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Clayton v. Southern Health Partners

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

August 2, 2018



          Greg N. Stivers, Judge United States District Court

         Plaintiff Demetrius M. Clayton filed the instant pro se 28 U.S.C. § 1983 action proceeding in forma pauperis. This matter is before the Court on the initial review of the action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Upon review of the complaint, the Court will dismiss some of Plaintiff's claims and give him the opportunity to amend his complaint.


         Plaintiff identifies himself as a pretrial detainee at the Hardin County Detention Center (HCDC). He sues Southern Health Partners and Carmen Blackburn, whom he identifies as a “medical staff administrator” at HCDC, in her individual and official capacities.

         Plaintiff alleges that when he entered HCDC on January 25, 2018, he “informed HCDC of all allergies.” In a claim which he begins “Medical Malpractice, ” Plaintiff states he was given medication which he is allergic to. He states, “Ibuprofen, Tylonal, Naproxen, all of them; I'm allergic to, Insaids.” He maintains, “They have had copies of my medical records since 2014 from U of L outpatient . . . .” He states, “I was denied my right, to refuse medical treatment, or be put in the hole.” Plaintiff continues, “Approximately on 2-2-18 around 10:30 pm I fell down, in medical pod, from abdominal pain, and burning in gut. Other inmates got medical staff, they allowed me to lay in door of my cell; because they thought I was joking.” He states, “Upon seeing blood discharge from rectum around 11 pm. Then I was taken seriously. At approximately 11:30 I was taken to HMH hospital in Hardin County, and dis charged approximately around 2:30 am on 2-3-18.” Plaintiff maintains, “Naproxen was believed to be the cause of my bleeding. Due to medical conditions on file Chron's; and ulcertive colitis. Insaids are known to cause bleeding in patient with these conditions.” He states that he was returned to the medical pod.

         In a second claim which Plaintiff begins “Unlawful Detainment, ” he states, “On 2-3-18 at approximately 11:30 am to 12:00 pm I was moved from medical pod to Isolation, by medical staff, with no displinary reports, verbal out burst or physical out burst.” He continues, “Upon asking Lt. Motler stated she did not know why I was moved to Isolation by medical. Later was stated I was moved to Isolation cell 122 for blood comeing out of rectum as medical observation. Was never checked on by medical staff.” Plaintiff further states that he “spent 20 hours in Isolation and was took back to medical pod 165 cell 174, an was told by Classification at jail; thats medical observation. Pod 165, located inside [HCDC] medical facilities which all lead to emotional distress.”

          As relief, Plaintiff seeks punitive damages and other relief in the form of “Miniumal 30 day suspension without pay.”

         II. 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). 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 the plaintiff and accept all of the factual allegations as true. Prater v. City of Burnside, Ky., 289 F.3d 417, 424 (6th Cir. 2002).

         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 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)). “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)).

         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

         A. Defendant ...

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