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Marcum v. Gaddis

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division

December 11, 2019

DANIEL T.R. MARCUM PLAINTIFF
v.
SGT. JAMIE GADDIS et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          GREG N. STIVERS, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         This matter is before the Court on initial review of Plaintiff Daniel T.R. Marcum's pro se complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons that follow, the Court will allow a Fourteenth Amendment excessive-force claim to proceed against Defendant Gaddis and dismiss all other claims.

         I.

         Plaintiff is a pretrial detainee at the Taylor County Detention Center (TCDC). He brings suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the following TCDC officers in their individual and official capacities: Sgt. Jamie Gaddis, Jailer Hack Marcum, and Cpt. Paul Wise. Plaintiff divides his claims into three sections, which will be discussed below. As relief, Plaintiff seeks monetary and punitive damages and for Defendants “to be relieved of job duties, and not allowed to work in corrections.”

         II.

         Because Plaintiff is a prisoner seeking relief against governmental entities, officers, and/or employees, this Court must review the instant action under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under § 1915A, the trial court must review the complaint and dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, 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 § 1915A(b)(1), (2); McGore, 114 F.3d at 604.

         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 trial 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.

         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)). “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).

         A. First Section

         Plaintiff alleges that in March 2019, upon his arrival at TCDC, he was cuffed and shackled. He claims that Defendant Gaddis “drug me to intake room and planted his left elbow into my right ear” and “continued until he broke the cartlidge in my right ear.” The Court will allow this Fourteenth Amendment excessive-force claim to continue against Defendant Gaddis in his individual capacity.

         The official-capacity claim, which is actually a claim against Taylor County, will be dismissed because Plaintiff fails to “(1) identify [a] 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)).

         B. Second Section

         Plaintiff additionally alleges as follows:

I have been a resident of Taylor Co. Detention Center for 41 Days now. I havent been able to make a initial intake call. I am repetitivly denied attorney calls, and was finally allowed to order stamps after multiple grievences and 31 Days. I finally had gotten Capt. Wise to understand ...

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