him by earlier letter. Defendant Vallandingham's letter sheds some ...

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