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Baker v. Jordan

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

May 7, 2019

ANTHONY HEATH BAKER Plaintiff
v.
MICHAEL JORDAN, et al. Defendants

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          REBECCA GRADY JENNINGS, DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This is a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 pro se prisoner civil rights action. This matter is before the Court upon a motion by Plaintiff for leave to file an amended complaint (DN 29).

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY AND SUMMARY

         Plaintiff is incarcerated at Kentucky State Reformatory (KSR). Upon initial review of Plaintiff's complaint, the Court allowed Eighth Amendment claims for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need to proceed against KSR Medical Director Michael Jordan and KSR psychologist Dr. Tanya Young, in both their official and individual capacities. These claims are based upon Plaintiff's allegations that these Defendants are failing to provide appropriate medical treatment for his gender dysphoria.

         On March 14, 2019, Plaintiff filed a letter with the Court in which he indicated that his primary care physician and other officials at KSR were retaliating against him for filing this lawsuit. The Court advised Plaintiff that if he sought to assert retaliation claims in this action, he must file a motion for leave to file an amended complaint and a proposed amended complaint. The Court instructed Plaintiff that, in the amended complaint, he must name as Defendants any individuals who he alleges retaliated against him for filing this action; identify these persons by name; specify that he is suing these persons in their individual capacities; and describe how each person allegedly retaliated against him by including such details such as which person purportedly did what and when.

         Plaintiff has now filed the proposed amended complaint. Plaintiff newly names the Kentucky Department of Corrections (KDOC) and four KSR officials as Defendants - Daniel W. King, Steven Shelton, Joshua Schank, and Ricardo E. Aranda, in both their official and individual capacities.

         Plaintiff first makes allegations concerning an incident that he alleges occurred in 2015. Plaintiff states that another inmate sexually assaulted him, but that Plaintiff received a disciplinary write-up. He writes: “Supervisor Schank Housing Unit Staff Aranda Ricardo the one who invg it and wrote me 4 3-11 physical action/force against other inmate w/ no injury. Daniel King would not let me speak to state police over rape.” Plaintiff alleges that KSR officials failed to protect him from this inmate under “PREA, ” the Prison Rape Elimination Act, even though they knew he was “at risk” because he was “transgender.” As relief for these alleged wrongs, he seeks the restoration of his “good time” for his disciplinary write-up and expungement of his disciplinary records.

         Finally, Plaintiff alleges that his primary care physician refuses to fill certain medications and that Dr. Young refuses to move him into a single cell.

         Plaintiff concludes by stating, “I want the retaliation to stop.”

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2) allows a party to amend its pleading with leave from the Court. Although Rule 15(a)(2) provides that a court should freely give leave to amend when justice so requires, Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2), “‘[a] motion to amend a complaint should be denied if the amendment is brought in bad faith, for dilatory purposes, results in undue delay or prejudice to the opposing party, or would be futile.'” Colvin v. Caruso, 605 F.3d 282, 294 (6th Cir. 2010) (quoting Crawford v. Roane, 53 F.3d 750, 753 (6th Cir. 1995)). “A proposed amendment is futile if the amendment could not withstand a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss.” Skipper v. Clark, 150 F.Supp.3d 820, 829 (W.D. Ky. 2015) (citing Rose v. Hartford Underwriters Ins. Co., 203 F.3d 417, 420 (6th Cir. 2000)).

         III. ANALYSIS

         At the outset of its analysis, the Court notes that although it allowed Plaintiff to amend his complaint to set forth allegations against, and name as Defendants, any individuals who have allegedly retaliated against him for filing the instant action, Plaintiff does not make any specific allegations regarding retaliation in the proposed amended complaint. Nonetheless, the Court will address the allegations he does make.

         A. ...


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