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Jeffries v. Reynolds

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

March 20, 2019

TRE'VON CHYRALLE JEFFRIES, PLAINTIFF
v.
CAPTAIN REYNOLDS et al., DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          GREG N. STIVERS, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.

         This is a pro se civil rights action brought by a convicted prisoner pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has granted Plaintiff Tre'von Chyralle Jeffries leave to proceed in forma pauperis. This matter is before the Court for screening of Plaintiff's complaint (DN 1) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons set forth below, this action will be dismissed.

         I. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff is a convicted prisoner who was previously incarcerated at the Hardin County Detention Center (HCDC). He brings this action against HCDC personnel Captain Reynolds and Deputy MacMahon in both their official and individual capacities.

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations:

My right to due process was violated when I was written up and never was informed, never received a copy of a write up, never got a chance to appeal the write up, I should have received a copy of the write up within 48 hours. On 11-19-18 2:00 p.m. I sent a request form asking to be sent over to the R/C building, The response was not eligible at time due to a write-up on 11-01-18 which was improper and the only way I knew of this write-up. I got a letter from Department of Corrections on 12-03-018 stating that I have 3 months of meritorious good time loss for the months of December, January, February. This write-up prevented me from going to the RC building, because it raised my custody level score from a 1 to 3, Had I been allowed to go to the R/C building I would have been able to participate in programs, classes, and work. I feel as if I had access to things listed I would have had a better opportunity of making parole. These events also in turn put me in emotional distress for making it more difficult to get home to my family, most importantly my daughter.

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages, restoration of his “good time, ” and expungement of his records.

         II. LEGAL 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).

         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. ANALYSIS

         “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 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). “Absent either element, a section 1983 claim will not lie.” Christy v. Randlett, 932 F.2d 502, 504 (6th Cir. 1991).

         A. Fourteenth Amendment ...


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