United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Frankfort
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
GREGORY F. VAN TATENHOVE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Glenn Rahan Doneghy has filed a pro se civil rights
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. [R. 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 Cir.
complaint, Doneghy alleges that during a parole hearing in
February 2016, Kentucky Parole Board ("KPB")
Officer Van Hussin verbally recited information contained
within his medical records, including diagnoses for bipolar
disorder, schizophrenia, and paranoid schizophrenia, even
though members of the general public and the media were
present. Doneghy contends that this disclosure violated his
rights under the Fourth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Fourteenth
Amendments; the confidentiality provisions of the Health
Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, 42
U.S.C. § 1320d ("HIPAA"); and internal policy
guidelines of KPB and the Kentucky Department of Corrections.
Doneghy seeks $20 million in damages. [R. 1]
threshold matter, KPB is part of the Justice and Public
Safety Cabinet, Ky. Rev. Stat. §§ 12.250, 15A.020,
an agency of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. As such, it is not
a "person" subject to suit within the meaning of
Section 1983. Will v. Mich. Dep 't of State
Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989); Warick v. Ky.
Justice & Pub. Safety Cabinet, No. 08-146-ART, 2008
WL 4443056, at *4 (E.D. Ky. Sept. 26, 2008). In addition, it
constitutes an "arm of the State" immune from suit
in federal court pursuant to the Eleventh Amendment.
Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Auth. v. Metcalf &
Eddy, Inc., 506 U.S. 139, 146 (1993); Long v. Ky.
State Parole Bd, No. CIV.A.1:05CV-P21-M, 2005 WL
1949544, at *4 (W.D. Ky. Aug. 12, 2005). Doneghy's
constitutional claims against KPB must therefore be
respect to such claims against KPB Officer Van Hussin, in the
broadest sense the Fourteenth Amendment to the United
States Constitution can be read to protect the privacy of
personal medical information, hence generally requiring that
it be maintained in confidence. Cf. Whalen v. Roe,
429 U.S. 589, 599 (1977). Here, of course, Van Hussin would
have valid grounds to recite the information to make it part
of the record to explain part of the basis for her
substantive decision to deny parole. Regardless, the scope of
the privacy right depends on context, and it is considerably
narrower for a prisoner. Powell v. Schriver, 175
F.3d 107, 112 (2d Cir. 1999). The Sixth Circuit, interpreting
Whalen, has expressly held that "the
Constitution does not encompass a general right to
nondisclosure of private information" by government
officials. Doe v. Wiggington, 21 F.3d 733, 740 (6th
Cir. 1994) (quoting J.P. v. DeSanti, 653 F.2d 1080
(6th Cir. 1981)). The categorical rule established in
DeSanti has consistently been read to preclude any
"generic" Fourteenth Amendment claim for the
disclosure of private information. Cf. Treesh v.
Cardaris, 2010 WL 3001738, at *2-4 (S.D. Ohio July 30,
2010). Even assuming that under some circumstances such a
claim could be viable, under facts like those presented here
courts have held that the disclosure of mental health records
to the parole board to evaluate an inmate's suitability
for parole does not state a privacy claim under the
Fourteenth Amendment. Coleman v. Martin, 63
Fed.Appx. 791, 792 (6th Cir. 2003); see also Landor v.
Hardin, No. 10-CV-236-GFVT, 2012 WL 1984801, at *3 (E.D.
Ky. June 1, 2012).
Doneghy lacks standing to assert a violation of HIPAA's
confidentiality rules. HIPAA is designed to protect the
privacy of personal medical information by limiting its
disclosure, and provides for both civil and criminal
penalties for violations of its requirements. 42 U.S.C.
§§ 1320d-5, d-6; Gratton v. United Parcel
Service, Inc., 2008 WL 4934056, at *4 (E.D.N.Y.2008).
However, HIPAA only expressly provides the authority to
enforce its provisions to the Secretary of Health and Human
Services. Sneedv. Pan American Hosp., 370 Fed.Appx.
47, 50 (11th Cir. 2010). While Doneghy alleges that the
defendants violated his rights under HIPAA, the Supreme Court
has stressed that "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). Federal courts have therefore
consistently held that a private citizen lacks standing to
sue a covered entity for a violation of HIPAA. Carpenter
v. Phillips, 419 Fed.Appx. 658, 658 (7th Cir. 2011);
Doddv. Jones, 623 F.3d 563, 569 (8th Cir. 2010);
Seaton v. Mayberg, 610F.3d530, 533 (9th Cir. 2010);
Wilkerson v. Shinseki, 606 F.3d 1256, 1267 n.4 (10th
Cir. 2010). The Court will therefore dismiss Doneghy's
HTPAA claim with prejudice.
Doneghy asserts that defendants' actions violated certain
internal procedures of KDOC and KPB, as well as a Kentucky
statute regarding "misuse" of confidential
information. The Court does not reach the merits of these
claims, as a district court may "decline to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over a claim [if] the district
court has dismissed all claims over which it has original
jurisdiction ..." 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3). Where, as
here, the Court has dismissed all of the plaintiffs federal
claims, the Court concludes that the balance of judicial
economy, convenience, fairness, and comity all point toward
declining supplemental jurisdiction. Carnegie-Mellon
University v. Cohill, 484 U.S. 343 (1988); Musson
Theatrical, Inc. v. Federal Exp. Corp., 89 F.3d 1244,
1255 (6th Cir. 1996) (noting that "[i]f the court
dismisses plaintiffs federal claims pursuant to Rule
12(b)(1), then supplemental jurisdiction can never
exist", and that "[a]fter a 12(b)(6) dismissal,
there is a strong presumption in favor of dismissing
supplemental claims."). The Court will therefore dismiss
the plaintiffs state law claims without prejudice.
it is ORDERED as follows:
Doneghy's claims under § 1983 and HIPAA [R. 1 ] are
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. Doneghy's
claims arising under state law are DISMISSED WITHOUT
matter is STRICKEN from the active docket.
 The nature of the privacy interest at
stake and the circumstances under which that interest is
implicated govern which constitutional amendment provides the
source for the privacy right at issue. Neither the Ninth nor
the Tenth Amendment have any apparent relevance to
Doneghy's claim. The Eighth Amendment is not implicated
because the disclosure at issue cannot in any sense be deemed
part of the punishment imposed for Doneghy's crimes,
whatever they may be. The Fourth Amendment does protect
certain privacy interests, but it typically does so in the
face of "searches and seizures," neither of which
transpired here. Where private information has been disclosed
outside of that context, courts routinely analyze such claims
under the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Court adopts that
mode of analysis here.
 The Court further notes that Doneghy
does not allege that he suffered any physical injury, or any
harm at all, as a result of the conduct complained of,
precluding the remedy he ...