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Snellen v. Kennedy

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville

May 23, 2018


          Plaintiff, pro se Defendant Kennedy Hardin County Attorney


          Greg N. Stivers, United States District Court Judge

         This matter is before the Court for screening of pro se Plaintiff Jason Kyle Snellen's amended complaint (DN 8) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons set forth below, this action will be dismissed.


         The Court conducted an initial review of Plaintiff's complaint by Memorandum Opinion and Order entered on April 18, 2018 (DN 7). In that review, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's official-capacity claim against Defendant Heather Kennedy but allowed Plaintiff the opportunity to file an amended complaint which indicated that he was suing Defendant Kennedy in her individual capacity and to include all allegations against her related to his claim that she had been deliberately indifferent to his serious medical need.[1]

         In the amended complaint, Plaintiff writes:

Claim of Medical Neglect . . . November 15th I dislocated my left knee. My knee cap was on the side of my leg. Around 2:00 a.m. November 16th the swelling on my knee got so bad I couldn't walk. While at medical, I was asked what happened and my vitals were taken. I was given ibuprofen, ice pack, and told they wanted to get my knee x-rayed. November 19th, [Defendant] Kennedy told me my x-rays said there is nothing wrong with my knee. She said my knee is just fine with no swelling, inflammation, brakes, or [bruising]. Officer Scott asked Heather ‘what you do you mean, you can see in plain sight that his knee is swollen?” Before this happen, [Defendant] Kennedy told me during pill call on November 18th that [she] will not bring me my meds to me. I wasn't able to walk to door to get my meds. The other nurses would bring me my meds to me, but [Defendant Kennedy] got mad when I wasn't able to come to the door. December 9th I went to medical about my knee. While at medical . . . I was given another icepack. During pill call I tried to exchange my icepack and [Defendant] Kennedy told me no I can't get another icepack. But while I was at medical I was told to keep an icepack on my knee and if I need another icepack just exchange the one I have.
Plaintiff then writes:
Sum everything up, [Defendant Kennedy] first refused to give me my medication because I wasn't able to walk to the door.[2] Second, [she] lied saying that there was nothing wrong with my knee. And third she refused to exchange my icepack for [me]. She believes I am faking my injury and that there wasn't anything wrong with me knee. She said this herself.
As relief, Plaintiff seeks damages.


         When a 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).

         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)). “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).

         Although 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 ...

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