Samuels v. Daviess County Government et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER by Senior Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr. on 1/16/2023: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the claims set forth in the complaint are DISMISSED for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED th at within 30 days from the entry date of this Order, Plaintiff may file a second amended complaint in which he: 1) names as Defendants the DCDC officials who allegedly violated his constitutional rights by allowing him to become infected with COVID-1 9 and describes the actions taken by each Defendant; 2) sues these Defendants in their individual capacities; and 3) completes a summons form for each newly named Defendant. In the second amended complaint, Plaintiff must also clarify whether he is a pretrial detainee or a convicted prisoner. If Plaintiff fails to file a second amended complaint within the time allotted, this action will be dismissed for the reasons set forth herein. The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to send Plaintiff a 1983 com plaint form with the words Second Amended Complaint and the instant case number. The Clerk of Court shall also send Plaintiff three blank summons forms with the instant case number.cc: Plaintiff, pro se, w/ 1983 form and summons forms; Defendants; Daviess County Detention Center (EAS)
Case 4:22-cv-00115-JHM Document 7 Filed 01/17/23 Page 1 of 5 PageID #: 47
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
BRYSON ORNELL SAMUELS
CIVIL ACTION NO. 4:22-CV-P115-JHM
DAVIESS COUNTY GOVERNMENT et. al.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Bryson Ornell Samuels filed the instant pro se 42 U.S.C. § 1983 prisoner civilrights action. This matter is before the Court on initial review of the complaint and amended
complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons stated below, the Court will dismiss
the claims set forth in the complaint and amended complaint but will allow Plaintiff to file a second
In the complaint (DN 1), Plaintiff indicates that he is incarcerated as a convicted prisoner
at Daviess County Detention Center (DCDC) and that he brings this action against the Daviess
County Government and DCDC Jailer Art Maglinger.1 Plaintiff indicates that he sues Defendant
Maglinger in his official capacity only. In the amended complaint, Plaintiff states that he is
incarcerated as a pretrial detainee at DCDC and additionally names DCDC “Head Registered
Nurse” Jenny B. Philips as a Defendant in this action. He does not indicate in what capacity he
sues Defendant Philips.
Plaintiff sets forth the following allegations in the complaint:2
(1) On 8-8-22 whilt sleeping jail staff placed an inmate which came from quarantine
in a non-infected cell away from covid that I was in. Next I got sick with Covid.
At this time, me and other inmates tested positive for Covid. Prior to this day no
Although Plaintiff indicates that the DCDC Jailer’s last name is “Magiliner,” the Court takes judicial notice that his
last name is “Maglinger.”
Plaintiff makes no allegations in the amended complaint.
Case 4:22-cv-00115-JHM Document 7 Filed 01/17/23 Page 2 of 5 PageID #: 48
one had Covid and we ended with covid in our stationed cells which us at risk for
(2) On 8-10-22 after being placed on quarantine we were again exposed while
deputies let us out with other inmates during our quarantine period. This is a
violation of my 8th and 14th Amendments.
As relief, Plaintiff seeks damages.
When a 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).
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] 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
Case 4:22-cv-00115-JHM Document 7 Filed 01/17/23 Page 3 of 5 PageID #: 49
v. Hall, 610 F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979) (citation omitted).
The complaint and amended complaint fail to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. Plaintiff sues Daviess County and DCDC Jailer Maglinger in his official capacity.
“Official-capacity 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)). Thus, Plaintiff’s
official-capacity claim against Defendant Maglinger is actually against his employer, Defendant
Daviess County. A municipality such as Daviess County cannot be held responsible for a
constitutional deprivation unless there is a direct causal link between a municipal policy or custom
and the alleged constitutional deprivation. Monell, 436 U.S. at 691; Deaton v. Montgomery Cnty.,
Ohio, 989 F.2d 885, 889 (6th Cir. 1993). The policy or custom “must be ‘the moving force of the
constitutional violation’ in order to establish the liability of a government body under § 1983.”
Searcy v. City of Dayton, 38 F.3d 282, 286 (6th Cir. 1994) (quoting Polk Cnty. v. Dodson, 454
U.S. 312, 326 (1981) (citation omitted)). In the instant case, Plaintiff does not allege that any
constitutional violation occurred pursuant to a policy or custom of Daviess County. Thus,
Plaintiff’s claim against Daviess County and his official-capacity claim against Defendant
Maglinger must be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
As to Defendant Philips, Plaintiff’s claim against her is subject to dismissal because he
makes no allegations against her. It is a basic pleading essential that a plaintiff attribute factual
allegations to particular defendants. See Twombly, 550 U.S. at 544 (holding that, in order to state
a claim, a plaintiff must make sufficient allegations to give a defendant fair notice of the claim).
The Sixth Circuit “has consistently held that damage claims against government officials arising
Case 4:22-cv-00115-JHM Document 7 Filed 01/17/23 Page 4 of 5 PageID #: 50
from alleged violations of constitutional rights must allege, with particularity, facts that
demonstrate what each defendant did to violate the asserted constitutional right.” Lanman v.
Hinson, 529 F.3d 673, 684 (6th Cir. 2008) (citing Terrance v. Northville Reg'l Psych. Hosp., 286
F.3d 834, 842 (6th Cir. 2002)). Where a person is named as a defendant without an allegation of
specific conduct, the complaint is subject to dismissal, even under the liberal construction afforded
to pro se complaints. See Frazier v. Michigan, 41 F. App’x 762, 764 (6th Cir. 2002) (dismissing
the plaintiff’s claims where the complaint did not allege with any degree of specificity which of
the named defendants were personally involved in or responsible for each alleged violation of
Nonetheless, before dismissing this action, the Court will allow Plaintiff the opportunity to
file a second amended complaint in which he names as Defendants the DCDC officials whose
actions he alleges allowed him to become infected with COVID-19 and describes the actions
allegedly taken by each. See, e.g., LaFountain v. Harry, 716 F.3d 944, 951 (6th Cir. 2013)
(“[U]nder Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a district court can allow a plaintiff
to amend his complaint even when the complaint is subject to dismissal under the PLRA [Prison
Litigation Reform Act].”).
For the foregoing reasons, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the claims set forth in the
complaint are DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1) for failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that within 30 days from the entry date of this Order,
Plaintiff may file a second amended complaint in which he: 1) names as Defendants the DCDC
officials who allegedly violated his constitutional rights by allowing him to become infected with
Case 4:22-cv-00115-JHM Document 7 Filed 01/17/23 Page 5 of 5 PageID #: 51
COVID-19 and describes the actions taken by each Defendant; 2) sues these Defendants in their
individual capacities; and 3) completes a summons form for each newly named Defendant.3 In
the second amended complaint, Plaintiff must also clarify whether he is a pretrial detainee
or a convicted prisoner.
If Plaintiff fails to file a second amended complaint within the time allotted, this action will
be dismissed for the reasons set forth herein.
The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to send Plaintiff a § 1983 complaint form with the
words “Second Amended Complaint” and the instant case number. The Clerk of Court shall also
send Plaintiff three blank summons forms with the instant case number.
January 16, 2023
Plaintiff, pro se
Daviess County Detention Center
Regarding the completion of the summon form, Plaintiff must: (1) prepare a summons each Defendant; (2) write or
type the Defendant’s name and address on the summons in the space provided; (3) write or type Plaintiff’s name in
the space provided; (4) do not fill in any other part of the summons form and do not mail the summons to any of the
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?