United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah
THOMAS MYERS, JR. AND TIFFANY CLOUSE PLAINTIFFS
RYAN NORMAN, et al ., DEFENDANTS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. Russell, Senior Judge.
matter comes before the Court on two motions. First,
Defendant McCracken County Regional Jail (“MCRJ”)
filed a Motion to Dismiss, [R. 7]. Plaintiffs Thomas Myers,
Jr. and Tiffany Clouse responded, [R. 11], and MCRJ replied,
[R. 13]. Secondly, Defendants Denise Burkett, Cookie Crews,
Jim Erwin, and the Kentucky Department of Corrections
(collectively “KDOC Defendants”) filed a Motion
to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), [R. 9]. Plaintiff Myers
responded, [R. 10],  and KDOC Defendants replied, [R. 12].
Fully briefed, these matters are ripe for adjudication. For
the reasons stated herein, MCRJ's Motion to Dismiss, [R.
7], is GRANTED and KDOC Defendants' Motion to Dismiss,
[R. 9], is GRANTED.
factual allegations as set out in the Complaint, [R. 1], and
taken as true are as follows. On or about November 3rd, 2018,
Myers was allegedly shot by Detective Ryan Norman of the
McCracken County Sheriff's Office while Norman and
Detective Kyle Seratt, also of the McCracken County
Sheriff's Office, were attempting to execute a warrant
for Myers's arrest. [R. 1 at 8.] Afterward, Myers was
transported to Western Baptist Hospital where he received
medical aid, including emergency staples in his stomach.
[Id. at 12.] Plaintiffs allege that before Myers
could recover from the surgeries administered at Western
Baptist Hospital, he was arrested and housed at MCRJ.
[Id.] Plaintiffs also allege that Myers “did
not have adequate monitoring at MCRJ, ” “MCRJ
staff did not keep the wounds clean while he was housed
within the facility, ” and Myers did not get dialysis
treatments while at MCRJ. [Id.] Eventually, the
Kentucky Department of Corrections (“KDOC”) took
Myers into state custody at a hospital facility within the
Department of Corrections. [Id.] Plaintiffs also
allege that “Medical Staff within the [KDOC] refused to
perform needed and required surgeries to take staples out of
MYERS stomach. These surgical staples were infected. The
symptoms of infection were exacerbated because he did not
receive proper medical care within the facility.
Additionally, conditions at MCRJ and within the [KDOC] were
not clean and caused further infection.” [Id.
at 13.] Moreover, Plaintiffs allege that “[KDOC] failed
to provide all medical treatments which were medical
necessary for the health and wellbeing of MYERS.”
complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). In order to survive a
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a party must
“plead enough ‘factual matter' to raise a
‘plausible' inference of wrongdoing.”
16630 Southfield Ltd. P'ship v. Flagstar Bank,
F.S.B., 727 F.3d 502, 504 (6th Cir. 2013) (quoting
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). A
claim becomes plausible “when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556
(2007)). When considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss,
the Court must presume all of the factual allegations in the
complaint are true and draw all reasonable inferences in
favor of the non-moving party. Total Benefits Planning
Agency, Inc., 552 F.3d at 434 (citing Great Lakes
Steel, 716 F.2d at 1105). “The court need not,
however, accept unwarranted factual inferences.”
Id. (citing Morgan v. Church's Fried
Chicken, 829 F.2d 10, 12 (6th Cir. 1987)). Should the
well-pleaded facts support no “more than the mere
possibility of misconduct, ” then dismissal is
warranted. Iqbal, 556 U.S at 679. The Court may
grant a motion to dismiss “only if, after drawing all
reasonable inferences from the allegations in the complaint
in favor of the plaintiff, the complaint still fails to
allege a plausible theory of relief.” Garceau v.
City of Flint, 572 Fed.Appx. 369, 371 (6th Cir. 2014)
(citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677- 79).
assert claims against two sets of defendants. Against MCRJ,
Plaintiffs assert claims of medical malpractice and
negligence, as well as denial of the right to counsel.
Against KDOC Defendants, Myers asserts a claim of medical
malpractice and negligence. The Court will first address
Plaintiffs' claims against MCRJ, followed by Myers's
claim against KDOC Defendants.
