United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville
CHARLES R. SIMPSON III, SENIOR JUDGE.
Aramis Murray filed the instant pro se 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 action proceeding in forma pauperis.
This matter is before the Court on an initial review of the
complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons
stated below, the Court will dismiss the action.
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
is a pretrial detainee at the Louisville Metro Department of
Corrections (LMDC). He sues Robert Warren Beck, whom he
identifies as a Staff Attorney with the Department of Public
Advocacy, in his individual and official capacities.
begins by stating that he has made “these unresolved
issues known in Court proceedings from Nov. 2018-July
2019.” He states that Defendant, his court-appointed
attorney in his state-court criminal proceeding, “does
not visit me to review discovery material, to overlook,
study, or strategize defenses. He only comes to attempt to
coerce me to sign over out of state documents, or to see me
one day prior to Court to tell me not to speak in
court.” Plaintiff continues, “He has verbally
said to me ‘You have murdered a person' showing no
faith in my innocence.” He maintains that Defendant has
refused to file motions that he has requested him to file.
Plaintiff states he has given Defendant “proof [of ]
lack of evidence” against him and that Defendant has
failed to act on it. Plaintiff states, “Evidence proves
innocence yet the dilatory process coerce duress of person.
These inconsistencies show deep conflict of interest, breach
of trust, encroachment of intangible rights doctrine, and
abuse of rights.” He further states that he has
informed the court and Defendant's supervisor of his wish
to terminate Defendant as his counsel but that he has been
ignored. He asserts, “This attorney lacks the ability
to work as an independent lawyer for his client and is highly
detrimental to my current and future life.”
relief, Plaintiff seeks punitive damages and injunctive
relief in the form of “removal attorney and/or change,
amended by rule of lenity.”
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).
state a claim under § 1983, “a plaintiff must
allege (1) deprivation of a right secured by the federal
Constitution or laws of the United States, and (2) that the
deprivation was caused by a person while acting under color
of state law.” Christy v. Randlett, 932 F.2d
502, 504 (6th Cir. 1991). It is firmly established that a
defense attorney, regardless of whether he or she is a public
defender or private attorney, does not act under color of
state law for purposes of § 1983. Polk Cty. v.
Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 325 (1981) (“[A] public
defender does not act under color of state law when
performing a lawyer's traditional functions as counsel to
a defendant in a criminal proceeding.”); Otworth v.
Vanderploeg, 61 Fed.Appx. 163, 165 (6th Cir. 2003)
(“A lawyer representing a client is not, by virtue of
being an officer of the court, a state actor under color of
state law within the meaning of § 1983.”).
Therefore, Plaintiff fails to state a claim under § 1983
Plaintiffs complaint must be dismissed for failure to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted. The Court will enter
a separate Order of ...