United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
REBECCA GRADY JENNINGS DISTRICT JUDGE
Jordan Anthony Eisman 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, some claims will be dismissed, and others will
be allowed to proceed.
SUMMARY OF CLAIMS
is a pretrial detainee at the Hardin County Detention Center
(HCDC). He names as Defendant Corporal Tyler Casey in his
official and individual capacities. He alleges that on
October 26, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. he asked Defendant for a new
smock because the one he was given exposed his buttocks and
genitals. According to the complaint, Defendant indicated
that he would get one for Plaintiff. Plaintiff states that at
4:00 p.m. Defendant had not given him a new smock, so
Plaintiff knocked loudly on the door to ask again. Plaintiff
states that Defendant replied “‘no, your being a
pain;'” then Plaintiff requested a shift leader and
was denied. Plaintiff states that he knocked again, after
which Defendant came into Plaintiff's cell where
Plaintiff was sitting on his mat with his back to the wall.
Plaintiff states that because he saw a can of pepper spray,
he lay face down on his mat, at which time Defendant sprayed
him hitting his “smock, mat, blanket, and wall, also .
. . my back, buttox, left eye, left face, neck, legs and
feet.” Plaintiff states that he asked for a shower
“as I was burning, ” but Defendant told him
“'you'll wait.'” He said he was
forced to wait until approximately 6:00 to 6:30 pm for a
shower and clean clothes. He states, “I burned for days
after because I was left in the spray for so long it
irritated my skin.”
relief, Plaintiff asks for monetary and punitive damages.
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).
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. N.Y.C. Dep't of
Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691 n.55 (1978)). Thus, the
official-capacity claim against Defendant is in actuality
brought against his employer, Hardin County.
§ 1983 claim is made against a municipality, in this
case Hardin County, a court must analyze not only whether the
plaintiff's harm was caused by a constitutional violation
but also, if so, whether the municipality is responsible for
that violation. Collins v. City of Harker Heights,
Tex., 503 U.S. 115, 120 (1992). Here, it is clear that
the municipality is not responsible for the alleged
municipality cannot be held liable solely because it
employs a tortfeasor - or, in other words, a municipality
cannot be held liable under § 1983 on a respondeat
superior theory.” Monell, 436 U.S. at 691
(emphasis in original); Searcy v. City of Dayton, 38
F.3d 282, 286 (6th Cir. 1994); Berry v. City of
Detroit, 25 F.3d 1342, 1345 (6th Cir. 1994).
“[T]he touchstone of ‘official policy' is
designed ‘to distinguish acts of the
municipality from acts of employees of the
municipality, and thereby make clear that municipal liability
is limited to action for which the municipality is actually
responsible.'” City of St. Louis v.
Praprotnik, 485 U.S. 112, 138 (1988) (quoting
Pembaur v. Cincinnati, 475 U.S. 469, 479-80 (1986))
(emphasis in Pembaur).
municipality cannot be held responsible for a constitutional
deprivation unless there is a direct causal link between a
municipal policy or custom and the alleged constitutional
deprivation. Monell, 436 U.S. at 691; Deaton v.
Montgomery Cty., Ohio, 989 F.2d 885, 889 (6th Cir.
1993). Simply stated, the plaintiff must
“‘identify the policy, connect the policy to the
city itself and show that the particular injury was incurred
because of the execution of that policy.'”
Garner v. Memphis Police Dep't, 8 F.3d 358, 364
(6th Cir. 1993) (quoting Coogan v. City of Wixom,
820 F.2d 170, 176 (6th Cir. 1987), overruled on other
grounds by Frantz v. Vill. of Bradford, 245 F.3d 869
(6th Cir. 2001)). The policy or custom “must be
‘the moving force of the constitutional violation'
in order to establish the liability of a government body
under § 1983.” Searcy, 38 F.3d at 286
(quoting Polk Cty. v. Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 326
(1981) (citation omitted)); Bd. of Cty. Comm'rs of
Bryan Cty., Okla. v. Brown, 520 U.S. 397, 404 (1997)
(indicating that plaintiff must demonstrate “deliberate
Court finds that Plaintiff has not alleged a policy or custom
of Hardin County related to the allegations in the complaint.
Plaintiff's official-capacity claim will be dismissed for
failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.