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Quintana v. Woosley

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

July 19, 2018

DAVID A. QUINTANA PLAINTIFF
v.
JASON WOOSLEY et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Joseph H. McKinley, Jr., Chief Judge.

         This is a pro se civil rights action brought by a pretrial detainee pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has granted Plaintiff David A. Quintana 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, this action will be dismissed.

         I. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT[1]

         Plaintiff is incarcerated as a pretrial detainee at the Grayson County Detention Center (GCDC). He brings this action against GCDC Jailer Jason Woosley, in both his official and individual capacities, and the “medical staff” at GCDC.

         In the complaint, Plaintiff writes as follows:

On or about Oct. 19, 2017 as a federal pretrial detainee while laying on the floor at [GCDC] Plaintiff was bit by a brown spider with a mark near its head. Plaintiff contacted the staff through medical request word of mouth and it took about a week before staff looked into Plaintiff medical complaint wich at this time violated Plaintiff's United States Constitutional Rights (Eighth Amendment - Cruel and Unusual Punishment and Fourteenth Amendment Due Process) but this time what seemed to be a skin ulcer has got bigger. They started that Plaintiff on antibiotics that did not help. Plaintiff continued to complain and exhaust all remedies. So GCDC continued with shots of antibiotic continue to get larger and pain was beginning to be untolerable. About two weeks has passed and Plaintiff was seen by a outside doctor that come to GCDC to look at Plaintiff skin ulcer and at that time Doctor lanced the ulcer and what seemed to be infected and was taken out through the procedure. Getting bit by a spider has caused mental anguish and caused Plaintiff to have symptoms of arentiaphobia everytime a spider is seen. Being bit by this spider and with the GCDC acting under the color of law (which is a federal offence to deprive or conspire to deprive a person from ther constitatinal right) has now injured me and have created bodily injury physical damage to a person body by allowing this spider bite to cause a deep skin ulcer that is possibly fetal. I pray that all executive administrators see fits for this 1983 pro-se to be accepted in the courts and that the responsible is held accountable for their actions.
As relief, Plaintiff seeks monetary 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 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 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).

         III. ANALYSIS

         “Section 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).

         The Sixth Circuit has historically analyzed Fourteenth Amendment pretrial detainee claims and Eighth Amendment prisoner claims “under the same rubric.” Villegas v. Metro. Gov't of Nashville, 709 F.3d 563, 568 (6th Cir. 2013).[2] “[A] prisoner's Eighth Amendment right is violated when prison doctors or officials are deliberately indifferent to the prisoner's serious medical needs.” Comstock v. McCrary, 273 F.3d 693, 702 (6th Cir. 2001) (citing Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976)). A deliberate indifference claim “has both ...


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