United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. Russell, Senior Judge.
Joshua Simpson, filed a pro se, in forma
pauperis 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint. This matter is
before the Court for screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915A and McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601 (6th
Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by Jones v.
Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007). For the reasons set forth
below, the action will be dismissed in part and will be
allowed to continue in part.
STATEMENT OF CLAIMS
is incarcerated at the Kentucky State Penitentiary (KSP). He
names as Defendants in their individual and official
capacities KSP Warden DeEdra Hart and Correctional Lieutenant
James C. Smith. His claims arise from an incident on March
16, 2019, in which Plaintiff states that Defendant Smith
struck him with a closed fist while he was in metal wrist and
ankle restraints. He states that he suffered a cracked
septum, with gushing blood from his nose and two black eyes.
He alleges with regard to Defendant Hart that she is the KSP
Warden “and is in charge of all proper training of
correctional staff at the prison. . . . Defendant Smith
should have been trained that the use of unnecessary
excessive force on a restrained inmate is unlawful.”
relief, Plaintiff asks for monetary damages.
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 at 604. 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)).
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)). The claims brought against Defendants in their
official capacities, therefore, are deemed claims against the
Commonwealth of Kentucky. See Kentucky v. Graham,
473 U.S. at 166. State officials sued in their official
capacities for money damages are not “persons”
subject to suit under § 1983. Will v. Mich.
Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989).
Additionally, the Eleventh Amendment acts as a bar to claims
for monetary damages against Defendants in their official
capacities. Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. at 169. The
official-capacity claims will be dismissed for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted and for
seeking monetary relief from Defendants who are immune from
alleges that Defendant Hart, the KSP Warden, “is in
charge of all proper training of correctional staff at the
prison. . . . Defendant Smith should have been trained that
the use of unnecessary excessive force on a restrained inmate
doctrine of respondeat superior does not apply in
§ 1983 lawsuits to impute liability onto supervisory
personnel, see Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs.,
436 U.S. at 691-95, unless it is shown “that the
supervisor encouraged the specific incident of misconduct or
in some other way directly participated in it.”
Bellamy v. Bradley, 729 F.2d 416, 421 (6th Cir.
1984). A supervisor's failure to supervise, train or
control an employee is not actionable under § 1983,
unless the plaintiff shows “the official at least
implicitly authorized, approved, or knowingly acquiesced in
the unconstitutional conduct . . . .” Hays v.
Jefferson Cty., Ky., 668 F.2d 869, 874 (6th Cir. 1982);
see also Shehee v. Luttrell, 199 F.3d 295, 300 (6th
Cir. 1999) (“[A] supervisory official's failure to
supervise, control or train the offending individual is not
actionable unless the supervisor either encouraged the
specific incident of misconduct or in some other way directly
participated in it.”) (internal quotation marks and
citation omitted). Plaintiff makes no such allegations here.
Accordingly, the Court will dismiss Plaintiffs
individual-capacity claim against Defendant Hart.