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Lowery v. Commonwealth of Kentucky Court of Justice

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division

November 8, 2018

ESTEBAN DEJESUS LOWERY PLAINTIFF
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY COURT OF JUSTICE et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JOSEPH H. MCKINLEY, JR., CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         This matter is before the Court on initial review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A of Plaintiff Esteban DeJesus Lowery's pro se complaint (DN 1) and amended complaint (DN 18). For the reasons that follow, some of the claims will be dismissed, the remaining claims will be stayed, and Plaintiff will be ordered to provide information regarding his pending state-court criminal actions.

         I. STATEMENT OF CLAIMS

         Plaintiff, a pretrial detainee in the Warren County Regional Jail, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. As Defendants, Plaintiff names (1) “Commonwealth of Kentucky Court of Justice”; (2) Bowling Green Police Department (BGPD); (3) Warren County Chief District Judge John D. Brown; (4) Warren County Family Court Judge David Lanphear; (5) BGPD Officer Benjamin Carroll; (6) BGPD Officer N. Boyar; and (7) Kentucky State Police (KSP) Trooper Matt Cardwell. Plaintiff sues Defendants in their individual and official capacities.

         In the complaint and amended complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Judge Brown violated the Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments by “signing warrants from false reported incidents Dec. 2009 and Nov. 15 2017 [and Apr. 2018] against the Plaintiff” and “with Excessive bail of $10, 000 for Class D felonies.”

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Judge Lanphear violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments by “stating that it was the Plaintiffs ‘Last Chance' incarcerating him causing Plaintiff to lose his home, employment and lively hood to provide for his children of 3, Apr. 2016.”

         As to Defendant Officer Carroll, Plaintiff claims that he violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments by “racially discriminating Plaintiff and having BGPD deny services of the law for an Identity Theif.gov reported incident filed by Plaintiff Apr. 2018 for Identity theif of Plaintiff's DD14 Military Documents of the Plaintiff, November 15, 2017 April 28, 2018 Identity Theif.gov against Crystal Dawn Juarbe of Home.com Realtor.” Plaintiff further claims that Defendant Officer Carroll “stopped, detained solely motivated by consideration of Plaintiff's race, color [and] ethnicity and the action constituted violation of the civil rights of the Plaintiff by referring Plaintiff as ‘Black Male' . . . in Defendants Uniform Citation [] injuring Plaintiff [] having stitches placed in left thumb palm.”[1]

         Next, Plaintiff claims that Defendant Trooper Cardwell violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments on “Dec. 2009, having false reported incident in warrant signed by Defendant Judge [] Brown causing Plaintiff to lose his home, employment and his lively hood.” He additionally claims that Defendant Trooper Cardwell stated that “Plaintiff committed an incident of mencing and criminal trespassing electrically signed by Defendant Judge [] Brown.”

         Finally, Plaintiff claims that Defendant Officer Boyar violated the Fourth Amendment by “filing a false incident report having Defendant Judge [] Brown sign an Electrically warrant to arrest Plaintiff . . . Nov 15, 2017.” He also claims that Defendant Officer Boyar “destroy[ed] evidence 01-09-2018 after Defendant Judge [] Brown eletrically signed warrant . . . stating Plaintiff committed an incident that was closed 07-26-17 [and] 07-27-17 due to unable to locate or have proof of Plaintiff committing the incident called by what was stated by the alleged victim.”

         Plaintiff seeks monetary and punitive damages, and as injunctive relief, he seeks release from illegal detention and writes “U.S.C. §§ 2241, 2254 or 2255.”

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Because Plaintiff is a prisoner seeking relief against governmental entities, officers, and/or employees, this Court must review the complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under § 1915A, the Court must review the complaint and dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, 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 § 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).

         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)). “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).

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. Injunctive Relief

         Plaintiff seeks release from illegal detention and cites to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241, 2254 and 2255. “[W]hen a state prisoner is challenging the very fact or duration of his physical imprisonment, and the relief he seeks is a determination that he is entitled to immediate release or a speedier release from that imprisonment, his sole federal remedy is a writ of habeas corpus.” Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 500 (1973). Because Plaintiff is seeking immediate release from detention, a § 1983 claim for such relief cannot lie and will be dismissed.[2] It is unknown what Plaintiff means when citing to ยงยง ...


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