Caldwell v. Shearer et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER: 1) Caldwell's motion 12 to amend his COA is GRANTED; 2) Caldwell's complaint 1 and amended cmp 12 -1 are DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE; 3) Caldwell's pending motions are DENIED as MOOT; 4) Action is STRICKEN from the Court's docket; 5) Jgm will be entered. Signed by Judge Gregory F. VanTatenhove on 6/19/17.(MRS)cc: COR, pro se filer
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
HARVEY SHEARER, et al.,
Civil No. 6:17-cv-129-GFVT
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Byron Caldwell is an inmate confined at the Wayne County Detention Center in
Monticello, Kentucky. Proceeding without an attorney, Caldwell filed a civil rights complaint
against multiple employees of the detention center, including the Jailor, Deputy Jailor, two
Sergeants, and a maintenance worker. [R. 1.] In Caldwell’s complaint, he acknowledges that the
state of Kentucky recently charged him with trafficking in a controlled substance, trafficking in
marijuana, and promoting contraband, all while he was confined at the detention center. [R. 1 at
3.] However, Caldwell alleges that the defendants entrapped him into committing these offenses,
tampered with physical evidence, and otherwise ran afoul of his rights. [R. 1 at 2-14.] Caldwell
recently moved to amend his complaint and, in that motion, he echoes these claims. [R. 12.]
Among other forms of relief, Caldwell is seeking millions of dollars in damages for “defamation
of character,” and he asks the Court to remove the defendants from their jobs. [R. 1 at 18-19.]
While the Court will grant Caldwell’s motion to amend his complaint, it will dismiss
Caldwell’s initial and amended complaints without prejudice pursuant to the doctrine announced
in Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971). That doctrine provides that a federal court should
generally abstain from interfering in a state court action that is ongoing, involves an important
state interest, and provides an adequate opportunity to raise constitutional challenges. See Fieger
v. Cox, 524 F.3d 770, 775 (6th Cir. 2008) (discussing Younger abstention). Here, the state
criminal case against Caldwell is ongoing, 1 that matter obviously involves an important state
interest, and Caldwell has the opportunity to raise challenges to the charges against him during
the course of that criminal proceeding. Therefore, this Court will abstain from interfering in
Caldwell’s criminal case, just as it “has abstained from meddling in . . . [other] state court
criminal actions.” Stevenson v. Motors, No. 5:16-cv-421-KKC, 2017 WL 512750, *3 (E.D. Ky.
2017) (collecting cases). Instead, the Court will dismiss Caldwell’s complaint and amended
complaint without prejudice.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that:
Caldwell’s motion to amend his cause of action [R. 12] is GRANTED.
Caldwell’s complaint [R. 1] and amended complaint [R. 12-1] are DISMISSED
Caldwell’s pending motions, including his “motion to amend jurisdiction” [R. 9]
and “motion to amend jury trial demand” [R. 11], are DENIED as moot.
This action is STRICKEN from the Court’s docket.
A corresponding judgment will be entered this date.
The Court takes judicial notice of the publically available docket sheet in Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Byron
Caldwell, No. 17-F-00043 (2017).
This the 19th day of June, 2017.
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