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Williams v. Underwood

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

August 9, 2019




         Plaintiff Jeremy Wayne Williams 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, this action will be dismissed.

         After filing his complaint, Plaintiff filed a supplement to the complaint (DN 11). Before the Court conducts its initial review, the Court considers whether Plaintiff's supplement to the complaint is proper. In so doing, the Court considers the supplement to be a motion to supplement the complaint under Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(d).

         Rule 15(d) provides: “On motion and reasonable notice, the court may, on just terms, permit a party to serve a supplemental pleading setting out any transaction, occurrence, or event that happened after the date of the pleading to be supplemented.” Permission to file supplemental pleadings under Rule 15(d) may be granted “when the supplemental facts connect it to the original pleading.” Quaratino v. Tiffany & Co., 71 F.3d 58, 66 (2d Cir. 1995); see also Corum v. Beth Israel Med. Ctr., 359 F.Supp. 909, 914 (S.D.N.Y. 1973) (noting that supplementing pleadings with transactions and occurrences since the date of the original proceedings complied with Rule 15(d) and may support policy considerations such as judicial economy).

         Here, the allegations in the supplemental complaint pertain to conditions of confinement at the Larue County Detention Center (LCDC), which is a named Defendant. The Court finds that Plaintiff's motion to supplement should be granted. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion (DN 11) is GRANTED. The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to docket DN 11 as a supplemental complaint.


         Plaintiff is a pretrial detainee at LCDC. He names as Defendants in their individual and official capacities Jailer Jamie Underwood and Public Defender Heather Temple. He also names Larue County as a Defendant.

         In his complaint, [1] Plaintiff alleges that on December 3, 2018, he asked and was denied the following: to go to the legal library at LCDC: for the Kentucky Revised Statutes manual: and for a lawyer to call him regarding the criminal charges against him. He alleges that Defendants did not answer his requests or allow him to go to the library or call his attorney. He states that he filed two grievances about the deputies denying him access to court. He alleges that he was not given a copy of the requested forms or grievances or a § 1983 complaint form he requested, thereby violating his rights.

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Temple violated his Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel in failing to represent him in his criminal case. Specifically, he alleges that on December 12, 2018, at his preliminary hearing he wanted Defendant Temple to ask several questions of Officer Eric Whitlock, but she refused to do so. He states that as a consequence he fired “his court appointed counsel and represented himself pro se because she wasn't going to do her job.”

         Plaintiff alleges that he suffered unlawful imprisonment, cruel and unusual punishment, denial of access to court, obstruction, and denial of due process when Defendant Underwood would not let his deputy jailers take a motion that Plaintiff wanted to file to the court clerk and instead required Plaintiff to mail it.

         Plaintiff asks for monetary and punitive damages and to have the charges against him dismissed.

         In his supplemental complaint (DN 11), Plaintiff alleges that while in segregation between May 13 and 21, 2019, other inmates popped the lock to get out of their isolation cells; another inmate was put into his cell even though it was a single isolation cell; and he witnessed other inmates “arcing” exposed wires to cause a spark to light their cigarettes. He also alleges that the “A/C blower” could be pushed up and used to escape. He further complains that Defendant Underwood refuses to spend money to fix the fact that a microwave oven is perched on top of a plastic trash can with a puddle of water beneath it from a shower leak; that there is black mold in the shower; that the hot water button on the sink does not work; that there are live, exposed wires; and that there are loose and rusting shower plates. He also alleges that Defendant Underwood fails to pay for insecticide spraying or to address the mold on the food trays.

         II. ANALYSIS

         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 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 ...

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