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Redd v. Bolton

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

May 29, 2019

MARK BOLTON, Defendant.



         This matter is before the Court on initial review of Plaintiff Telly Eugene Redd's pro se complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons that follow, the Court will allow a Fourteenth Amendment claim to proceed against Defendant Mark Bolton in his individual capacity and provide Plaintiff an opportunity to file an amended complaint.


         Plaintiff is a pretrial detainee at the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections (LMDC). He brings suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against LMDC Director Mark Bolton in his individual and official capacities.

         In the complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he was denied mental health medication during his incarceration at LMDC from July 8, 2018, until February 11, 2019. He indicates that prior to his incarceration, he was on medication for diagnoses of “severe depression, bipolar, impulsive control disorder, anxiety, PTS and institutionalization.” He claims that, upon his arrival at the jail on July 8, 2018, he “made nursing and mental health aware that [he] took medication for these psychiatric diseases.” He further claims that he was asked to sign “release of info. forms” throughout the duration of his incarceration at LMDC “to get [his] meds. and getting them never happend.”

         Plaintiff alleges that on July 22, 2018, he attempted suicide by hanging and was taken to the hospital for x-rays. He continues that upon return to the jail, he was “placed on level 1, ” and “for 20 days I was kept in suicide prevention before I seen a psych doctor.” He claims that while visiting with the doctor, “LMDC officers and Mental Health Staff told the doctor I was manipulating housing. This caused Well Path Psychiatric doctor to neglect me of any meds and mental health services.” Plaintiff alleges, “Each time I became fed up with life and tried to get help I was stripped of all personal property and belongs, placed on suicide prevention. I would also ask . . . about my meds only to be told ‘sign this release form and we'll get them'” but “getting them never happen.”

         Plaintiff claims that he spoke with Defendant Bolton about this issue and that Defendant Bolton “stated the he would look into it quite a few times only to have him ultimately tell me, ‘I'm not going against my staff even if you are in the right.'” He asserts that Defendant Bolton was made aware of his situation “numerous times but failed to correct or direct Well Path to assist and treat me.” He alleges that the denial of “help and medication” constituted cruel and unusual punishment.

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks monetary and punitive damages and “relief of current legal matters and treatment psych.”[1]


         Because 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).

         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 trial 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. 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)). “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).

         III. ANALYSIS

         The Court construes Plaintiff's complaint as alleging a Fourteenth Amendment claim of deliberate indifference to a serious medical need[2] against Defendant Bolton. As indicated above, Plaintiff sued Defendant Bolton in his individual and official capacities.

         “Official-capacity suits . . . ‘generally represent [] another way of pleading an action against an entity of which an officer is an agent.'” Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 166 (1985) (quoting Monell v. New York City Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691 n.55 (1978)). Thus, the official-capacity claim against Defendant ...

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