United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
ANTHONY D. BOYINGTON PLAINTIFF
SGT. WALKER DEFENDANT
N. STIVERS, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on initial review of Plaintiff
Anthony D. Boyington's pro se complaint pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons that follow, the
Court will dismiss the instant action.
SUMMARY OF CLAIMS
a pretrial detainee incarcerated at the Louisville Metro
Department of Corrections (LMDC), brings this action pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against LMDC Sgt. Walker in his
complaint, Plaintiff alleges that on January 27, 2018, he was
moved from his dorm to the fifth floor because he told
Defendant Walker that he “had a problem with some
inmates that was in dorm 5-3.” He claims that Defendant
Walker told him that “since I checked out of that dorm
he was going to keep me in Dorm 9 on the 5th floor since I
didnt want to go into a harmful situation and he told me to
suck it up and be a man.” Plaintiff states that
Defendant Walker “kept me in Dorm 9 from 1-27-2018
[illegible] until that morning until 1-28-2018 without no
water no running sink or toliet or no sheets or a mattress in
this cold cell and I felt like he treated me like an animal
in a cage and disrespect me as a human being because I am
locked up.” Plaintiff claims that Defendant Walker told
him that he “was going to keep me in that holding cell
until I went into that harmful situation and I feel like he
was going to try and let me get jumped in that dorm.”
Plaintiff alleges that another officer went to Dorm 9 and
gave him his sheets and a mat for about ten minutes before
taking it upon himself to get Plaintiff moved out of that
contends that Defendant Walker “wasnt held accountable
for his actions as a high ranking officer at lmdc. The only
thing they told me was he was going to be counseled on his
interpersonal relations with inmate population.” As
relief, Plaintiff seeks damages.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Plaintiff is a prisoner seeking relief against governmental
entities, officers, and/or employees, the Court must review
the complaint and dismiss the complaint, or any portion of
the complaint, 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 § 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).
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 trial 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. 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)). “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).
courts are to hold pro se pleadings “to less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers,
” Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972), this
duty to be less stringent “does not require us to
conjure up unpled allegations, ” McDonald v.
Hall, 610 F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979), or to create a
claim for a plaintiff. Clark v. Nat'l
Travelers Life Ins. Co., 518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir.
1975). To command otherwise would require courts “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).
sues Defendant Walker in his official capacity only.
“Official-capacity suits . . . ‘generally
represent  another way of pleading an action against an
entity of which an officer is an agent.'”
Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 166 (1985)
(quoting Monell v. New York City Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691 n.55 (1978)). Plaintiff's
official-capacity claims against Defendant Walker, therefore,
are actually against the Louisville Metro Government. See
Lambert v. Hartman, 517 F.3d 433, 440 (6th Cir. 2008).
§ 1983 claim is made against a municipality, this Court
must analyze two distinct issues: (1) whether 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). The Court will address the issues
in reverse order.
municipality cannot be held liable solely because it
employs a tortfeasor -- or, in other words, a municipality
cannot be held liable under § 1983 on a respondeat
superior theory.” Monell v. New York City
Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691(1978);
Searcy v. City of Dayton, 38 F.3d 282, 286 (6th Cir.
1994); Berry v. City of Detroit, 25 F.3d 1342, 1345
(6th Cir. 1994). “[T]he touchstone of ‘official
policy' is designed ‘to distinguish acts of the
municipality from acts of employees of the
municipality, and thereby make clear that municipal liability
is limited to action for which the municipality is actually
responsible.'” City of St. Louis v.
Praprotnik, 485 U.S. 112, 138 (1988) (quoting
Pembaur v. Cincinnati, 475 U.S. 469, 479-80 (1986)).
To demonstrate municipal liability, a plaintiff “must
(1) identify the municipal policy or custom, (2) connect the