United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Owensboro
H. McKinley Jr., Senior United States District Judge.
Michael Curry filed the instant pro se 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 action proceeding in forma pauperis.
This matter is before the Court on initial review of the
complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons
stated below, the Court will dismiss the action.
complaint arises from his incarceration at the Grayson County
Detention Center. He sues Grayson County Jailer Wolsey in his
official capacity only. Plaintiff states that on February 15,
2019, he was in the property room. He states, “I had
these item[s] confiscated, baby oil – toothbrush
– boxer short’s – photo’s. Upon
leaving Grayson County Jail, none of these items were return
to me, no property list was given to me. The property was
allowed, then taken away, violating my rights.”
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).
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).
sues Defendant Wolsey in his official capacity only.
“Official-capacity 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, 165 (1985)
(quoting Monell, 436 U.S. at 690 n.55). Suing
employees in their official capacities is the equivalent of
suing their employer. Lambert v. Hartman, 517 F.3d
433, 439-40 (6th Cir. 2008); Matthews v. Jones, 35
F.3d 1046, 1049 (6th Cir. 1994); Smallwood v. Jefferson
Cty. Gov’t, 743 F.Supp. at 503. Therefore, the
Court construes Plaintiff’s official-capacity claim
against Defendant Wolsey as brought against his employer,
§ 1983 claim is made against a municipality, this Court
must analyze two distinct issues: (1) whether
Plaintiff’s harm was caused by a constitutional
violation; and (2) if so, whether the municipality is
responsible for that violation. Collins v. City of Harker
Heights, Tex., 503 U.S. 115, 120 (1992). To satisfy the
second prong, a 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). To demonstrate municipal liability, a
plaintiff “must (1) identify the municipal policy or
custom, (2) connect the policy to the municipality, and (3)
show that his particular injury was incurred due to execution
of that policy.” Alkire v. Irving, 330 F.3d
802, 815 (6th Cir. 2003) (citing Garner v. Memphis Police
Dep’t, 8 F.3d 358, 364 (6th Cir. 1993)). 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 v. City of Dayton, 38 F.3d 282, 286 (6th Cir.
1994) (quoting Polk Cty. v. Dodson, 454 U.S. 312,
326 (1981) (citation omitted)).
instant case, Plaintiff alleges that his property was taken
away in violation of his rights. However, he does not allege
that any action or inaction occurred as a result of a policy
or custom implemented or endorsed by Grayson County.
Plaintiff alleges an isolated occurrence affecting only him.
See Fox v. Van Oosterum, 176 F.3d 342, 348 (6th Cir.
1999) (“No evidence indicates that this was anything
more than a one-time, isolated event for which the county is
not responsible.”). Accordingly, Plaintiff’s
official-capacity claim against Defendant Wolsey must be
dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may
Plaintiff had sued Defendant Wolsey in his individual
capacity, however, the claim would still be subject to
dismissal. The allegations can be construed as a claim for
deprivation of Plaintiff s property in violation of the Due
Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Supreme Court
has held that where adequate remedies are provided by state
law, the negligent or intentional loss of personal property
does not state a claim cognizable under the Due Process
Clause. Hudson v. Palmer,468 U.S. 517, 533 (1984);
Parratt v. Taylor,451 U.S. 527 (1981),
rev’d on other grounds, Daniels v. Williams,
474 U.S. (1986). In order to assert a claim for deprivation
of property without due process pursuant to § 1983, a
plaintiff must allege that the state post-deprivation
procedures are inadequate to remedy the deprivation.
Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. at 543-44. The law of
this circuit is in accord. The Sixth Circuit held that
“[i]n § 1983 damage suits claiming the deprivation
of a property interest without procedural due process of law,
the plaintiff must plead and prove that state remedies for
redressing the wrong are inadequate.” Vicory v.
Walton,721 F.2d 1062, 1066 (6th Cir. 1983). The Sixth
Circuit has found ...