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Brown v. Morgan

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

July 12, 2018

MARLIN J. BROWN PLAINTIFF
v.
RODNEY MORGAN et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Thomas B. Russell, Senior Judge United States District Court

         This matter is before the Court for screening of pro se Plaintiff Marlin J. Brown's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's official-capacity claims will be dismissed, but Plaintiff will be allowed to amend his complaint.

         I. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff is a pretrial detainee at McCracken County Jail (MCJ). He names two individuals as Defendants in this action - Rodney Morgan and Tonia Ray, the MCJ Jailer.

         Plaintiff allegations indicate that Defendant Morgan is a guard at the MCJ. Plaintiff sues both Defendants in their official capacities only.

         The incident described in the complaint allegedly occurred on February 10, 2018.

         Plaintiff signed his complaint on February 16, 2018. In the grievance attached to the complaint, Plaintiff states as follows:

I was maced during early this morning. Some guys in my cell were horseplaying, the guards come in and one of them Rodney sprayed his mace. I was laying on my mat on the floor the mace hit me in the face soaking my blanket, commissary items, and pieces of paper. After the event, I was taken to the front, told to shower, wash my face. My clothes had spray on them so they took my clothes wash them sent me back to my cell. My bedding had spray on it. I had to throw commissary items I bought away. My skin is very sensitive and burns still, I can still feel it on my throat my vision is blurry. I have repeatedly asked to be seen by the medical staff and have been treated (rudely) by this shift. They will not bring me new face towels or bath towels. I'm having severe anxiety and am begging for help. I also received a mark on my back as a result of the mace.

         In what appears to be a continuation of his grievance, Plaintiff indicates that the mace made him “throw[] up from cell blocks up to booking area, couldn't breath, my asthma has flared up very bad. Anxiety has gotten real bad.” He continues:

The spray was so bad it started eating my skin up on my back and face. I was asking for medical and they wouldn't give it to me saying nothing is wrong with me it's nothing but pepper. But my skin is different from everyone else's. My skin is still burning and hurting from it, and they seem to don't care been all rude and mean to me, and denied my medical is the hurt part because I'm still not 100% . . . I'm still like wanna know why my skin is burning the way it is . . . They won't give me a different towel or face towel they had to took my other one's . . .

         In the complaint itself, Plaintiff lists the following as injuries from his alleged exposure to mace - blurry vision, aggravated asthma, difficulty breathing, irritated sensitive skin, rash, anxiety, and vomiting.

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         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 ...


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