United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
L. BURNING, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Robinson is a prisoner at the Federal Correctional
Institution (FCI) in Manchester, Kentucky. Proceeding without
a lawyer, Robinson recently filed a complaint alleging that,
after he injured his ankle in July 2016, medical officials at
the prison provided him with inadequate care and displayed
deliberate indifference to his medical needs. (Doc. # 1).
Robinson therefore brings claims against Medical
Administrator Wilson, Registered Nurse Jackson, and the
prison's Health Services Department pursuant to
Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents, 403
U.S. 388 (1971). Robinson argues that these defendants
violated his constitutional rights and notes that he is suing
Wilson and Jackson in both their official and individual
capacities. Robinson also claims that these defendants and
the United States are liable to him under the Federal Tort
Claims Act (FTCA). Robinson is seeking money damages, among
other remedies. This case is now before the Court on initial
screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and
initial matter, although Robinson names the prison's
Health Services Department as a defendant in this case, a
Bivens action must be founded on the personal
involvement of the named defendants. See FDIC v.
Meyer, 510 U.S. 471, 485 (1994). Thus, a plaintiff
cannot pursue a Bivens claim against a federal
agency or entity. See Okoro v. Scibana, 63 F.
App'x 182, 184 (6th Cir. 2003). The Court will therefore
dismiss Robinson's Bivens claim against the
Health Services Department.
Court will also dismiss Robinson's Bivens claims
against Wilson and Jackson in their official capacities. That
is because those claims are barred by sovereign immunity. The
United States as a sovereign is generally immune from suit,
see United States v. Sherwood, 312 U.S. 584, 586
(1941). This immunity extends to claims against government
agents acting in their official capacities. See Blakely
v. United States, 276 F.3d 853, 870 (6th Cir. 2002).
Although the United States can expressly waive its immunity,
see Sherwood, 312 U.S. at 586, it has not done so in
Bivens actions. See Nuclear Transport &
Storage, Inc. v. United States, 890 F.2d 1348, 1351-52
(6th Cir. 1989). Therefore, Robinson's Bivens
claims against Wilson and Jackson in their official
capacities are barred.
the Court will also dismiss Robinson's FTCA claims
against Wilson, Jackson, and the Health Services Department.
This is because Robinson may only assert a FTCA claim against
the United States. See Allgeier v. United States,
909 F.2d 869, 871 (6th Cir. 1990).
leaves Robinson's Bivens claims against Wilson
and Jackson in their individual capacities, and his FTCA
claim against the United States. The Court has conducted an
initial review of these claims and concludes that they
require a response from the defendants. Because the Court
previously granted Robinson pauper status, the
Clerk's Office and the United States Marshals Service
(USMS) will serve Wilson, Jackson, and the United States with
a summons and copy of the complaint on Robinson's behalf.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(c)(3) and 28 U.S.C. §
it is ORDERED as follows:
Robinson's Bivens claim against the Health
Services Department is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE;
Robinson's Bivens claims against Wilson and
Jackson in their official capacities are DISMISSED WITH
Robinson's FTCA claims against Wilson, Jackson, and the
Health Services Department are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE;
Robinson's only remaining claims are his Bivens
claims against Wilson and Jackson in their individual
capacities and his FTCA claim against the United States. The
Deputy Clerk shall prepare four (4) “Service
Packets” for service upon Medical Administrator Wilson,
Registered Nurse Jackson, and the United States of America.
The Service Packets shall include:
(a) a completed summons form;
(b) the Complaint (Doc. # ...