United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky
CHARLES MICHAEL THOMAS, JR. PLAINTIFF
AMY BRADY DEFENDANT
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. McKinley Jr., District Judge
a pro se civil rights action brought pursuant to 42
U.S.C.§ 1983. This matter is before the Court for
screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons
set forth below, the Court will dismiss this action.
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
Charles Michael Thomas, Jr., is a federal pretrial detainee
incarcerated at the Henderson County Detention Center (HCDC).
He sues HCDC Jailer Amy Brady in her official capacity.
first alleges that his rights are being violated because
federal pretrial detainees like himself are housed with
“state and county inmates.” Plaintiff next
alleges that HCDC is overcrowded. He claims that his cell is
designed for ten men but that 15 to 16 inmates are housed
there. He states that this causes himself and five other
people to sleep on the floor with paper thin mattresses. He
also claims that the cell has only one toilet, “which
is on a 15 min timer locking after two flushes, feces are
being left in the toilet for periods of time from multiple
inmates which causing harmful bacteria . . . and that starts
becoming unsanitary.” Plaintiff further alleges that
the one shower in their cell has “black mold all inside
of it . . . . They have sent trustees to paint over it an
says its been treated and its still there . . . has caused
myself to break out due to the unsanitary inhumane living
conditions.” Plaintiff also states that the diet served
to inmates at HCDC fails to meet certain dietary standards,
including the recommendation that inmates receive two pieces
of fruit daily.
Plaintiff claims that inmates are not always permitted to
have one hour of recreation per day and that sometimes they
are forced to have recreation outside in cold weather
“with no coats or sweaters.” Plaintiff also makes
allegations regarding the medical care inmates at HCDC
receive, but none of the allegations are specific to
relief for these alleged violations of his constitutional
rights, Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages.
Plaintiff is a prisoner seeking relief against governmental
entities, officers, and/or employees, this Court must review
the instant action under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under §
1915A, the trial 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). 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
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] pro se
complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89
(2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106
(1976)). However, while liberal, this standard of review does
require more than the bare assertion of legal conclusions.
See Columbia Natural Res., Inc. v. Tatum,
58 F.3d 1101, 1109 (6th Cir. 1995). The Court's duty
“does not require [it] to conjure up unpled
allegations, ” McDonald v. Hall, 610 F.2d 16,
19 (1st Cir. 1979), or to create a claim for a 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).
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, 640 (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).
the Eighth Amendment provides an inmate the right to be free
from cruel and unusual punishment, it is the Due Process
Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment that provides the same
protections to pretrial detainees. Richmond v. Huq,
885 F.3d 928, 937 (6th Cir. 2018) (citing Richko v. Wayne
Cty., 819 F.3d 907, 915 (6th Cir. 2016)). “The
Sixth Circuit has historically analyzed Fourteenth Amendment
pretrial detainee claims and Eighth Amendment prisoner claims
‘under the same rubric.'” Id.
(quoting Villegas v. Metro Gov't of Nashville,
709 F.3d 563, 568 (6th Cir. 2013)).
officials must ensure that inmates receive adequate food,
clothing, shelter, and medical care, and must ‘take
reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of the
inmates.'” Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S.
825, 832 (1994) (quoting Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S.
517, 526-27 (1984)). However, “[n]ot every unpleasant
experience a prisoner might endure while incarcerated
constitutes cruel and unusual punishment within the meaning
of the Eighth Amendment.” Ivey v. Wilson, 832
F.2d 950, 954 (6th Cir. 1987). “Extreme ...