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Points v. Lane

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah

May 31, 2019




         Plaintiff LaTonia R. Points filed the instant pro se 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action proceeding in forma pauperis. This matter is before the Court on initial review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons stated below, the Court will dismiss Plaintiff's claims upon initial screening.


         Plaintiff is a convicted inmate at the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women (KCIW). She sues the “Western Kentucky Correctional Complex Ctr. Ross Cash[, ]” which the Court construes as both the Ross-Cash Center and the Western Kentucky Correctional Complex, (WKCC), [1] and the following individuals whom she describes as WKCC personnel: Linda Green, a Unit Administrator; Tim Lane, the Warden; Chris Hatton, the “Dep. Warden Programs”; and Kevin Mazza, the “Dep. Warden Security.” Plaintiff sues Defendants Green, Lane, and Mazza in his/her official capacities only and does not state in what capacity she sues Defendant Hatton.

         Plaintiff states that on or around March 13, 2018, she was “discriminated against” by Defendant Green. She states, “I was denied jobs I was applying for due to having a issue with C/O Johnson who was or had a close relationship with UA Linda Green.” She asserts that Green “lied to me in my face about me having hep-C for the reason why I couldn't be hired in which devastated me since I had never been told by a medical staff member of such health problem.” Where the complaint form asks what injuries Plaintiff sustained, she reports that she sustained “mental and cruel punishment. Instead of trying to assist me to resolve the issue it was brushed off and I was put under surveillance and was finally written up for a health hazard.” She continues, “I had clear conduct was in a class other inmates that had received same write up had theirs amended down. I lost 60 days good time custody level went up and I was shipped to KCIW. I suffered mentally.”

         In a section of the complaint form pertaining to exhaustion of administrative remedies, Plaintiff states, “I sent/gave letters to Warden Lane[, ] Warden Hatton[, and] Warden Mazza and I also sent e-mails to Internal Affairs at Ross Cash Ctr with no credence to the matter.”

         In a letter attached to the complaint, Plaintiff states that upon entering the Ross-Cash Center she was given a complete physical and that “all labs came back normal and I was medically cleared.” She maintains, “I have never been diagnosed with hep-C and that was why I became devastated, humiliated all at the same time when UA Linda Green told me I had hep-C in which was why I hadn't been considered to work at the warehouse.” Plaintiff continues, “I immediately went to medical because how would UA Linda Green know about my health and I didn't know? The statement was untrue me having (hep-C).” She describes her efforts to exhaust administrative remedies. She further states, “After exhausting all avenues, I submitted letters to Warden Lane, Mazza, Hatton at Ross Cash I also e-mail Internal Affairs . . . .” Plaintiff maintains, “It still amazes me after fifty four years after Martin Luther Kings death people are still having to fight for equal rights. No. one should be discriminated against based on race, sex, disabilities, sexual orientation, or health.” Plaintiff further states, “No one has a right to discuss/make accusations about anyone's health weather it's true or false for a job or anything else.”

         As relief, Plaintiff requests that “the initial write 6-10 Health Hazard dismissed”; that Defendants be reprimanded; and that Defendants pay her compensatory damages.


         When a prisoner initiates a civil action seeking redress from a governmental entity, officer, or employee, the trial court must review the complaint and dismiss the complaint, or any portion of it, if the court determines that the complaint 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 (2007)). “[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)). “But the district court need not accept a ‘bare assertion of legal conclusions.'” Tackett, 561 F.3d at 488 (quoting Columbia Natural Res., Inc. v. Tatum, 58 F.3d 1101, 1109 (6th Cir. 1995)). Although this Court recognizes that pro se pleadings are to be held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Jourdan v. Jabe, 951 F.2d 108, 110 (6th Cir. 1991), “[o]ur duty to be ‘less stringent' with pro se complaints does not require us to conjure up unpled allegations.” McDonald v. Hall, 610 F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979) (citation omitted).


         A. Claim against WKCC and Ross-Cash Center

         WKCC and the Ross-Cash Center are part of the Kentucky Department of Corrections (KDOC). The KDOC is a department within the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. See Exec. Order No. 2004-730 (July 9, 2004); Ky. Rev. Stat. § 12.250. A state and its agencies are not “persons” subject to suit under § 1983. Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989); see also Crockett v. Turney Ctr. Indus. Prison, No. 96-6067, 1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 20924, at *3 (6th Cir. Aug. 1, 1997) (“The prison is a state agency. . . . A state agency is not considered a ‘person' subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.”). Because ...

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