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Gregory v. Wiggins

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

August 29, 2019

TERRY LEE GREGORY PLAINTIFF
v.
JUDGE BRIAN WIGGINS et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Joseph H. McKinley Jr., Senior Judge.

         Plaintiff Terry Lee Gregory filed the instant pro se 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action proceeding in forma pauperis. This matter is before the Court on an initial review of the complaint (DN 1), the amended complaint (DN 4), and the second amended complaint (DN 7) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.[1] For the reasons stated below, the Court will dismiss the action.

         I. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff is a pretrial detainee at the Daviess County Detention Center. He sues the following Defendants: McLean County Circuit Judge Brian Wiggins; McClean County District Judge Brian Crick; and Ralph D. Vick, the Commonwealth's Attorney in McLean and Muhlenberg Counties. He sues Defendants in their individual and official capacities.

         In the second amended complaint, [2] Plaintiff states that on May 14, 2019, in McLean County District Court, he was “racially discriminated against and given an excessive bond of $1, 000 full cash and a $5, 000 full cash.” He asserts, “My codefendant John M. Boring became a free man from the judgement rendered by Judge Crick that day.” He states that the evidence found in Boring's home, evidence found in his pocket, and a statement from a confidential source show that Boring was in “possession of a handgun, loaded and being a convicted felon, baggie of meth in his wallet, a baggie of marijuana in his pocket, marijuana smoking pipe also in his pocket.” Plaintiff also states that a gun magazine and ammunition were found in Boring's bedroom and that a confidential source witnessed Boring smoking meth with his underage son. Plaintiff states, “John Boring is a caucasion male and he was a free man after our bond hearing May 14th 2019 10 am in Judge Crick's District Court Room and I was given those $1000, and $5000 full cash bonds.” He continues, “Now what was recovered from my person was: usb drive, $246, pocket knife, pointer/pen[;] in my vehicle was found my business bag w/ 2 laptops, my business license, drone w/ controller, and a secret hiding can. NO DRUGS, NO GUNS, NO Bullets. And I am an African American.”

         Plaintiff further states that he has felony charges pending from an earlier case in Daviess County. He states, “But Judge Wiggins on July 1st justifies my bond remaining the same because of it . . . .” He states that there was “no evidence of any wrong doing other than my showing up at the home of John Boring while his house is being raided by Coomes and the [McClean County Sheriff's Office].” Plaintiff maintains, “With all the factual evidence provided it is within reason to believe I was given an excessive bond(s) that was given on part or whole racialy biased judgement and discriminated against.”

         Plaintiff also states, “I have become a target in light of my suite against McLean County Sheriff Major Coomes.” He asserts that he sent a letter to Defendant Wiggins telling him that he believed that he was being racially discriminated against and “would aggressively persue legal recourse against him and his court . . .” and that he would seek a change of venue in the state criminal action. Plaintiff states that after Defendant Wiggins received the letter he was given new charges. He states that this is an act of “obvious retaliation.”

         With regard to Defendant Vick, in the first amended complaint, Plaintiff states, “On 7-1-19 Commonwealth Atty Ralph D. Vick suggested my bond remain the same and Circuit Court Judge Brian Wiggins agreed.”

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages and requests that all charges to be dropped.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         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).

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. ...


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