Bowman v. White et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION by Judge Greg N. Stivers on 11/29/2017. The Court finds that the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted and will dismiss this action by separate Order.cc: Plaintiff, pro se; Defendants (MNM)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:17CV-P112-GNS
WARDEN RANDY WHITE et al.
Plaintiff Randy Bowman filed the instant pro se 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action proceeding in
forma pauperis. This matter is before the Court on initial review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
For the reasons stated below, the Court will dismiss Plaintiff’s claims upon initial screening.
Plaintiff is a convicted inmate at the Kentucky State Penitentiary (KSP). He sues KSP
Warden Randy White; Deputy Warden Tim Lane; Case Manager William Simpson; and Unit
Manager Josh Patton. He sues each Defendant in his official capacity only.
Plaintiff states that he murdered another inmate at the Little Sandy Correctional Complex
on June 30, 2016. He was convicted and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. He
reports that he was transferred to KSP in November 2016 and placed on administrative control
status in January 2017. Plaintiff states as follows:
I am presently on my 3rd cycle of AC . . . . I have done all that has been asked of
me so as to get into the transition program so to be placed back into population
. . . clear conduct completed 4 journal work books. But Unit Manager Patton and
case manager Simpson keep reccomending me for AC and no threat exist . . . and
Warden White and deputy warden Lane go along with this. This is a 14th
Admendment violation as I do have a protected liberty interest here in that I could
be benefiting from the 3 cell house transition program and all the program offers
to others. If I am a threat as projected ship me out of state or allow me to
participate in the 3 cell house program. I am being held in 7 cell house a sensory
depravation cell with nothing but $20.00 a week in chips & cookies from the
As relief, Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief only. He states that he is “asking this court for
injunctive relief to either put me in the transition program or ship me out of state . . . .”
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 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)). “A pleading that
offers ‘labels and conclusions’ or ‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will
not do.’ Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders ‘naked assertion[s]’ devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement.’” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557).
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). And this Court is not required to create a
claim for Plaintiff. Clark v. Nat’l Travelers Life Ins. Co., 518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir. 1975).
To command otherwise would require the Court “to explore exhaustively all potential claims of a
pro se plaintiff, [and] would also transform the district court from its legitimate advisory role to
the improper role of an advocate seeking out the strongest arguments and most successful
strategies for a party.” Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985).
The Court construes the complaint as alleging that Plaintiff’s continued placement in
disciplinary segregation violates the Due Process Clause. However, it is well-established that
prisoners do not have a constitutional right to be incarcerated in a particular facility, a particular
part of the facility, or to be held in a specific security classification, unless the state has created a
liberty interest in remaining at a particular institution. See Olim v. Wakinekona, 461 U.S. 238,
245 (1983); Montanye v. Haymes, 427 U.S. 236, 242 (1976); Moody v. Daggett, 429 U.S. 78, 88
n.9 (1976); Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215 (1976). This is not the case in Kentucky, where
classification, segregation, and transfer of prisoners are within the discretion of the corrections
department. Ky. Rev. Stat. § 197.065. Courts have also regularly held that prisoners do not
enjoy a constitutional right to rehabilitative programs. Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 347
(1981); Canterino v. Wilson, 869 F.2d 948, 952-54 (6th Cir. 1989) (no liberty interest in inmate
classification or eligibility for work programs). In order for the segregation of an inmate to
violate the Due Process Clause, the segregation must impose an “atypical and significant”
hardship on the inmate “in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life.” Sandin v. Conner,
515 U.S. 472, 483 (1995). Generally, there is no liberty interest in remaining free from
disciplinary segregation. Id. at 484.
Plaintiff’s allegations concerning his placement in segregation do not demonstrate an
atypical and significant hardship in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life. Therefore,
the complaint fails to allege a violation of the Due Process Clause.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court finds that the complaint fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted and will dismiss this action by separate Order.
November 29, 2017
Greg N. Stivers, Judge
United States District Court
Plaintiff, pro se
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