United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah Division
DAVID LEE ASHBY, Jr. PLAINTIFF
LOUISVILLE METRO CORRECTIONS MEDICAL et al. DEFENDANTS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. RUSSELL, SENIOR JUDGE
David Lee Ashby, Jr., pro se, initiated this in
forma pauperis action by filing a 42 U.S.C. § 1983
complaint. This case is before the Court for screening
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and McGore v.
Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601 (6th Cir. 1997),
overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549
U.S. 199 (2007). For the following reasons, some claims will
be dismissed, some claims will be allowed to proceed, and
Plaintiff will be allowed to amend his complaint.
STATEMENT OF CLAIMS
names as Defendants Louisville Metro Department of
Corrections (LMDC) “medical”; Fulton County
“medical”; nurse practitioner Mrs. Metts at
Roederer Correctional Complex (RCC); RCC
“medical”; and the Kentucky Department of
Corrections (KDOC). He alleges that he was locked up as a
pretrial detainee at LMDC on May 31, 2017, at which time he
told the medical team that he had a hernia. He states that
the only treatment he received was an antibiotic,
“which is not something to help a hernia.” He
further states that when he finally saw a doctor “they
shipped me a week later to Fulton County Jail” on
September 24, 2017.
alleges that at Fulton County Jail he “begged and
finally got to see a doctor on 10-22-17. He wanted to send me
for surgery that day and Fulton County said they would not
pay for it.” Plaintiff next alleges that he was then
sent to RCC where he informed the intake nurse that he needed
surgery. According to the complaint, the nurse told him that
“protocol was I see a doctor in 14 days.” He
states that he did not see a nurse practitioner until
November 15, 2017, “at which time she [Defendant Metts]
told me she scheduled me to see a surgeon.” According
to Plaintiff, the surgeon told him that he needed surgery.
However, Plaintiff states that Defendant Metts told him that
“protocol was that she couldn't schedule me for
surgery due to my release date.” Plaintiff alleges that
he called “public advocacy so the State of Kentucky has
been aware of this problem since May.” Plaintiff states
that he still has not had surgery, which, he alleges, causes
him pain and is cruel and unusual punishment.
to his complaint are several documents, including a document
from Defendant Metts assessing Plaintiff with, among other
things, a unilateral inguinal hernia without obstruction or
relief, Plaintiff asks for monetary and punitive damages.
prisoner initiates a civil action seeking redress from a
governmental entity, officer, or employee, the trial court
must review the complaint and dismiss the action, 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 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1) and (2). 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 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. When determining
whether Plaintiff has stated a claim upon which relief can be
granted, the Court must construe the complaint in a light
most favorable to Plaintiff and accept all factual
allegations as true. Prater v. City of Burnside,
Ky., 289 F.3d 417, 424 (6th Cir. 2002). While a reviewing
court must liberally construe pro se pleadings, Boag v.
MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per curiam), to
avoid dismissal, a complaint must include “enough facts
to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007).
does not name specific individuals at LMDC who allegedly
infringed upon his constitutional rights; instead he sues the
LMDC medical staff in their official capacities. Naming as
Defendants the LMDC medical staff, employees of the
Louisville Metro Government, in their official capacities is
the same as suing the Louisville Metro Government itself.
See Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491
U.S. 58, 71 (1989). Therefore, Plaintiff's
official-capacity claims against Defendant LMDC medical staff
are actually brought against the Louisville Metro Government
government. See Matthews v. Jones, 35 F.3d 1046,
1049 (6th Cir. 1994).
§ 1983 claim is made against a municipality, a court
must analyze two distinct issues: (1) whether the
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, 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. N.Y.C. Dep't of
Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691 (1978) (emphasis in
original); 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)) (emphasis in Pembaur).
municipality cannot be held responsible for a constitutional
deprivation unless there is a direct causal link between a
municipal policy or custom and the alleged constitutional
deprivation. Monell, 436 U.S. at 691; Deaton v.
Montgomery Cty., Ohio, 989 F.2d 885, 889 (6th Cir.
1993). Simply stated, the plaintiff must “identify the
policy, connect the policy to the city itself and show that
the particular injury was incurred because of the execution
of that policy.” Garner v. Memphis Police
Dep't, 8 F.3d 358, 364 (6th Cir. 1993) (quoting
Coogan v. City of Wixom,820 F.2d 170, 176 (6th Cir.
1987), overruled on other grounds by Frantz v. Vill. of
Bradford, 245 F.3d 869 (6th Cir. 2001)). The policy or
custom “must be ‘the moving force of the
constitutional violation' in order to establish the
liability of a government body under § 1983.”
Searcy, 38 F.3d at ...