Bryant v. Butler County Detention Facility
ORDER ENTERED: Plaintiff has failed to state a claim and directs that plaintiff's case be dismissed without prejudice. Signed by U.S. District Senior Judge Sam A. Crow on 01/26/18. Mailed to pro se party Gary L. Bryant by regular mail. (smnd)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
GARY L. BRYANT,
Case No. 16-3240-SAC
BUTLER COUNTY DETENTION FACILITY,
O R D E R
responses to this court’s order to show cause why this case
should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim pursuant to
28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)((B)(ii) and 1915A(b)(1).
As noted in
the show cause order, the court gives a liberal construction to
On December 8, 2016, plaintiff filed an amended complaint
on forms for bringing an action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
The amended complaint names the Butler County Detention
Facility (BCDF) as the sole defendant.
The amended complaint
alleges that employees at the BCDF neglected to follow up with
plaintiff severe physical pain and suffering as well as mental
The court’s show cause order (Doc. No. 7), citing
Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327 (1986), noted that a charge of
U.S.C. § 1983.1
Plaintiff has filed multiple responses to the show cause
These responses provide more factual background.
serious medical need, as necessary to allege a constitutional
violation for which plaintiff may recover under § 1983.
does plaintiff assert a claim against a person who may be sued
under § 1983.
I. Plaintiff’s responses
documenting two visits with medical staff on October 28, 2016
and November 18, 2016.
Doc. No. 9.
The records show that
rolled over while he was being chased by police.
treated at an emergency room on that day.
A splint was applied
to his right hand to care for a fracture or dislocation.
Section 1983 provides that persons acting under the authority of state law
may be held liable for depriving citizens of their rights under the
Constitution or laws of the United States.
court assumes that plaintiff was incarcerated at BCDF on or
about October 10, 2016.
Plaintiff’s October 28, 2016 medical visit occurred with an
outside source (“The Hand Center, P.A.”) while plaintiff was in
custody at BCDF.
The records indicate that plaintiff’s hand was
They also show that he was not complaining of
loss of nerve or motor function, but that there was some pain
X-rays showed a fracture.
It was suggested
that plaintiff try some time “out of cast” and try to establish
a “gentle range of motion.”
Plaintiff was agreeable to this.
follow-up visit was suggested in 8 to 10 days.
plaintiff was seen again at the hand clinic on November 18,
Plaintiff reported that he was about the same and still
had some symptoms.
The color and appearance of his hand was
appropriate, but there was still some tenderness, stiffness and
lack of strength.
It was suggested that plaintiff squeeze warm
water from a sponge or washcloth as an exercise.
plaintiff was released to regular activities with follow-up as
On January 25, 2017, plaintiff asserted to the court that
he did not get follow-up visits that were ordered by doctors.
Doc. No. 8.
On February 7, 2017, plaintiff asserted the staff
at BCDF denied several requests he made for medical treatment
“placing my . . . condition in a permanent state of undue trauma
Causing excessive pain and suffering along
with substantially high future medical expense, in repairing the
Doc. No. 11. It appears that plaintiff was released
from BCDF on or about March 9, 2017, but later returned to
II. Failure to state a claim
recover under § 1983, plaintiff must allege facts describing a
deliberate indifference to a serious medical need.
treatment of prisoners post-conviction); Olsen v. Layton Hills
Mall, 312 F.3d 1304, 1315 (10th Cir. 2002)(applying the same
standard to the treatment of pretrial detainees).
result from intentionally denying or delaying access to medical
Estelle, 429 U.S. at 104-05.
But, proof of inadvertence
or negligence is not sufficient to establish a valid claim.
at 105-06; Self v. Crum, 439 F.3d 1227, 1233 (2006).
the Constitution is not violated by a person who simply resolves
“the question whether additional diagnostic techniques or forms
plaintiff must show the defendant knew the plaintiff “faced a
substantial risk of harm and disregarded that risk ‘by failing
to take reasonable measures to abate it.’”
Hunt v. Uphoff, 199
F.3d 1220, 1224 (10th Cir. 1999)(quoting Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 847 (1994)).
A disagreement between an inmate and
medical personnel over the course of treatment, without more,
does not give rise to a deliberate indifference claim.
Pacheco, 627 F.3d 1178, 1192 (10th Cir. 2010).
In plaintiff’s responses to the show cause order, plaintiff
has failed to allege facts showing deliberate indifference as
opposed to negligence.
Plaintiff does not plausibly describe a
situation in which persons working for BCDF knew plaintiff faced
a substantial risk of harm and disregarded that risk by failing
to take reasonable measures to abate it.
Plaintiff does not
The medical records submitted to the court do
plaintiff has alleged is that jail staff did not recognize or
appreciate the severity of plaintiff’s hand condition in the
same way as plaintiff.
This might describe negligence, but it
does not describe deliberate indifference to a serious medical
In Self, the court stated that a plausible claim may be
described by facts showing that an obvious need for treatment
439 F.3d at 1232.
This could happen when a BCDF
health officer or jail authority: 1) recognized the need for
requiring a specialist, and declined or refused to provide a
referral; 2) failed to treat a condition, such as a gangrenous
hand or serious laceration, that would have been obvious even to
a layperson; or 3) completely denied care though presented with
Id.; see also, Sparks v. Singh, 690 Fed.Appx. 598
additional treatment usually is a matter of medical judgment,
which is not a predicate for deliberate indifference”); Walker
2015)(affirming dismissal of claims against some defendants when
allegations did not show need for medical care was obvious to
Plaintiff does not state facts plausibly showing that a
recognizable need of treatment for a serious medical issue was
known but disregarded by BCDF personnel.
In addition, although it was not mentioned in the court’s
Of course, a “person” liable under § 1983 may include
governmental authorities which may sue or be sued and, in some
This court, however, has held that county detention
because they do not have the legal capacity to sue or be sued.
See Gray v. Kufahl, 2016 WL 4613394 *4 (D.Kan. 9/6/2016)(Lyon
10/24/2012)(Sedgwick County Jail is not a suable entity under §
1983); Chubb v. Sedgwick County Jail, 2009 WL 634711 *1 (D.Kan.
3/11/2009)(same); Howard v. Douglas County Jail, 2009 WL 1504733
subject to suit under § 1983).
If plaintiff were to name an entity which could be sued,
such as the Board of County Commissioners for Butler County or a
company in charge of providing medical services in the detention
facility, his claim would still fail as currently alleged.
governmental function is not liable under § 1983 merely because
it employed someone whose actions violated § 1983.
of respondeat superior or vicarious liability does not apply.
Plaintiff would have to allege facts demonstrating that a county
or corporate policy caused the alleged constitutional violation.
See Connick v. Thompson, 563 U.S. 51, 60-61 (2011); Smedley v.
Corrections Corp. of America, 175 Fed. App'x 943, 946 (10th Cir.
2005)(applying § 1983 standards for municipal liability to a
private prison corporation); Cox v. Ann, 2015 WL 859064 *16
Plaintiff does not allege facts in
corporate policy was responsible for his injury.
plaintiff’s failure to allege facts describing a plausible claim
grounds to dismiss plaintiff’s amended complaint for failure to
Plaintiff’s amended complaint and responses to the court’s
show cause order fail to allege facts showing a plausible claim
addition, plaintiff fails to name an individual or suable entity
indifferent to plaintiff’s serious medical needs while plaintiff
was at BCDF.
The court concludes that plaintiff has failed to
state a claim and directs that plaintiff’s case be dismissed
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated this 26th day of January, 2018, at Topeka, Kansas.
s/Sam A. Crow__________________________
Sam A. Crow, U.S. District Senior Judge
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