United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
PARNELL F. SCALES
KENTUCKY STATE REFORMATORY et al. PLAINTIFF DEFENDANTS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. MCKINLEY, JR., CHIEF JUDGE.
Parnell F. Scales, a convicted prisoner at the Kentucky State
Reformatory (KSR), filed a pro se complaint pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (DN 1). Thereafter, he filed a
document titled “Affidavit” (DN 6), which the
Court construes as an amendment/supplement to the complaint.
This matter is before the Court on initial review of the
complaint and its amendment/supplement pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A. For the reasons that follow, a portion of the
claims will continue, others will be dismissed, and Plaintiff
will be given an opportunity to amend his complaint.
brings suit against KSR, Warden Aaron Smith,
“Correctional Care Solution” (CCS), and
Corrections Officer/Guard Mrs. Bunnell. He sues Defendants
Smith and Bunnell in their individual and official
capacities. Plaintiff claims that his Eighth Amendment right
to adequate medical care was violated and that medical
personnel are not trained to respond to emergencies and are
unqualified. Plaintiff additionally alleges state-law claims
of negligence and intentional infliction of emotional
to the complaint and its amendment/supplement, on May 30,
2017, Defendants KSR and CCS sent him to Norton Hospital
“to have surgery on left arm for dialysis tap in the
main artery of his arm.” He states that a few days
later, he returned to KSR, and on June 7, “a
physicians' assistants of [CCS] remove the staple and
stickis around the dialysis tap and without the Doctor
approver from Norton Hospital. This physicians'
assistants cannot lawfully be assigned, or try to perform,
tasks beyond their training and no adequate
supervision.” Thereafter, reports Plaintiff, on June 11,
he was taking a shower “and the dialysis tap in artery
came out of his artery and almost blood to dead because
medical counld not get to [him] in time.” He explains
that Defendant Bunnell was not at her post or desk at the
time but was “out in the yard setting under the awning
with other prisoners.” Plaintiff states that he started
calling for help and another inmate went to the yard to get
Defendant Bunnell, who “was very slow in get inside to
help [Plaintiff] with medical emergencies at least 5-10
min.” He asserts that Defendant Bunnell called for
medical help; that “it took them 20-30 min. to get to
[Plaintiff] because the Door was lock between Medical and DAL
Dorm”; that it took “Medical” almost an
hour to get a supervisor; and that they then transported him
back to the hospital.
Went I get back from the Hospital Doctor Van Hellen start
making threat against me and I am afaired for my life. It
started on July 19, 2017, he said his uncle had one and
threat me by saiding that I could died because of my health.
I have written Warden Aaron Smith about the threat and Mr.
Smith refuse to do anything to stop the threats. He refuse to
answer my letter. Because he did not it on record, because he
want to cover this medical promblem up.
relief, Plaintiff seeks monetary and punitive damages, an
injunction directing “proper medical needs, ” and
Plaintiff is a prisoner seeking relief against governmental
entities, officers, and/or employees, this Court must review
the complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under §
1915A, the 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).
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
‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further
factual enhancement.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557).
Kentucky State Reformatory
part of the Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC). The DOC
is a department within the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet
of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. See Exec. Order No.
2004-730 (July 9, 2004); Ky. Rev. Stat. § 12.250. A
state and its agencies are not “persons” subject
to suit under § 1983. Will v. Mich. Dep't of
State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989); see also
Crockett v. Turney Ctr. Indus. Prison, No. 96-6067, 1997
WL 436563, at *1 (6th Cir. Aug. 1, 1997) (“The prison
is a state agency. . . . A state agency is not considered a
‘person' subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. §
1983.”). Because KSR is not a “person”
under the Act, the Court will dismiss the claims against KSR
for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be
the Eleventh Amendment acts as a bar to all claims for relief
against KSR. A state and its agencies, such as the DOC, may
not be sued in federal court, regardless of the relief
sought, unless the state has waived its sovereign immunity
under the Eleventh Amendment or Congress has overridden it.
Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Auth. v. Metcalf &
Eddy, Inc., 506 U.S. 139, 146 (1993); Pennhurst
State Sch. & Hosp. v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 124
(1984); Alabama v. Pugh, 438 U.S. 781, 782 (1978).
The Commonwealth of Kentucky has not waived its immunity,
see Adams v. Morris, 90 F. App'x 856, 857 (6th
Cir. 2004), and in enacting § 1983, Congress did not
intend to override the traditional sovereign immunity of the
states. Whittington v. Milby, 928 F.2d 188, 193-94
(6th Cir. 1991) (citing Quern v. Jordan, 440 U.S.
332, 341 (1979)).
Section 1983 Official-Capacity ...