Motion to Dismiss McCracken County Regional Jail
Complaint, MCRJ is listed as a defendant under Count VIII:
Medical Malpractice and Negligence, as well as Count IX:
Denial of the Right to Counsel. [See R. 1 at 19-21.]
In its motion to dismiss, MCRJ argues that the claims against
it must be dismissed as a matter of law because, as a jail,
it is not an entity subject to suit. [R. 7 at 1-2.] In
response, Plaintiffs state that they “cannot make a
good faith argument that the McCracken County Regional Jail
is an entity given the case law cited by the
Defendant.” [R. 11 at 2.] However, Plaintiffs also ask
the Court to “look at the operation of the jail and the
way it holds itself to the public entity as a person and rule
that the jail has conducted business as an entity and
therefore is subject to suit.” [Id.]
Court has stated before: “This matter is
straight-forward. The McCracken County Regional Jail is not
an entity subject to suit. See Comer v. McCracken Cty.
Det. Ctr., No. 5:18-CV-020-TBR, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
133195, at *8 (W.D. Ky. Aug. 7, 2018) (citing Matthews v.
Jones, 35 F.3d 1046, 1049 (6th Cir. 1994)); Blay v.
Daviess County Detention Center, No. 4:07-CV-P69-M, 2007
U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71131, 2007 WL 2809765, at *1 (W.D. Ky.
Sept. 25, 2007).” Parker v. McCracken Cty.
Reg'l Jail, No. 5:19-CV-27-TBR, 2019 WL 2527095, at
*1 (W.D. Ky. June 19, 2019) Furthermore, Plaintiffs give no
case law or reasoning to support their request to analyze the
jail as an entity in general. Therefore, MCRJ's Motion to
Dismiss, [R. 7], is GRANTED. As this claim cannot be saved by
an amendment of the complaint, the claims against MCRJ are
dismissed with prejudice.
Court recognizes that at the end of their response,
Plaintiffs make a brief request that “the Defendant
Tonya Ray in her official and individual capacity as Jailer
be required to give an answer to the complaint.” [R. 11
at 2.] However, as pointed out in MCRJ's Reply,
Plaintiffs have failed to file proof of service to Defendant
Tonya Ray as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
4(1). Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m), when a
defendant has not been served within ninety days of the
filing of the complaint, the Court “must dismiss the
action without prejudice against that defendant or order that
service be made within a specified time” unless
“the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(m). The ninety-day period has expired, and the
record shows no attempts by Plaintiffs to serve Defendant
Ray. The Court will, therefore, provide Plaintiffs with an
opportunity to show cause for their failure to comply with
the ninety-day service requirement or face dismissal of this
action against Defendant Ray in accordance with Rule 4(m).
Motion to Dismiss Kentucky Department of Corrections, James
Erwin, Cookie Crews, and Denise Burkett
Defendants filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). [R. 9.] KDOC Defendants are only
listed in the Complaint as defendants under Count IV: Medical
Malpractice and Negligence. [R. 1 at 17.] In their motion,
KDOC Defendants first argue that Myers's claims against
KDOC and Erwin, Crews, and Burkett in their official
capacities must be dismissed under the defense of sovereign
immunity. [R. 9-1 at 4.] According to the Complaint, at the
time of the incidents involved in this action, Erwin was the
Commissioner of the KDOC, Crews was the Director of Health
Services within the KDOC, and Burkett was the Clinical
Director within the KDOC. [R. 1 at 4.] Secondly, KDOC
Defendants argue that Myers's state tort claims against
Erwin, Crews, and Burkett in their individual capacities must
be dismissed due to their lack of personal involvement in
Myers's medical care. [Id. at 5.] In his
Response, Myers argues that the factual allegations contained
in the Complaint were sufficient, and, despite KDOC
Defendants' interpretation of the Complaint, his claims
fall under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for the violation of his
Eighth Amendment rights. [R. 10 at 3-4.] In reply, KDOC
Defendants argue that Myers still fails to state a cognizable
claim even if it is construed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
[R. 12 at 2.]
Claims Against KDOC and Erwin, Crews, and Burkett in their
Defendants argue that Myers's state law claims of medical
malpractice and negligence against KDOC and Erwin, Crews, and
Burkett in their official capacities must be dismissed ...