United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville
TIMOTHY HENRY JENSEN, JR. PLAINTIFF
JAMIE UNDERWOOD, JAILER et al. DEFENDANTS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. McKinley Jr., District Judge United States District Court
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 some claims, allow
others to proceed, and allow Plaintiff the opportunity to
amend his complaint.
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
Timothy Henry Jensen, Jr., is a convicted prisoner
incarcerated at the LaRue County Detention Center (LCDC). The
named Defendants in this action are LaRue County and LCDC
Jailers Jamie Underwood and Johnny Cottrill,  LCDC Deputy Scott
Hayes, Kentucky State Trooper Eric Whitlock, and Public
Defender Heather Temple, in both their official and
initially brought this action with another inmate at LCDC,
Jeremy Wayne Williams. However, the complaint was severed
because their claims were not properly joined under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a). Thus, although the complaint contains
claims asserted by both Plaintiff and Williams, the only
claims in this action are those that are personal to
first alleges that he ran out of toilet paper on July 17,
2018, because he only received one roll a week. When he
requested another roll, Defendant LCDC Deputy Hayes and
non-defendant “Deputy Brad” allegedly told him
that they were only required to give him one roll a week.
Plaintiff then requested a grievance form. The deputies then
told Plaintiff that his family “has to order caracells
with T.P. in them to receive it or that he had to go to
medical to receive more T.P.” These deputies then put
Plaintiff in the “hole” for approximately nine
hours without a bed roll or mat.
next seems to allege that only one toilet in his cell has
worked for the past eight months and that the shower leaks
water on the floor.
also alleges that he made multiple requests to Defendant LCDC
Jailer Cottrill, and then to Defendant LCDC Jailer Underwood,
for access to the law library at LCDC so that he could use
“the KRS manual for understanding of my case.” He
states that when he wrote grievances pertaining to this
issue, he was told that LCDC did not have a “KRS
Manual.” Plaintiff, however, alleges that he saw
“KRS manuals on Booking desk.” Plaintiff next
alleges that he asked for a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 prisoner
complaint form but was told by LCDC deputies that they did
not know what he was talking about and that he would have to
get one from his attorney. However, Plaintiff alleges that
another deputy then printed a § 1983 complaint form for
inmate Jeremy Williams and told them they could file their
complaint together (which they did).
Plaintiff alleges that LCDC deputies would not return his
prisoner application to proceed without prepayment of fees to
him or provide him with a copy of his “Inmate 6-month
Account Statement” for this action.
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).