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Poole v. Hardin Cty. Detention Center

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

March 15, 2019

JASON RYAN POOLE, Plaintiff,
v.
HARDIN CTY. DETENTION CENTER et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          DAVID J. HALE, JUDGE

         Plaintiff Jason Ryan Poole filed the instant pro se 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action proceeding in forma pauperis. Plaintiff filed an amended complaint (Docket No. 7) one week after filing his original complaint. The Court construes the amended complaint as a motion to amend the complaint and GRANTS the motion. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(1)(A).

         This matter is before the Court on initial review of the amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons stated below, the Court will dismiss the action.

         I.

         Plaintiff is a convicted inmate at the Hardin County Detention Center (HCDC). He sues HCDC; Major Timbers, the Assistant Jailer at HCDC; Jailer Danny Allen; and Corporal Gunter, a correctional officer at HCDC. He sues Defendants in their individual and official capacities.

         Plaintiff states that on September 8, 2018, he was “caught in the midst of another inmate being pepper sprayed, and I was sprayed as a result.” He states that the incident began when officers came into the pod “to lock us all down over something in which I had no involvement.” He asserts, “I do not know why inmates were being maced, but I do know that I was maced as a result of an officer's carelessness.”

         Plaintiff continues, “Once I was maced and locked down, I repeatly requested proper treatment and was completely ignored. I was unable to clean the pepper spray until the following day, which is directly against the protocol pertaining to being sprayed.” He asserts, “Not only was the situation in which I was sprayed uncalled for, but the fact that officers refused to allow me to clean myself up was reckless and totally unprofessional.” Plaintiff further states, “I presented no physical or verbal threat and was in fact not even the individual that the officer intended on spraying.”

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks punitive damages and to be released from custody.

         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).

         Although 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).

         III.

         HCDC and ...


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