United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
CROW U.S. SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE
Timothy Dale Fletcher brings this pro se civil
rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff
proceeds in forma pauperis. Mr. Fletcher is
currently an inmate at the Wilson County Jail in Fredonia,
Kansas. For the reasons discussed below, Plaintiff is ordered
to show cause why his complaint should not be dismissed.
Nature of the Matter before the Court
complaint (ECF No. 1) alleges that he received
constitutionally inadequate medical care when he was arrested
and confined at the Wyandotte County Detention Center (WCDC)
in Kansas City, Kansas. Plaintiff states he was at his
sister's house on February 25, 2019, when two Wyandotte
County deputies arrived and arrested him on a warrant.
Apparently, Mr. Fletcher had gotten “jumped” and
beaten up three days before and believed he had broken ribs
and lung damage. He told the deputies that he needed to be
taken to the University of Kansas Medical Center for
treatment of his injuries. The deputies refused
Plaintiff's request after calling someone.
his arrival at WCDC, Plaintiff was seen by the nurse upon his
request. According to the complaint, the nurse, Jane LNU,
“put this box on [Plaintiff's] finger” (ECF
No. 1 at 8) but did not check his ribs. She told him he was
just fine, and he was booked. Plaintiff continued to be in
pain and to complain to WCDC personnel, but he was able to
work as a trustee at the jail. He was seen by a nurse again
on July 9, 2019, and x-rays were ordered.
names as defendants the Unified Government of Wyandotte
County, the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Department, Deputy
FNU Hylton, and Deputy FNU Erickson. He requests relief in
the form of financial compensation for his pain and for any
hospital bills. He further requests that his case be dropped
and he be released from custody and that Deputy Hylton and
Erickson be dismissed.
Statutory Screening of Prisoner Complaints
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or
an employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(a). Additionally, with any litigant, such as Plaintiff,
who is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court has a duty to
screen the complaint to determine its sufficiency.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). The Court must
dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if a plaintiff has
raised claims that are legally frivolous or malicious, that
fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or
that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1)-(2).
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege the
violation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of
the United States, and must show that the alleged deprivation
was committed by a person acting under color of state
law.” West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988)
(citations omitted); Northington v. Jackson, 973
F.2d 1518, 1523 (10th Cir. 1992). A court liberally construes
a pro se complaint and applies “less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). In
addition, the court accepts all well-pleaded allegations in
the complaint as true. Anderson v. Blake, 469 F.3d
910, 913 (10th Cir. 2006). On the other hand, “when the
allegations in a complaint, however true, could not raise a
claim of entitlement to relief, ” dismissal is
appropriate. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 558 (2007).
se litigant's “conclusory allegations without
supporting factual averments are insufficient to state a
claim upon which relief can be based.” Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991).
“[A] plaintiff's obligation to provide the
‘grounds' of his ‘entitlement to relief'
requires “more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citations
omitted). The complaint's “factual allegations must
be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level” and “to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Id. at 555, 570.
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has explained “that, to
state a claim in federal court, a complaint must explain what
each defendant did to [the pro se plaintiff]; when
the defendant did it; how the defendant's action harmed
[the plaintiff]; and, what specific legal right the plaintiff
believes the defendant violated.” Nasious v. Two
Unknown B.I.C.E. Agents, 492 F.3d 1158, 1163 (10th Cir.
2007). The court “will not supply additional factual
allegations to round out a plaintiff's complaint or
construct a legal theory on a plaintiff's behalf.”
Whitney v. New Mexico, 113 F.3d 1170, 1173-74 (10th
Cir. 1997) (citation omitted).
Tenth Circuit has pointed out that the Supreme Court's
decisions in Twombly and Erickson gave rise
to a new standard of review for § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)
dismissals. See Kay v. Bemis, 500 F.3d 1214, 1218
(10th Cir. 2007) (citations omitted); see also Smith v.
United States, 561 F.3d 1090, 1098 (10th Cir. 2009). As
a result, courts “look to the specific allegations in
the complaint to determine whether they plausibly support a
legal claim for relief.” Kay, 500 F.3d at 1218
(citation omitted). Under this new standard, “a
plaintiff must ‘nudge his claims across the line from
conceivable to plausible.'” Smith, 561
F.3d at 1098 (citation omitted). “Plausible” in
this context does not mean “likely to be true, ”
but rather refers “to the scope of the allegations in a
complaint: if they are so general that they encompass a wide
swath of conduct, much of it innocent, ” then the
plaintiff has not “nudged [his] claims across the line
from conceivable to plausible.” Robbins v.
Oklahoma, 519 F.3d 1242, 1247 (10th Cir. 2008) (citing
Twombly, 127 S.Ct. at 1974).
Failure to state a claim of a ...