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Jones v. Correct Care Solutions

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

September 10, 2018



         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 Treyshawn Lee Jones leave to proceed in forma pauperis. This matter is before the Court for screening of Plaintiff's amended complaint [R. 10] pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will dismiss this action.


         Plaintiff filed his original complaint in May 2018. In that complaint, Plaintiff named Correct Care Solutions (CCS), the healthcare provider at Louisville Metro Department of Corrections (LMDC) where Plaintiff was incarcerated, as the Defendant. Plaintiff alleged that he chipped his tooth on November 25, 2017, and that after he filed multiple healthcare request forms with CCS, he was prescribed ibuprofen for pain. Plaintiff then stated that on April 7, 2018:

CCS seen me for an appointment for their dentist to perform surgery. He drilled, cut, and pulled to extract my tooth. He also broke the crown of my tooth. He failed, leaving me in pain and half my tooth still in my mouth. He then prescribed me medication, Tylenol #3 and Amoxicillin 500 mg and scheduled an offsite dentist appointment.

[R. 1 at 4-5]

         Plaintiff next alleged that on April 12, 2018, “CCS provided another dentist. He tried to extract the rest of my tooth but the numbing medication he injected in my gum didn't work. He stopped leaving me again in pain and half my tooth still in my mouth.” Id. at 5. Plaintiff concluded his original complaint by stating that as of May 7, 2018, he was “still awaiting the offsite appointment.” Id.

         On June 12, 2018, the Court conducted an initial review of Plaintiff's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. [R. 8, Memorandum Opinion and Order]. In that review, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's claim against CCS for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. The Court, however, gave Plaintiff the opportunity to amend his complaint under LaFountain v. Harry, 716 F.3d 944, 951 (6th Cir. 2013) (“[U]nder Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a district court can allow a plaintiff to amend his complaint even when the complaint is subject to dismissal under the PLRA [Prison Litigation Reform Act].”). The Court advised Plaintiff that if he chose to file an amended complaint, he should identify any individuals he sought to name as Defendants in this action, specify that he was suing them in their individual capacities, describe how each newly named Defendant was or continues to be deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs, and state whether he has yet been by an “off-site dentist, ” continues to be prescribed pain medication, or has otherwise received further treatment for his tooth. [R. 8 at 5]

         Plaintiff filed his amended complaint on July 17, 2018. In his amended complaint, Plaintiff names as defendants Mark Bolton, the Director of LMDC, and the “shift supervisor” of Trinity Food Services [TFS]. He sues these defendants in their individual capacities.

         Plaintiff first states that he “chipped [his] tooth on a piece of metal (the metal was on a tray of food) Trinity Food Service (our food provider) prepared.” [R. 10 at 3] He then summarizes the allegations he set forth in his original complaint and states that he still has not been seen by an off-site dentist. Id. at 3-4. Finally, Plaintiff writes: “Louisville Metro is responsible for that appointment. Louisville Metro Department of Corrections along with Trinity Food Services violated my 8th Amendment Cruel and Unusual Punishment and also show neglect of the issue.” Id. at 4.

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.


         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 28 U.S.C. § 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 ...

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