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Clayton v. Southern Health Partners

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

September 26, 2018




         Plaintiff Demetrius M. Clayton filed the instant pro se 28 U.S.C. § 1983 action proceeding in forma pauperis. By prior Memorandum Opinion and Order, the Court conducted an initial review of the action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, dismissed some of Plaintiff's claims, and gave him the opportunity to file an amended complaint (DN 7). This matter is before the Court on initial review of the amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Upon review, the Court will dismiss some of Plaintiff's claims and allow some of his claims to proceed for further development.


         At the time he filed his complaint, Plaintiff identified himself as a pretrial detainee but indicates in the amended complaint that he is now a convicted inmate at the Hardin County Detention Center (HCDC). In the amended complaint, he sues Carmen Blackburn, whom he identifies as “Medical Team Administrator” at HCDC in her individual and official capacities; and HCDC.

         Plaintiff alleges a claim of “medical malpractice” and states that from January 30, 2018, to February 2, 2018, he was given medication that he is allergic to, specifically “Naproxen and ‘Insaids' ibuprofen, tylenol, motrin, advil. That has been on file since 2014.” Plaintiff states, “I advise Carmen Blackburn I'm allergic to the medication and didn't want it. She stated take the medication or be placed in lockdown. Violating HCDC policy on right to obtain or refuse medical treatment as stated in the inmate handbook.”

         Plaintiff maintains that on February 2, 2018, at around 10:30 pm he “fell down in the medical observation pod from abdominal pain, no medical help was offered by medical staff, around 11 pm large amount of blood discharged from rectum, was take in to Hardin Memorial Hospital at approximately 11:45 pm . . . .” He states that he was discharged on February 3, 2018, at around 2:30 am and that “‘Insaids,' naproxen to be cause of bleeding, caused flare of medical conditions Chron's to ulcerative colitis disease.” He reports that he was returned to the medical observation pod at HCDC.

         In a second claim labeled “Unlawful Detainment, ” Plaintiff states that on February 3, 2018, at approximately 11:00 am Blackburn “for reasons unknown had a [HCDC] deputy move me the hole, cell 122, from medical observation pod.” He continues, “After a talk with Lt. Motter was believed to be for the bleeding, but wasn't sure why I was placed in isolation by Carmen, with no disciplinary action, physical or verbal violating the disciplinary procedure to policy posted in inmate handbook.” He further asserts that “on 2-4-18 around 8:00 am I was moved back to medical observation pod after 20 hrs unobserved medical supervision.” Plaintiff states that he suffered emotional distress “caused by the events that took place, not knowing the severity of my injuries, not receiving proper medical care and asking other male inmates for help from rectal bleeding.”

         Plaintiff maintains that HCDC and Blackburn “are responsible for these actions. HCDC for the employment of Carmen Blackburn, and violating its own due process for the hole, and disciplinary procedure policy. And Carmen Blackburn for violating HCDC due process of the right to obtain, and refuse medical treatment procedures and policy . . . .”

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks punitive damages and other relief in the form of “Miniumal 30 days 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 ...

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