United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. Hale, Judge
a pro se civil rights action brought by a convicted
prisoner pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has
granted Plaintiff Michael Lawrence Hobson 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, the Court will dismiss some claims
and allow others to go forward.
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
sues the Elizabethtown Police Department (EPD), the Greater
Hardin County Narcotics Task Force, and EPD Detective Clinton
P. Turner, in both his official and individual capacities.
“Statement of Claims” section of the complaint,
Plaintiff writes as follows:
On April 26th 2017 [Defendant] Turner along with
the Greater Hardin County Narcotics Task Force, and officers
of the [EPD], violated my 4th Amendment rights
under the United States Constitution to be free from
unreasonable search and seizure. [Defendant] Turner
fabricated evidence in order to obtain a search warrant for
my residence. [Defendant] Turner lied on the Affidavit for
search warrant by telling judge that I sold drugs to a
informant on audio/video recording devices 10 months prior to
April 26th 2017 which is the date that the
affidavit was written. Which also would have made the
information stale if it were true. [Defendant] Turner also
used hearsay on the affidavit saying that on February
15th2017 I was stopped by the Kentucky State
Police and was in possession of $5000.00 in unexplained cash.
I was never pulled over on this date. Also [Defendant] Turner
used hearsay from an alleged informant that I sold drugs from
my residence, when he never set up surveillance to see if it
could have been true or not. On August 30th 2017 I
had my attorney put in a motion to compel the audio/video
recordings of the controlled buy and the task force nor the
Commonwealth were able to bring forth this evidence because
it did not exist. Also this violation has me in prison on a
relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
prisoner initiates a civil action seeking redress from a
governmental entity, officer, or employee, the trial court
must review the complaint and dismiss the complaint, or any
portion of it, if the court determines that the complaint 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).
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)). “But the district court need not accept a
‘bare assertion of legal conclusions.'”
Tackett, 561 F.3d at 488 (quoting Columbia
Natural Res., Inc. v. Tatum, 58 F.3d 1101, 1109 (6th
Cir. 1995)). “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).
this Court recognizes that pro se pleadings are to
be held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers, Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519,
520-21 (1972); Jourdan v. Jabe, 951 F.2d 108, 110
(6th Cir. 1991), “[o]ur duty to be ‘less
stringent' with pro se complaints does not require us to
conjure up unpled allegations.” McDonald v.
Hall, 610 F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979) (citation
omitted). And this Court is not required to create a claim
for 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 (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 section 1983 claim
will not lie.” Christy v. Randlett, 932 F.2d
502, 504 (6th Cir. 1991).
Claims against the EPD and Greater Hardin County Narcotics
Task Force and the ...