United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
BOOM, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jeffrey Scott Parker, filed a pro se, in forma
pauperis complaint. This case is before the Court for
screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and McGore
v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601 (6th Cir. 1997),
overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549
U.S. 199 (2007). For the following reasons, this action will
SUMMARY OF CLAIMS
is incarcerated in the Hardin County Detention Center (HCDC).
He names as Defendants the HCDC and, in their official
capacities, HCDC Jailer Danny Allen and Lieutenants Robert
Reynolds and Jamie Motter. His complaint references the Equal
Protection Clause and states that Defendants violated his
rights when “they included [him] in punishment of (6
other inmates) misconduct.” He further states that he
was “involved in mass punishment which includes cruel
and unusual punishment.” He states that this incident
occurred on February 2, 2018, until and including February 5,
to his complaint are a grievance form and an inmate request
form. In the grievance form, Plaintiff grieves that his whole
pod was put on lockdown from 5:00 p.m. on February 2, 2018,
until 8:00 a.m. on February 5, 2018, after some inmates set
off the fire alarm. The grievance form states, “Visits
were denied for all and we were punished as a whole for
another's actions. We were taunted by corrections offices
and punished for something we had nothing to do with.”
relief, he asks for monetary and punitive damages, an
“apology letter to family, ” and a transfer to
prisoner initiates a civil action seeking redress from a
governmental entity, officer, or employee, the trial court
must review the complaint and dismiss the action, 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 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1) and (2). A
claim 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 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. When determining
whether a plaintiff has stated a claim upon which relief can
be granted, the Court must construe the complaint in a light
most favorable to Plaintiff and accept all of the factual
allegations as true. Prater v. City of Burnside,
Ky., 289 F.3d 417, 424 (6th Cir. 2002). While a
reviewing court must liberally construe pro se pleadings,
Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per
curiam), to avoid dismissal, a complaint must include
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
names Defendants Allen, Reynolds, and Motter in their
official capacities. Naming employees of Hardin County in
their official capacities is the same as suing the county
itself. See Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police,
491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989). Therefore, in the case at bar,
Plaintiff's claims against Hardin County employees in
their official capacities are actually brought against the
Hardin County government. See Matthews v. Jones, 35
F.3d 1046, 1049 (6th Cir. 1994).
also sues HCDC. HCDC is not a “person” subject to
suit under § 1983 because municipal departments, such as
jails, are not suable under § 1983. Rhodes v.
McDannel, 945 F.2d 117, 120 (6th Cir. 1991) (holding
that a police department may not be sued under § 1983);
see also Marbry v. Corr. Med. Serv., No. 99-6706,
2000 WL 1720959 at *2 (6th Cir. Nov. 6, 2000) (holding that a
jail is not an entity subject to suit under § 1983). In
this situation, it is Hardin County that is the proper
defendant in this case. Smallwood v. Jefferson Cty.
Gov't, 743 F.Supp. 502, 503 (W.D. Ky. 1990)
(construing claims brought against the Jefferson County
Government, the Jefferson County Fiscal Court, and the
Jefferson County Judge Executive as claims against Jefferson
County itself). Further, Hardin County is a
“person” for purposes of § 1983. Monell
v. N.Y.C. Dept. of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 690
(1978). The Court will therefore construe Plaintiff's
claims as brought against Hardin County.
§ 1983 claim is made against a municipality, like Hardin
County, a court must analyze two distinct issues: (1) whether
the plaintiff's harm was caused by a constitutional
violation; and (2) if so, whether the municipality is
responsible for that violation. Collins v. City of Harker
Heights, Tex., 503 U.S. 115');">503 U.S. 115, 120 (1992). Here, the Court
finds that Plaintiff has not alleged constitutional
violations; therefore, the Court will not consider the second
Plaintiff cites to the Equal Protection Clause, he has not
alleged an equal-protection violation. To sustain an
equal-protection claim, Plaintiff must allege, in part, that
Defendants intentionally discriminated against him because he
was a member of a protected class, McCleskey v.
Kemp, 481 U.S. 279, 292 (1987); Purisch v. Tenn.
Tech. Univ., 76 F.3d 1414, 1424 (6th Cir. 1996), or that
he was treated differently than similarly situated
individuals. Vill. of Willowbrook v. Olech, 528 U.S.
562, 564 (2000) (per curiam). Plaintiff has not alleged that
the alleged wrongful conduct was intentionally taken against
him because of his membership in a protected class or that he
was treated differently than similarly situated individuals.
In fact, according to the complaint, all inmates in the pod
were put on lockdown. Therefore, Plaintiff's claim for
relief for violation of the Equal Protection Clause will be
also refers to the “mass punishment” as cruel and
unusual punishment. The Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and
unusual punishment and consists of objective and subjective
components. See Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834
(1994); Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 8 (1992).
The objective component requires that the deprivation be
“sufficiently serious.” Farmer, 511 U.S.
at 834; Hudson, 503 U.S. at 8. The subjective
component requires that the official act with the requisite
intent, that is, that he have a “sufficiently culpable
state of mind . . . one of deliberate indifference.”
Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834 (citing Wilson v.
Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 303 (1991)).
placement in lockdown for four days does not constitute an
extreme deprivation which could be characterized as
punishment prohibited by the Eighth Amendment.
“‘Because placement in segregation is a routine
discomfort that is a part of the penalty that criminal
offenders pay for their offenses against society, it is
insufficient to support an Eighth Amendment
Claim.'” Harden-Bey v. ...