United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah Division
B. Russell, Senior United States District Judge.
James Harrison filed a pro se, in forma pauperis 42
U.S.C. § 1983 complaint. 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 following reasons, the complaint
will be dismissed.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
is a convicted prisoner currently incarcerated at the
Kentucky State Penitentiary (KSP), who, in the past, has been
housed in various other facilities, some of which are located
in the Eastern District of Kentucky. His complaint named more
than 100 Defendants. The Court, by prior Orders, severed
Plaintiff's claims against Defendants residing in the
Eastern District of Kentucky. See DNs 12 & 13. The
remaining 36 Western District Defendants are located at
either KSP or the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex (LLCC).
The Defendants at LLCC are Dagon Moon, Timothy Forgy, Scott
Jordan, Jennifer Bowlersock, Karen Wilder, Michelle
Heightchew, Joseph Reno, David E. Crawford, Sherri Gissinger,
Benjamin Harlan, Charles Risinger, Marcus Benjamin, Jonathan
Kimbrell, Sarita Schoenbachler, and Cody Pittman. The
Defendants employed at KSP are Jesse Coombs, Lisa Crick,
Harry Vension, Randy White, Brendan Inglish, Steven Birdsong,
Harlan R. Martin, Dan Smith, Jesse R. Jenkins, James R.
Beeler, W. Sanders, Brittany Fralex, William Simpson, James
B. Harris, James C. Smith, Linda Comick, T. Whatley, R.
O'Dell, Carl McLevain, J. Higgins, and John and Jane
Does. The facts pertinent to the Western District Defendants
will be summarized in conjunction with the analysis of the
claims against them below.
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 of the 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).
§ 1983 does not provide a statute of limitations,
federal courts borrow the forum state's statute of
limitations for personal injury actions. Wilson v.
Garcia, 471 U.S. 261, 275-80 (1985). Thus, in Kentucky,
§ 1983 actions are limited by the one-year statute of
limitations found in Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.140(1)(a).
Collard v. Ky. Bd. of Nursing, 896 F.2d 179, 182
(6th Cir. 1990). “[T]he statute of limitations begins
to run when the plaintiff knows or has reason to know of the
injury which is the basis of his action[, ] and [ ] a
plaintiff has reason to know of his injury when he should
have discovered it through the exercise of reasonable
diligence.” Id. at 183 (internal quotation
marks and citation omitted). Though the statute of
limitations is an affirmative defense, a court may raise the
issue sua sponte if the defense is obvious from the
face of the complaint. Fields v. Campbell, 39
Fed.Appx. 221, 223 (6th Cir. 2002) (citing Haskell v.
Washington Twp., 864 F.2d 1266, 1273 (6th Cir. 1988)).
Plaintiff's complaint is considered filed on May 15,
2019. The Court therefore finds that
Plaintiff's allegations concerning actions or events
predating May 15, 2018, are barred by the statute of
limitations. According to the complaint, Plaintiff was not
housed in the Western District during the one-year prior to
filing his complaint until he was transferred from the Little
Sandy Correctional Complex (LSCC) to the LLCC on February 7,
2019. From there, he was transferred to KSP on May 15, 2019.
Both LLCC and KSP are located within the Western District of
Kentucky. Thus, the only claims alleged by Plaintiff that are
within the one-year statute of limitations period and within
the Western District of Kentucky occurred between February 7,
2019, and May 15, 2019. The claims against the Western
District Defendants arising before his transfer to the
Western District on February 7, 2019, are time-barred and
will be time barred. These time-barred claims include
Plaintiff's claims against Defendants Warden Randy White,
Lisa Crick, Brendan Inglish, Dan Smith, Jesse Jenkins, Linda
Comick, Jesse Coombs, T. Whatley, R. O'Dell, and Harlan
R. Martin, all of which relate to Plaintiff's
incarceration at KSP before he was transferred to the Eastern
Kentucky Correctional Complex in March 2018.
against LLCC Defendants Schoenbachler and
alleges that on February 8, 2019, nurse supervisor LLCC
Defendant Schoenbachler discontinued his recently prescribed
medications and orders for a bottom bunk and wedge pillow.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Schoenbachler urged
Defendant Wilder to destroy the pillow wedge “and kept
most my property and files.” Plaintiff states ten
paragraphs later in the complaint that on March 13, 2019,
while still housed at LLCC, he was rushed to the hospital
when his “oxygen level dropped[.]” He states that
on March 17, 2019, he was returned from the hospital to LLCC
“and placed back into the same environmental hazardous
wing condition with the backed up sewage on the floor,
lingering in the air, and gnats flying throughout the wing
area.” He does not allege that his trip to the hospital
was related to the denial of medication, pillow wedge, or
establish an Eighth Amendment violation premised on
inadequate medical care, a prisoner must demonstrate that the
defendant acted, or failed to act, with
“‘deliberate indifference to serious medical
needs.'” Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825,
835 (1994) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97,
104 (1976)); Terrance v. Northville Reg'l Psychiatric
Hosp., 286 F.3d 834, 843 (6th Cir. 2002).
Plaintiff's allegations fail to state an Eighth Amendment
deliberate indifference claim because nothing in the
complaint links Defendant Schoenbachler's alleged denial
of medicine, a pillow wedge, or a bottom bunk to his
hospitalization approximately five weeks later.
his property and files, a prisoner claiming an unauthorized,
intentional deprivation of property in violation of the Due
Process Clause must show that state post-deprivation remedies
are inadequate. Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517,
531-33 (1984); Copeland v. Machulis, 57 F.3d 476,
479 (6th Cir. 1995) (per curiam). Kentucky has adequate
post-deprivation remedies for the confiscation or destruction
of property, such as a tort action for conversion against
individual defendants. See Wagner v. Higgins, 754
F.2d 186, 192 (6th Cir. 1985). Consequently, to the extent
that Plaintiff alleges a due-process claim regarding
deprivation of his property against Defendants Schoenbachler
and Wilder, it must be dismissed.
against LLCC Defendant Forgy
alleges that on February 25, 2019, Defendant Forgy confronted
Plaintiff with a weeks' worth of Plaintiff's
“privilege mail . . . addressed to various courts,
counsels and other state agencies laid tore opened on the
table.” Plaintiff states that Defendant Forgy accused
him of violating prison rules by providing legal advice to
other inmates housed at other facilities and signing their
names on pleadings without their knowledge. Plaintiff also
alleges that Defendant Forgy “made an indirect
perceived death threat.”
Plaintiff alleges that his privileged mail was opened, he
states that it was done so as part of an investigation.
Plaintiff does not have a constitutional right to be free
from prison investigations into alleged misconduct. See,
e.g., Walker v. Coffee, No. 1:18 CV 1965, 2019 WL
998809, at *4 n.4 (N.D. Ohio Mar. 1, 2019) (“[A]
prisoner does ...