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Foster v. Lucas County Correctional Center

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division

June 28, 2018

Christopher Foster, Plaintiff
v.
Lucas County Correctional Center, Defendant

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JEFFREY J. HELMICK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Background and History

         Pro se Plaintiff Christopher Foster filed this Complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on August 11, 2016, against the Lucas County Correctional Center (“LCCC”). The Southern District transferred the case to this Federal District Court on August 22, 2016. In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges he is being kept in isolation at LCCC. He also contends jail personnel placed him in a cell that is not wheelchair accessible, deprived him of television, recreation privileges, razors and scissors, and removed his wheelchair claiming he used it to assault a corrections officer. He asserts claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. He seeks monetary damages.

         Plaintiff states he is an Ohio prisoner, previously incarcerated in the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility under a super maximum security classification. He was moved to LCCC in 2015 to stand trial on three counts of harassment with a bodily substance. Plaintiff indicates he has thrown urine and feces at corrections officers and has spit on them.

         Plaintiff contends he uses wheelchair because he suffers from reflex dystrophy, neuropathy, brain damages, and overall chronic injuries. He claims he has been housed in cells at the LCCC that are not conducive to a wheelchair. He also states he receives no medical treatment.

         Plaintiff claims that after his arrival at LCCC, he was rushed by Sergeant Mysinger on June 2, 2016. He indicates he felt he was being “treated like an animal in a nonaccessible cell” and decided to “physically defend” himself. (Doc. No. 1-1 at PageID #:3). This led to the filing of additional felony charges of assault and harassment with a bodily substance against Plaintiff in the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas.

         Plaintiff states he was moved, under duress, to a new cell. He claims his wheelchair would not fit through the door without folding, and the cell was smelly and disgusting. He alleges another inmate treated him disrespectfully so he sprayed the inmate with juice through the door. He contends Sergeant Collins and other corrections officers rushed into the cell, and roughly removed him from it. He states he tried to break free and they attacked him. He claims Collins stood over him and pointed a tazer at his chest. He alleges he was handcuffed and placed in a restraint chair where he was left for 8 hours. He also states his wheelchair was confiscated by one of the LCCC doctors after a corrections officer reported that Plaintiff tried to hit an officer with it. Plaintiff denies that action. A third felony charge of harassment with a bodily substance was filed against Plaintiff in the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas on August 9, 2016.

         Thereafter, Plaintiff was moved to an isolation cell in the Lucas County Correctional Center and kept on twenty-four hour lockdown. He states that when he received his personal property, he discovered his legal materials were defaced, and his food and hygiene items were missing. His wheelchair was not returned to him requiring him to hop around his cell on swollen feet. He alleges he is denied television privileges and recreation. He states he cannot see outdoors because he does not have an outside window. He indicates he is also denied razors and scissors. When he leaves his cell he must be in chains. He states he has been backed into a corner and is yielding to the voice in his head telling him to throw feces and urine on the officers. He contends he has stooped to spitting on them as well.

         Plaintiff asserts claims for retaliation, cruel and unusual punishment, denial of medical care, medical malpractice, and violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. He seeks monetary damages.

         Standard of Review

         Although pro se pleadings are liberally construed, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per curiam); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), I am required to dismiss an in forma pauperis action under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) if it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or if it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319 (1989); Lawler v. Marshall, 898 F.2d 1196 (6th Cir. 1990); Sistrunk v. City of Strongsville, 99 F.3d 194, 197 (6th Cir. 1996). A claim lacks an arguable basis in law or fact when it is premised on an indisputably meritless legal theory or when the factual contentions are clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. A cause of action fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted when it lacks “plausibility in the Complaint.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 564 (2007).

         A pleading must contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 677-78 (2009). The factual allegations in the pleading must be sufficient to raise the right to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all the allegations in the Complaint are true. Bell Atl. Corp., 550 U.S. at 555. The Plaintiff is not required to include detailed factual allegations, but must provide more than “an unadorned, the-Defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. A pleading that offers legal conclusions or a simple recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not meet this pleading standard. Id. In reviewing a Complaint, I must construe the pleading in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff. Bibbo v. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc., 151 F.3d 559, 561 (6th Cir. 1998).

         Analysis

         Plaintiff's claims of retaliation, cruel and unusual punishment, and denial of medical care are causes of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. To establish a prima facie case under 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983, plaintiff must assert that a person acting under color of state law deprived him of rights, privileges, or immunities secured by ...


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