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Pratt v. Laiter

United States District Court, D. Kansas

August 13, 2019

BRADLEE PRATT, Plaintiff,
v.
LEXINGTON LAITER, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          Sam A. Crow, U.S. District Senior Judge.

         This case is before the court to screen plaintiff's pro se complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

         I. Pro se standards

         “A pro se litigant's pleadings are to be construed liberally and held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). A pro se litigant, however, is not relieved from following the same rules of procedure as any other litigant. See Green v. Dorrell, 969 F.2d 915, 917 (10th Cir. 1992). A district court should not “assume the role of advocate for the pro se litigant.” Hall, supra. Nor is the court to “supply additional factual allegations to round out a plaintiff's complaint.” Whitney v. State of New Mexico, 113 F.3d 1170, 1173-74 (10th Cir. 1997).

         II. Screening standards

         Title 28 United State Code Section 1915A requires the court to review cases filed by prisoners seeking redress from a governmental entity or employee to determine whether the complaint is frivolous, malicious or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Section 1915 of Title 28 also authorizes the court to dismiss cases which fail to state a claim in in forma pauperis proceedings.

         When deciding whether plaintiff's complaint “fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, ” the court must determine whether the complaint contains “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim for 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)).

The plausibility standard is not akin to a probability requirement, but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Where a complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent with a defendant's liability, it stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.

Id. A plausibility analysis is a context-specific task depending on a host of considerations, including judicial experience, common sense and the strength of competing explanations for the defendant's conduct. See id. at 679; Twombly, 550 U.S. at 567.

         The court accepts the plaintiff's well-pled factual allegations as true and views them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. United States v. Smith, 561 F.3d 1090, 1098 (10th Cir. 2009). The court, however, is not required to accept legal conclusions alleged in the complaint as true. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. “Thus, mere ‘labels and conclusions' . . . will not suffice” to state a claim. Khalik v. United Air Lines, 671 F.3d 1188, 1191 (10th Cir. 2012) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). A complaint alleging that several defendants violated the law must plainly allege exactly who, among the many defendants named, did what to plaintiff, with enough detail to provide each individual with fair notice as to the basis of the claims against him or her. See Robbins v. Okla. ex rel. Dep't of Human Servs., 519 F.3d 1242, 1248-1250 (10th Cir. 2008).

         III. The complaint

         Plaintiff alleges that he was the victim of four instances of serious sexual misconduct by a member of the Anderson County Sheriff's Department when he was a pretrial detainee at the Anderson County Jail in November and December 2016. The last incident occurred in the middle of December 2016.

         Plaintiff alleges that nothing happened after he reported the incidents; that “defendants maintained policies and procedures . . . that permitted . . . unregulated, unrestricted access to vulnerable prisoners;” and that he never received medical or psychological treatment. Doc. No. 1, p. 2. He also asserts that there was a failure to train and supervise employees. Doc. No. 1, p. 3.

         Plaintiff alleges federal law claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law claims. He names the following defendants: Lexington Laiter, former Anderson County Sheriff's Deputy; Jeffrey Hupp, former Anderson County Sheriff; FNU Laiter, former Anderson County Undersheriff; John Doe #1, Anderson County Sheriff's Department employee; John Doe #2, Anderson County ...


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