United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Rebecca Grady Jennings, District Judge.
Garrick Matthews filed a pro se 42 U.S.C. §
1983 complaint proceeding in forma pauperis. This
matter is before the Court upon initial screening pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons that follow, the
Court will dismiss Plaintiff's claims but allow him to
amend his complaint and order him to provide additional
information concerning the state charges against him.
identifying himself as a pretrial detainee at the Oldham
County Detention Center, sues the Louisville Metro Police
Department (LMPD) and the following LMPD officers: Detectives
Beau Gadeguard and Curt Flynn and Sergeants Robert King and
Kevin Casper. He sues Defendants in their official capacities
states that on December 9, 2018, Defendants Gadeguard, Flynn,
Casper, and King violated his constitutional rights by
“pulling me out of a car that I was not operating and
detaining me for no reason.” He states,
“Detective Casper stated that I was nervous and
stuttering while talking to him. So he demanded me to get out
of the car. And handcuffed me.  The detectives searched the
car without permission and found a weapon that the passenger
said was hers.” He states that Defendant Gadeguard
“was trying to get her to say that the weapon was
mine.” Plaintiff further asserts that Defendant King
“was making false accusations against me which violated
my due process. So did Detective Gadeguard.” Plaintiff
maintains that Defendant Gadeguard also searched the
passenger's purse “and found drug paraphernalia and
charged me with it.”
states that his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights were
violated by all of the Defendant officers. He asserts,
“There is more of my rights violated in this incident
but I'm lame to the law.” He also states,
“The LMPD has since changed its policy.”
relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
Where the form asks the filer to state any other relief
sought, Plaintiff writes “incarcerated.”
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 Defendants LMPD and the Defendant officers in their
official capacities only. LMPD is not a “person”
subject to suit under § 1983 because municipal
departments, such as police departments, are not suable under
§ 1983. Rhodes v. McDannel, 945 F.2d 117, 120
(6th Cir. 1991) (holding that a police department may not be
sued under § 1983); see also Marbry v. Corr. Med.
Servs., No. 99-6706, 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 28072, at *2
(6th Cir. Nov. 6, 2000) (holding that a jail is not an entity
subject to suit under § 1983). In this situation,
Louisville Metro Government is the proper defendant.
Smallwood v. Jefferson Cty. Gov't, 743 F.Supp.
502. 503 (W.D. Ky. 1990). The Court therefore will construe
the claim against Defendant LMPD as a claim brought against
Louisville Metro Government.
“[o]fficial-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, 166 (1985)
(quoting Monell v. New York City Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691 n.55 (1978)). Therefore, the
Court construes Plaintiff's official-capacity claims
against Defendants Gadeguard, Flynn, King, and Casper as
brought against their employer, Louisville Metro Government.
§ 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). In regard to 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 establish 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 ...