United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. RUSSELL, SENIOR JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
Kendrick Ellison filed the instant pro se 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 action proceeding in forma pauperis.
This matter is before the Court upon initial review of the
complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons
stated below, the Court will dismiss some of Plaintiff's
claims and allow other claims to proceed for further
SUMMARY OF FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS
is a convicted inmate at the Kentucky State Penitentiary
(KSP). He names the following KSP personnel as Defendants:
James Beavers, identified as an Internal Affairs supervisor;
Seth Mitchell, identified as an “IA/Lieutenant”;
Melvin O'Dell, identified as a sergeant; James Noland,
identified as an “IA/Sergeant”; and Bruce Bauer,
identified as a registered nurse. He sues each Defendant in
his official and individual capacities.
states that on June 29, 2017, while he was walking by the
yard office, he witnessed KSP staff members assaulting
inmates at random. He asserts that without warning he was
assaulted by Defendants Mitchell, Beavers, and Noland. He
states that he was then escorted to the yard office
“out of view of security video cameras.”
Plaintiff maintains that he requested medical attention from
Defendant Bauer. He asserts that Defendant Bauer “told
me to shut my black lips. When I kept requesting help, he
threatened to have me beaten in the adjacent room.”
Plaintiff states that Defendant O'Dell then entered the
yard office and charged at him violently but was stopped by a
further states that he continued to ask Defendant Bauer for
medical help but that Bauer “got so fed up, he
instructed Lt. Seth Mitchell and Sgt. Melvin O'Dell to
take me in the adjacent room.” He states, “Once
in the room, behind closed doors in full metal restraints,
” he was assaulted by Defendants Mitchell and
O'Dell. Plaintiff reports that he was then escorted to a
segregation unit and placed in a restraint chair for several
hours “for no reason” and then given another two
hours in the restraint chair by a non-Defendant lieutenant
“without incident or justification.”
alleges that Defendants violated his rights under the United
States Constitution's Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.
He also states that Defendants “failed to protect me
under equal protection of law as a U.S. citizen.”
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).
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).
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).
sues all Defendants in their official capacities.
“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)). Defendants are
employees of KSP and are therefore state employees. Claims
brought against state employees in their official capacities
are deemed claims against the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
See Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. at 166. State
officials sued in their official capacities for monetary
damages are not “persons” subject to suit under
§ 1983. Will v. Mich. Dep 't of State
Police,491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989). Further, the Eleventh
Amendment acts as a bar to claims for monetary damages
against state employees or officers sued in their official
capacities. Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. at ...