United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
N. STIVERS, JUDGE
Xavior Caine Posey, a prisoner presently incarcerated in the
Meade County Detention Center (MCDC), filed this pro
se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 while he
was incarcerated at the Logan County Detention Center (LCDC).
This matter is before the Court for initial review of the
complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A 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). For the reasons that follow, the Court will
allow the following claims to proceed: (1) The Eighth
Amendment claims for deliberate indifference to
Plaintiff's serious medical needs against Defendants
Lyons, Harvey, and Kinney in their individual capacities; and
(2) The Eighth Amendment excessive-force claims against
Defendants Dauley, Lyons, and Harvey in their individual
capacities. All other claims and Defendant Gregory will be
dismissed from this action.
SUMMARY OF CLAIMS
identifies the following five Defendants in this action: (1)
Bennie R. Kinney, the Chief Jailer at the LCDC; (2) Jarrod
Lyons, a “Sheriff” with the Logan County
Sheriff's Department (LCSD); (3) Kyle Harvey, a
“Sheriff” with the LCSD; (4) Charles Dauley, a
detective with the LCSD; and (5) Phil Gregory, the Jailer at
the LCDC. Plaintiff sues each Defendant in his official and
individual capacities and seeks punitive damages.
alleges that on May 18, 2017, he was in district court
“looking at my girlfriend (smiled) and told her I loved
her. After a few minutes went by, I looked back over towards
my girlfriend.” According to Plaintiff, at that time,
Defendant Dauley looked at Plaintiff and tried to say
something to Plaintiff. When Plaintiff was unable to hear
him, Plaintiff states that Defendant Dauley “came to me
and told me ‘to stop making faces at the people in the
court room.'” Plaintiff states he responded,
“Alright.” Thereafter, according to Plaintiff,
Defendant Dauley “jerked” Plaintiff out of his
chair. Plaintiff states that he “was in shakles”
and “it hurt very bad.” Plaintiff represents that
he informed Defendant Dauley to “not put his hands on
me.” Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Dauley
“started to throw [him] around.” According to
Plaintiff, “after a few seconds [he] was hit” by
two officers, Defendants Lyons and Harvey. Plaintiff states
that these officers told him to get to the ground. According
to Plaintiff, he attempted “to lay down but was pushed
back by one of the Police men.” Plaintiff continues,
“I then hit my head on the wooden table where the
attornys sit. The three Policemen were on top of me kneeing
and hitting me in my face telling me to ‘stop
resisting.' The three officers put me in a holding
states that he was thereafter transferred back to the LCDC
where he told Defendant Kinney that he had “just been
assaulted by three officers and I am hurt and would like to
call my attorney and press charges and see the nurse for my
cuts and bruses.” Plaintiff states that Defendant
Kinney commented that Plaintiff “haven't seen
assult.” Plaintiff states that he was then put in a
“restrain chair after [he] asked for pitures of [his]
open wounds and bruses.” Plaintiff states that he told
the “deputys that I was having trouble breathing they
ignored me. After a few hours I was taking out of the chair
and put into Cell 171 with no water.” Plaintiff states
that he asked multiple deputies for water, but they ignored
him. According to Plaintiff, the following day he was moved
to another cell, Cell 139, which also had no water. Plaintiff
states that he asked for water, but none was ever brought to
him. According to Plaintiff, on May 20, 2017, he got water.
states that he asked multiple deputies why he was in
isolation and how long he would be in isolation, but no one
gave him answers. According to Plaintiff, his family called
LCDC and asked for pictures of his “cuts and wounds.
The jail has still not took pictures.” Further,
Plaintiff states that he asked “the deputys to see the
nurse they ignored me.”
STANDARD OF REVIEW
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 at 608.
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)).
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)). “But the district
court need not accept a ‘bare assertion of legal
conclusions.'” Tackett v. M & G Polymers,
USA, LLC, 561 F.3d at 488 (quoting 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).
asserts claims against Defendants in their official
capacities. “Official-capacity suits . . .
‘generally represent only another way of pleading an
action against an entity of which an officer is an
agent.'” Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159,
165 (1985) (quoting Monell v. Dep t of Soc. Servs. of
N.Y., 436 U.S. 658, 690 n.55 (1978)). Suing Defendants
in their official capacities is the equivalent of suing their
employer, Logan County. See Lambert v. Hartman, 517
F.3d 433, 439-40 (6th Cir. 2008) (stating that civil-rights
suit against county clerk of courts in his official capacity
was equivalent of suing clerk's employer, the county);
Matthews v. Jones, 35 F.3d 1046, 1049 (6th Cir.
1994) (advising that suing the police chief in his official
capacity is the equivalent of suing the county);
Smallwood v. Jefferson Cty. Gov't, 743 F.Supp.
502, 503 (W.D. Ky. 1990) (concluding that a suit against the
Jefferson County Government, the Jefferson County Fiscal
Court, and the Jefferson County Judge Executive is actually a
suit against Jefferson County itself).
§ 1983 claim is made against a municipality, this Court
must analyze two distinct issues: (1) whether 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 first address the second
issue, i.e., whether the municipality is responsible
for the alleged constitutional violation.
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. Dep't of Soc.
Servs. of N.Y., 436 U.S. at 691; see also Searcy v.
City of Dayton, 38 F.3d 282, 286 (6th Cir. 1994)
(“A municipality may be held liable under § 1983
if the municipality itself caused the constitutional
deprivation. However, a municipality is not liable under
§ 1983 for an injury inflicted solely by its employees
or agents; the doctrine of respondeat superior is
inapplicable.”) (citations omitted)); Berry v. City
of Detroit, 25 F.3d 1342, 1345 (6th Cir. 1994)
(“Municipal liability for the actions of employees may
not be based on a theory of respondeat
superior.”). “The ‘official
policy' requirement was intended to distinguish acts of