United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Owensboro
Daviess County Attorney
H. McKinley, Jr., Chief Judge United States District Court
matter is before the Court on initial review of Plaintiff
Aaron Dexter Wright's pro se complaint pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons that follow, the
Court will dismiss the instant action.
SUMMARY OF CLAIMS
who is a pretrial detainee at the Daviess County Detention
Center (DCDC), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against DCDC. He claims, in toto:
“I was assaulted by several state and county inmates
while I was incarcerated. I had not been convicted of any
crime yet, therefore I should not have been housed with any
state inmates[.]” As relief, Plaintiff seeks
compensatory and punitive damages and unspecified injunctive
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Plaintiff is a prisoner seeking relief against governmental
entities, officers, and/or employees, the trial court must
review the complaint and dismiss the complaint, or any
portion thereof, 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), (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).
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)). “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).
courts are to hold pro se pleadings “to less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers,
” Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972), this
duty to be less stringent “does not require us to
conjure up unpled allegations, ” McDonald v.
Hall, 610 F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979), or to create a
claim for a plaintiff. Clark v. Nat'l
Travelers Life Ins. Co., 518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir.
1975). To command otherwise would require courts “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).
initial matter, DCDC is not an entity subject to suit under
§ 1983. Matthews v. Jones, 35 F.3d 1046, 1049
(6th Cir. 1994). Rather, the claims against the DCDC actually
are against Daviess County as the real party in interest.
Id. (“Since the Police Department is not an
entity which may be sued, Jefferson County is the proper
party to address the allegations of Matthews's
complaint.”); see also Blay v. Daviess Cty. Det.
Ctr., 4:07CV-P69-M, 2007 WL 2809765, at *1 (W.D. Ky.
Sept. 25, 2007); Fambrough v. Vaught, 4:06CV-P130-M,
2007 WL 891866, at *1 (W.D. Ky. Mar. 21, 2007) (“[T]he
claims against the detention center are also against [the
County] as the real party in interest.”); Smallwood
v. Jefferson Cty. Gov't, 743 F.Supp. 502, 503 (W.D.
Ky. 1990) (suit against fiscal court is actually suit against
Plaintiff's claim that he should not have been housed
with state inmates,  “the overwhelming weight of
persuasive authority holds that unless the state has an
intent to punish, or at least displays an indifference toward
potential harm to an inmate, pre-trial detainees have no due
process right to be housed separately from sentenced
inmates.” Burciaga v. Cty. of Lenawee, 123
F.Supp.2d 1076, 1078 (E.D. Mich. 2000). Plaintiff alleges no
facts indicating that his housing assignment was made with an
intent to punish him or with deliberate indifference to his
regarding the alleged assault by both county and state
inmates, the Eighth Amendment imposes a duty on corrections
officers to take reasonable measures “to protect
prisoners from violence at the hands of other
prisoners.” Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825,
832 (1994) (citation omitted). However, not “every
injury suffered by one prisoner at the hands of another . . .
translates into constitutional liability for prison officials
responsible for the victim's safety.” Id.
at 834. Rather, to maintain an Eighth Amendment claim based
on a failure to prevent harm, an inmate must prove both an
objective and subjective component. Id. With regard
to the objective component, the plaintiff “must show
that he [was] incarcerated under conditions posing a
substantial risk of serious harm.” Id. The
subjective component requires the plaintiff to prove that the
defendant acted with “deliberate indifference” to
that risk. Id. “Deliberate indifference is a
state of mind akin to criminal recklessness: the official
must both be aware of the facts from which the inference
could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm
exists, and he must also draw the inference.”
Hamilton v. Eleby, 341 Fed.Appx. 168, 171 (6th Cir.
2009) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).
has alleged no facts indicating that he was incarcerated
under conditions posing a substantial risk of serious harm,
and he, ...