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Adkins v. Luther Luckett Corr. Complex

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

July 3, 2019

JASON ADKINS PLAINTIFF
v.
LUTHER LUCKETT CORR. COMPLEX et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Greg N. Stivers, Chief Judge United States District Court

         This matter is before the Court on initial review of Plaintiff Jason Adkins' pro se complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons that follow, the Court will dismiss the complaint but will provide Plaintiff an opportunity to file an amended complaint.

         I. SUMMARY OF CLAIMS

         Plaintiff is a convicted prisoner at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex (LLCC). He brings suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against LLCC, Warden Scott Jordan, Captain Kevin Drake, and Sergeant Jermey Smith. He sues Defendants in their individual and official capacities.

         In the complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he was assaulted by another inmate on November 24, 2017. He claims, “While I was in my cell on the night in question, an inmate by the name of Antonio Politi [] attacked me in my sleep, no one else saw incident due to the fact that there is no camera's in the cells in the segregation unit.” He reports sustaining “multiple facial fractures and lacerations around my left eye and upper left lip” as well as “a fractured eye socket, and a broken nose.” To the complaint, Plaintiff attaches the grievance he filed related to the incident. Therein, he claimed:

On November 22, 2017 they moved an inmate named Antonio Politi [] in my cell on November 23, 2017 at approximately 11:00pm while Mr. Politi [] was in the shower on B-L when I adkins gave a hand written note to correction officer Trevor Mccullough to give to shift supervisor to inform him to move me out of the cell I was in because I felt unsafe and scared. After I gave Trevor Mccullough the note I then verbally told Brian Owens to put me on suicide watch if they had to get me moved. Then I told C.O. Stone to please move me Stone and Owens said they would talk to the Seargent, and never came back. At Approx. 3:30am on Nov. 24, 2017 I woke up bleeding from my face and ear, I then hit the door yelling for help. I want all this documented and I want a reasonable explanation of why I was failed to be protected when I told the C.O. I was scared and wanted to go on suicide watch.

         The grievance form reveals that Defendant Drake, at the informal resolution stage, “spoke with all staff at no time was it verbalized that inmate Adkins was in fear. A note was passed, the note only stated ‘This guy is creepy.' All staff respondedly ethically and professionally.”

         Plaintiff appealed the informal resolution denial of the grievance, asserting that it “did not adequately address the institutions failure to protect me.” He claims:

Mr. Politi []was brought to RHU for violent actions. The institution placed my safety at risk by assigning Mr. Politi a self admitted violent prisoner and me a nonviolent prisoner in the same segregation cell. I made several verbal requests to staff asking to be moved to a different cell, including asking Ofc. Owens to put me on suicide watch. Also I gave Ofc. McCollough a written request to be moved. All requests went unanswered. I was attacked during my sleep and woke up bleeding. I hit the door and was yelling for help because RHU doors can only be opened by staff. My safety was in jeopardy until an officer came onto the walk and responded to my cry for help. Review of the RHU walkway camera footage at the times listed in my initial grievance will confirm my requests to officers and the time I was attacked and resulting injury.

         On appeal, Defendant Warden Jordan concurred with the informal resolution. He indicated that the incident had been thoroughly investigated by Defendant Drake; that staff statements and a note Plaintiff handed staff indicated “only that [Plaintiff] did not want to live with inmate Politi”; that Plaintiff was placed in the RHU on November 10, 2017, for his “actions of placing a substance on the video camera lens in a living unit”; that Plaintiff's file indicated that he had “18 major disciplinary reports and 4 disciplinary reports of physical action against other inmates in which [he was] found guilty”; and that Plaintiff's custody level had risen to maximum custody based on his institutional behavior at LLCC and other institutions. Defendant Warden Jordan further indicated that nothing in either Plaintiff's or Politi's history indicated a problem with them being housed in the same cell; that the institution disciplined Politi and “presented the case for criminal prosecution”; and that “there has been a separation alert placed on [Plaintiff] and inmate Politi.”

         Plaintiff appealed the Warden's decision to the Commissioner, claiming, “I do not feel that this institution is taking this seriously. They simply sugar coat it.” The Commissioner concurred with LLCC's decision, indicating that at all levels of the grievance Plaintiff never told staff that he was afraid of the other inmate or that he was in any danger from him; that the note Plaintiff gave staff only stated that he thought the inmate was creepy; and that nothing in either inmate's history indicated a problem with them being housed together.

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks damages “due to all of the physical, mental, and emotional anguish which has also led to me having nightmares, ” and he seeks an order directing LLCC's medical department to set an appointment “with the Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic per the recommendations of the University of Louisville Hospital's medical report for an eye exam in which to determine the best alternative to correct the vision in my left eye, this due to the fact that I see double at a far distance.”

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         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 ยง ...


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