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House v. LMDC

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division

November 20, 2019

LOUIS F. HOUSE, III Plaintiff
v.
LMDC et al., Defendants

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Rebecca Grady Jennings, District Judge.

         This is a pro se prisoner civil-rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has granted Plaintiff Louis F. House, III, leave to proceed in forma pauperis. This matter is before the Court for screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will dismiss Plaintiff's claims but allow him the opportunity to amend his complaint.

         I. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff was previously incarcerated as a pretrial detainee at the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections (LMDC). He brings this suit against LMDC and LMDC Jailer Mark Bolton. He does not indicate in what capacity he sues Defendant Bolton.

         Plaintiff alleges that prior to his incarceration at LMDC, he was shot eight times - once in the back, once is his chest, twice in his left arm, once in his left thigh, twice in his right thigh, and once in his “achilles.” Plaintiff states that upon his arrival at LMDC he showed the nurses his open gunshot wounds and walked through the metal detector to show them that he still had bullets in his legs. Plaintiff states that he was told that he would be placed on the medical floor where he would be seen by a nurse everyday but that he never was. Plaintiff alleges that he continued to show various nurses and correctional officers his gunshot wounds but none of them did anything about it.

         Plaintiff next alleges that he was attacked by at least eight inmates. He claims that they “busted my gunshot wounds open, I felt my left leg heating up where my bullet is stuck in my leg. I had bruises and knots on my left arm where I was shot twice.” Plaintiff states that he was then put in a room where pictures were taken of his body and where he was seen by a nurse who observed that he had “busted open gunshot wounds” which were bleeding. Plaintiff alleges that he was still not “placed on medical floor and dorm” and that he never had “follow ups or check ups from a doctor or nurse after the incident.”

         He concludes his complaint as follows:

I still have open gunshot wounds and I notified every correction officer an nurse on this floor. I still have pains in my chest from where I was shot. I have been in [LMDC] since May 16th, 2019, today is June 16th and I have not seen a doctor unless my gun shot wounds starts to bleed to the point where they have no choice but to see me. . . . I am still in general population where I can barely protect myself if any altercation was to go on. I still have pains in my arm from where I was kicked and jumped by other inmates.[1]

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks damages.

         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 claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “[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)). “A pleading that offers ‘labels and conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.' Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders ‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual enhancement.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557).

         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). And this Court is not required to create a claim for Plaintiff. Clark v. Nat'l Travelers Life Ins. Co., 518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir. 1975). To command otherwise would require the Court “to explore exhaustively all potential claims of a pro se plaintiff, [and] would also transform the district court from its legitimate advisory role to the improper role of an advocate seeking out the strongest arguments and most successful strategies for a party.” Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985).

         III. ...


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