United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division
GLENN D. ODOM, II, Plaintiff,
TRACY CLEMANS, et al, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. Wilhoit. Jr. United States District Judge
Glenn D. Odom, II has filed a, pro se civil rights
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. [D. E. No. 1]
This matter is before the Court to conduct the initial
screening required by 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2),
1915A. Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th
was confined at the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex
("EKCC") from June to November 2016. Odom alleges
that during that period, Cathy Hyden and Nikki Lowe worked as
"licensed psychological associates" at the prison
providing mental health care to inmates. He also alleges that
Tracy Clemans worked as a licensed psychological associate at
Little Sandy Correctional Complex ("LSCC") and the
Blackburn Correctional Complex performing the same duties.
Odom alleges that these three individuals provided
psychological counseling without the supervision of a
licensed psychologist as required by Ky. Rev. Stat. §
319.064(5). He further alleges that because of insufficient
staffing, they had to cancel appointments to address
emergencies and often fell behind in responding to sick call
requests. Odom indicates that he filed grievances regarding
these matters, but that LSCC Warden Joseph Meko, Nurse
Executive Brenda Beehler, and an unnamed Mental Health
Director responded that staffing levels were adequate and
that the use of licensed psychological associates to perform
these services is consistent with Kentucky law.
complaint refers to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 but does not
identify the source of his constitutional claims. He also
refers to unidentified state law claims. For relief, Odom
requests entry of a mandatory injunction directing the
defendants to only hire appropriately licensed mental health
staff and to limit their workload to no more than 500 inmates
per staff member. [D. E. No. 1 at 6]
threshold matter, Odom was transferred to the Kentucky State
Reformatory after his complaint was filed. The transfer
arguably renders his requests for declaratory and injunctive
relief against the defendants - staff members and supervisory
officials at LSCC and EKCC - moot. Cf. Colvin v.
Caruso, 605 F.3d 282, 287, 289 (6th Cir. 2010).
addition, having thoroughly reviewed the complaint and its
attachments, the Court concludes that it must be dismissed.
It is of course true that the Constitution requires that
inmates be provided with adequate medical and mental health
care. Cf. Brown v. Plata, 563 U.S 493, 510-11
(2011). While Odom contends that the mental health care
provided is too infrequent to satisfy this obligation, absent
from his contentions is any claim or even suggestion that he
himself has actually suffered any harm as a result. A
plaintiff must allege actual injury flowing from the conduct
complained of in order to establish standing to assert a
claim. American Civil Lib. Union v. Nat'l Sec.
Agency, 493 F.3d 644, 652-54 (6th Cir. 2007). Here, Odom
does not allege that he himself suffered any injury from
these circumstances. Instead, he appears to allege that other
inmates were denied access to mental health care with
sufficient frequency, but Odom lacks standing to assert
claims on behalf of other inmates. Odom's complaint
therefore fails to clear the threshold of justiciability, and
must be dismissed.
unidentified state law claim appears to arise under Ky. Rev.
Stat. § 319.064(5), which requires a licensed
psychological associate to practice under the supervision of
a licensed psychologist for most, although not all, purposes.
However, the "fact that a federal statute has been
violated and some person harmed does not automatically give
rise to a private cause of action in favor of that
person." Touche Ross & Co. v. Redington,
442 U.S. 560, 568 (1979). Here, the Kentucky statute does not
expressly create a private right of action to enforce its
provisions, and the Court concludes that one may not be
where a statute already provides a detailed remedial scheme,
inferring a private cause of action to do the same work is
strongly disfavored. Cf. Bowling Green v. Martin Land
Devel. Co., Inc., 561 F.3d 556, 560-61 (6th Cir. 2009).
In this instance, the statute expressly authorizes the Board
of Psychology to impose a range of sanctions for
noncompliance with the terms of the chapter, including
suspension or revocation of credentials to practice
psychology. Ky. Rev. Stat. 319.082. In addition, the Board is
authorized to file suit "to restrain or enjoin any
violation of this chapter, rules and administrative
regulations, or order of the board, " and to obtain
representation by city, county, and state attorneys to
enforce the provisions of Chapter 319. Ky. Rev. Stat.
319.118(2), (4). The existence of this detailed remedial
scheme, particularly when accompanied by the absence of any
indication that the statute was expressly designed to confer
rights upon a class of persons including the plaintiff,
warrants the conclusion that no private right of action to
enforce Chapter 319 should be inferred. Cort v. Ash,
422 U.S. 66, 78 (1975).
it is ORDERED as follows:
Odom's complaint [D. E. No. 1 ] is
matter is STRICKEN ...