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Knight v. Louisville Metro Department of Corrections

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

February 11, 2019

ERIC LAWAN KNIGHT, Plaintiff,
v.
LOUISVILLE METRO DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          DAVID J. HALE, JUDGE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         Plaintiff Eric Lawan Knight filed the instant pro se 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action proceeding in forma pauperis. The complaint is now before the Court for initial screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons stated below, the Court will dismiss the action upon screening.

         I.

         Plaintiff, identifying himself as a convicted inmate at the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections (LMDC), sues LMDC; Mark Bolton, the Director of LMDC; and “LMDC Staff.” Plaintiff sues Defendant Bolton in his individual and official capacities and sues Defendants LMDC and LMDC Staff in their official capacities.

         Plaintiff states, “My rights as an inmate have been violated on a continuing basis according to the LMDC inmate handbook. Starting with access to court and counsel.” He maintains, “I have been denied this by being told the law library has been shutdown since my incarceration and/or being told they called my name multiple times which is false!” He continues, “As I prepare for my case I am unable to access specific content that is important and valueable towards my case, well being, freedom, constitution and rights as a prisoner.”

         Plaintiff states that his rights under the inmate handbook were also violated when his incarceration at LMDC began on July 20, 2018. He states the following:

Once I was placed in rear hold on the booking floor, I had to sleep on a raw, dirty, urine and fecis ordor metal bunk with no mat and or cover or sheets. I slept in these conditions for 6 days continuously and I throughout these 6 days repeatebly asked for a mattress, cover and or some type of protection against these filthy conditions; and I was denied with a statement saying we are “fresh out” which was also false due to later going to go get “chow” in the hallway I observed a pile of mattress's in a holding cell and a cart of bed rolls at the end of the hall.

         Plaintiff also maintains that during this six-day period, he was not issued a hygiene kit. He states that “the rear hold dorm was filthy with trash, mold, food, dried liquids, urine & fecis on bathroom walls and showers inadequately opperable.” Plaintiff asserts that he “was subjected to . . . staphyloces aureus and or any other disease associated with urine and fecis. I was punished and abused by not receiving a mat, or cover and a hygiene kit to keep clean.” He further states, “Also the dorm was full of mold throughout in the showers, toilets, walls and floors and little variety of bugs they call ‘zaboo bats' flying everywhere and continuously being in shower and near toilets, which is also subject to disease.” Finally, he states, “Also for a long period of my incarceration the kitchen had no dish machine and I repeatably received tray with old food and mildew smells.”

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages; “expungement of records”; and “release from confinement.”

         II.

         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).

         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)). “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.

         “Section 1983 creates no substantive rights, but merely provides remedies for deprivations of rights established elsewhere.” Flint ex rel. Flint v. Ky. Dep't of Corr., 270 F.3d 340, 351 (6th Cir. 2001). Two elements are required to state a claim under § 1983. Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635 (1980). “[A] plaintiff must allege the violation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States, and must show that the alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting under color of state law.” West v. Atkins, 487 ...


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