United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. McKinley, Jr., Chief Judge United States District Court.
a pro se civil rights action brought by a convicted
prisoner pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has
granted Plaintiff Travis Garrett Dickey 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, Plaintiff will be allowed to amend
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
is incarcerated at Marion County Detention Center (MCDC). He
brings this action against Defendants MCDC and Correct Care
Solutions (CCS), the medical provider at MCDC.
claims that Defendants violated his constitutional rights by
failing to provide him with medical attention for a
“severely painful rotten tooth.” Plaintiff
alleges that he filed his first request for medical attention
regarding this tooth on September 15, 2017. Plaintiff states
that he was given ibuprofen on this date and told that he
would be put on a list to see a dentist. Plaintiff alleges
that he filed another request for medical care on September
20, 2017, because “the excruciating pain was
intolerable only getting worse had still seen no
dentist.” Plaintiff states that “medical”
did not respond to this request. Plaintiff next alleges that
on September 22, 2017, he asked “medical” if his
family could pay for an “outside dentist visit”
and that he was told “no.” Plaintiff states that
when he then filed another request “asking for an
outside dentist visit, ” he was given the name and
phone number of a local dentist from the medical staff and
was told that his family must contact the dentist and prepay
for the dentist visit. Plaintiff states that, on the same
day, his mother contacted this dentist and made payment
arrangements. Plaintiff states that he informed
“medical” payment had been made but that on
September 26, 2017, he was advised that “they”
had spoken to his mother and that she had agreed to wait for
the “onsite dentist” to save money. Plaintiff
claims that this was “never said by [his] mother in
fact the outside dentist visit was in fact paid for
before she contacted medical staff here.”
Even after medical gave me all the information need to set-up
an emergency outside dental visit I complied with
everything I was denied yet again told that I had to wait
for the onsite dentist to show up to the Jail. Today is
October the 9th I have yet to see a dentist or
get any relief in regards to the excruciating painful tooth.
claims that his Eighth Amendment rights have been violated.
Plaintiff also claims that the “17th
annotation of the 14 Amendment has been violated when they
denied my right to fair regular treatment during my
incarceration.” Plaintiff concludes by stating:
“In not filling their obligation to provide medical
care I have produced a feeling of ‘torture' due to
the medications being uneffective. This constitutes cruel
relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory 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 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
(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).
written, Plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim
against either Defendant. Plaintiff's claims against MCDC
are actually against Marion County as the real party in
interest. See, e.g., Matthews v. Jones,
F.3d 1046, 1049 (6th Cir. 1994) (“Since the Police
Department is not an entity which may be sued, Jefferson
County is the proper party to address the allegations of
Matthews's complaint.”). When a § 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 or private corporation is responsible for that
violation. Collins v. City of Harker Heights, Tex.,
503 U.S. 115, 120 (1992). A municipality cannot be held
responsible for a constitutional deprivation unless there is
a direct causal link between a municipal policy or custom and
the alleged constitutional deprivation. Monell v. N.Y.
City Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691(1978).
The Sixth Circuit has held that this same standard applies to
§ 1983 claims against a private corporation, such as
Defendant CCS. See Street v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 102
F.3d 810, 818 (6th Cir. 1996) (citing Monell, 436
U.S. at 691) (“Monell involved a municipal
corporation, but every circuit to consider ...