United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Owensboro Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. McKinley Jr., District Judge.
Dennis Shawn Roberts filed a pro se, in forma
pauperis complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
This matter is before the Court for screening pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A and McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114
F.3d 601 (6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by
Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007). For the reasons set
forth below, certain claims will be dismissed, and Plaintiff
will be afforded the opportunity to amend his complaint.
SUMMARY OF CLAIMS
is an inmate at the Daviess County Detention Center (DCDC).
He names as Defendants the DCDC and in their official and
individual capacities DCDC Jailer Art Maglinger, Deputy
Moore, and “all staff who handles legal mail.” He
alleges that his legal mail has been opened without his
consent and outside his presence on several occasions. His
claim against Defendant Moore appears to be that Defendant
Moore has not provided him with the names of the DCDC
employees who handle and sort legal mail. Finally, he asks
that if he is to be shipped to another facility because he
has filed this lawsuit, “I would request the Class D
coordinator of Daviess Co. Det. Center to be asked by this
Dist. Court to send me to Crittenden Co. for they have an
abundance of classes to get time knocked off sentence so I
can return home to my family sooner.”
relief, Plaintiff requests monetary, punitive, and injunctive
prisoner initiates a civil action seeking redress from a
governmental entity, officer, or employee, the trial court
must review the complaint and dismiss the action, 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 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1) and (2). A
claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490
U.S. 319, 325 (1989). The Court may, therefore, dismiss a
claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are
clearly baseless. Id. at 327. When determining
whether a plaintiff has stated a claim upon which relief can
be granted, the Court must construe the complaint in a light
most favorable to Plaintiff and accept all factual
allegations as true. Prater v. City of Burnside,
Ky., 289 F.3d 417, 424 (6th Cir. 2002). While a
reviewing court must liberally construe pro se
pleadings, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365
(1982) (per curiam), to avoid dismissal, a complaint must
include “enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
asks that he be sent to Crittenden County if he is to be
shipped to another facility because he has filed this
Court does not have the authority to supervise classification
and assignment of inmates to various institutions, and an
inmate does not have a protected right to be assigned to a
particular prison, security classification, or housing
assignment. Olim v. Wakinekona, 461 U.S. 238 (1983);
Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215 (1976); Montanye
v. Haymes, 427 U.S. 236 (1976). As such, Plaintiff's
request for a transfer must be dismissed.
claims and claim against DCDC
action is brought against an official of a governmental
entity in his official capacity, the suit should be construed
as brought against the governmental entity. Will v. Mich.
Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989).
Therefore, in the case at bar, Plaintiff's claims against
the employees of DCDC in their official capacities are
actually brought against the Daviess County government.
See Matthews v. Jones, 35 F.3d 1046, 1049 (6th Cir.
Plaintiff's claims against DCDC must also be considered
as being brought against Daviess County. DCDC is not a
“person” subject to suit under § 1983
because municipal departments, such as jails, are not suable
under § 1983. Rhodes v. McDannel, 945 F.2d 117,
120 (6th Cir.1991) (holding that a police department may not
be sued under § 1983); see also Marbry v. Corr. Med.
Serv., No. 99-6706, 2000 WL 1720959 at *2 (6th Cir. Nov.
6, 2000) (holding that a jail is not an entity subject to
suit under § 1983). In this situation, it is Daviess
County that is the proper defendant in this case.
Smallwood v. Jefferson Cty. Gov't, 743 F.Supp.
502, 503 (W.D. Ky. 1990) (construing claims brought against
the Jefferson County Government, the Jefferson County Fiscal
Court, and the Jefferson County Judge Executive as claims
against Jefferson County itself). Further, Daviess County is
a “person” for purposes of § 1983.
Monell v. N.Y.C. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S.
658 (1978). The Court will therefore construe the claims
against DCDC as being brought against Daviess County.
§ 1983 claim is made against a municipality, like
Daviess County, a court must analyze two distinct issues: (1)
whether the plaintiff's harm was caused by a
constitutional violation; and (2) if so, whether the
municipality is responsible for that violation. Collins
v. City of Harker Heights, ...