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Ross v. Louisville Metro Dept. of Corrections

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

March 8, 2019




         Plaintiff Seiko Ross filed the instant pro se 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action proceeding in forma pauperis. This matter is before the Court on initial review of the action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will dismiss Plaintiff's claims and give him an opportunity to amend his complaint.


         Plaintiff, a pretrial detainee at the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections (LMDC), sues “LMDC & Staff” and LMDC Director Mark Bolton. He sues Defendants in their official capacities only.

         Plaintiff alleges that on August 7, 2018, an unnamed officer violated the LMDC inmate handbook “when he kicked the door and broke my pinky which cause personal injury and in return show's personal abuse.” Plaintiff reports, “This situation occured when I pressed the emergency button on the dorm to inform the officer that I was in fear for my safety. She proceeded to tell me that's not an emergency and the button is not a check out button totally disregarding my safety.”

         Plaintiff quotes various statements by Mark Bolton in the LMDC inmate handbook. He states “the core values, LMDC policies and procedures and guide lines setforth by Director Mark Bolton for this jail, inmates and staff or violated daily. Something need's to be done our safety and health is constantly violated on a daily basis. (We need help)!!!”

         Plaintiff further states, “The actions from this staff and administrions put's this facility (LMDC) in violations of the guidelines setforth by the American Correctional Association Accreditation. My right's and dignity or violated daily!!!” He further states that he received an x-ray of his finger but “they failed to let me know the outcome of the x-ray and have not giving me any medical treatment accept 4 day's of ibpruphen my finger is broken and I'm in pain.”

         Plaintiff states that he wrote a grievance about the incident and that the captain responded by saying that he had the wrong officer's name. Plaintiff states, “I had the wrong name because they gave me the wrong name.” He asserts, “I was placed in the dummie box as they call it to be moved so of course it was after 12:00 am which means it was a whole nother day before I was able to see a nurse.” He states, “It's in my medical file that I'm PTSD I have been traumatized ever since this happen constantly in fear of officers constant aggression towards inmates I have to take sleeping pills.”

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as “negotiation of sentence.”

         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).

         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. ANALYSIS

         Plaintiff sues “LMDC and staff” and Director Bolton in their official capacity only. However, LMDC is not a “person” subject to suit under § 1983 because municipal departments, such as jails, are not suable under § 1983. Marbry v. Corr. Med. Servs., No. 99-6706, 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 28072, at *2 (6th Cir. Nov. 6, 2000) (holding that a jail is not an entity subject to suit under § 1983). In this situation, Louisville Metro Government is the proper defendant. Smallwood v. Jefferson Cty. Gov't, 743 F.Supp. 502. 503 (W.D. Ky. 1990). Further, Louisville Metro Government is a “person” for purposes of § 1983. See Monell v. ...

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