United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Jeffrey J. Helmick United States District Judge.
se plaintiff Steven Upham, a state prisoner incarcerated
in the Marion Correctional Institution, has filed this in
forma pauperis civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. The Director of the Ohio Department of
Rehabilitation and Correction, Ohio Attorney General Mike
DeWine, Allen County Prosecutor Juergen Waldick, and Allen
County Sheriff Samuel A. Crish are named as defendants. (Doc
No. 1.) The basis for plaintiff's action is that prison
corrections officers and sheriff's deputies failed to
adequately protect his safety after he became a witness for
the state in a murder case against another inmate, Marcellis
specific allegations are as follows. First, he alleges that
“Sargent Smith” had knowledge that he was going
to be a witness in the murder case against Carter, but
nonetheless made the reckless and intentional decision to
house him in the Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution
(AOCI), even though Carter's mother was a retired
corrections officers there. (Id. at 5.) From May
2014 to September 2015, he allegedly reported over 40
incidents to Sargent Smith of threats made to him by other
inmates and Carter, and verbal abuse by corrections officers.
the plaintiff alleges that during Carter's murder trial,
“Sheriff's deputies” placed him in the same
holding cell as Carter, where Carter “savagely
assaulted” him for over two minutes. (Id. at
he alleges he was returned to a “hostile
environment” at AOCI. He alleges that although Judge
Reed ordered a “video blackout, ” corrections
officers at AOCI informed him that the holding cell attack
was being broadcasted on television and on YouTube. Further,
Corrections Officer “Randall purposely skip[ped]
medical to make plaintiff suffer [and] then parade[d him] 3
times in restraints across a heavily populated yard so
inmates and Randall could voice [their] threats” to
plaintiff asserts that “the parties brought fourth
[sic] in this suit are respons[i]ble for constitutional
rights violations, bodily injury, and emotional and other
damages” caused by “the state's unjustified
failure to keep [him] safe, ” and he seeks fifty
million dollars in damages and an “immediate
judgment” stopping the showing of the courtroom holding
cell attack. (Id. at 8.)
the plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis and
seeks relief from governmental officials and employees, I
must review his complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e) and 1915A. Those statutes require federal district
courts to review and dismiss before service a complaint, or
portion of it, that the court determines 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 Hill v. Lappin, 630
F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010). Although pro se
complaints are construed liberally, see Boag v.
MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982); Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), in order to state a
claim, a pro se complaint must contain
“sufficient factual matter, accepted as true to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Hill, 630 F.3d at 471 (holding that the dismissal
standard articulated in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662 (2009) and Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544 (2007) governs dismissals under 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e) and 1915A).
review, I must dismiss the plaintiff's complaint.
Eighth Amendment may be violated when prison officials fail
to “take reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of
inmates, ” including taking reasonable measures
“to protect prisoners from violence at the hands of
other prisoners.” Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S.
825, 832-33 (1994). To establish a constitutional violation
based on a failure to protect, a plaintiff also must show
that prison officials acted with “deliberate
indifference” to inmate health or safety. Bishop v.
Hackel, 636 F.3d 757, 766 (6th Cir. 2011). “An
official is deliberately indifferent if he or she knows of
and disregards an excessive risk to inmate health or safety;
the official must both be aware of the facts from which the
inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of harm
exists, and he must also draw the inference.”
Id. at 766-67.
assuming the plaintiff may have some potentially meritorious
claim under the Eighth Amendment based on the facts he
alleges, he has not alleged a plausible claim against any of
the named defendants. He does not allege any facts suggesting
that any of the named defendants was personally involved in
any of the conduct of which he complains regarding his
safety, nor does he allege facts suggesting that any of the
named defendants otherwise approved of or condoned the
alleged conduct. Supervisory officials may not be held liable
under § 1983 for constitutional rights violations
committed by subordinates solely on the basis of
respondeat superior. A supervisory official cannot
be liable unless the plaintiff alleges facts demonstrating
that “the supervisor encouraged the specific incident
of misconduct or in some other way directly participated in
it.” See Cardinal v. Metrish, 564 F.3d 794,
802-03 (6th Cir. 2009). The plaintiff does not allege such
facts regarding the named defendants.
“damage claims against governmental officials alleged
to arise from violations of constitutional rights cannot be
founded upon conclusory, vague or general allegations, but
must instead, allege facts that show the existence of the
asserted constitutional rights violation recited in the
complaint and what each defendant did to violate the
asserted right.” Terrance v. Northville Reg. Psych.
Hosp., 286 F.3d 834, 842 (6th Cir. 2002). “Merely
listing names in the caption of the complaint, ” as the
plaintiff does here, “is not enough to sustain recovery
under §1983.” Gilmore v. Corr. Corp. of
Am., 92 F. App'x 188, 190 (6th Cir.
I must dismiss the plaintiff's complaint because, even
liberally construed, it fails to allege facts sufficient to
suggest he may have any plausible ...