United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BERNARD M. JONES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Andrew Lee Hendricks, II, an Oklahoma prisoner proceeding pro
se and in forma pauperis, has filed a Complaint pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 seeking monetary damages. The matter
has been referred by United States District Judge Timothy D.
DeGiusti for proposed findings and recommendations consistent
with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and (C). The Court has
conducted an initial review of Plaintiff's Complaint
[Doc. No. 1] as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). For
the reasons set forth below, the Court finds Plaintiff's
claims against “Levie Drake the F-Dewyn Bigg Detention
Center” (FDBDC) and Mr. Drake should be dismissed sua
sponte for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915A(b)(1);
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) (pertaining to actions brought in forma
Named Defendants and Claim Presented
Complaint [Doc. No. 1] names three defendants. FDBDC is a
correctional facility. Levie Drake is apparently an inmate
who was incarcerated at FDBDC while Plaintiff was an inmate
there, as Plaintiff has identified Mr. Drake's
“residence” as FDBDC. Compl. at 4. Lt. White was
apparently a corrections officer at that correctional
facility while Plaintiff was incarcerated there, as Plaintiff
identifies Lt. White's place of employment as FDBDC.
Id. Plaintiff's states that on February 7, 2017,
Lt. White allowed Mr. Drake to enter Plaintiff's cell on
the S-Pod of FDBDC, whereupon Mr. Drake stabbed Plaintiff
with a sharpened toothbrush. Id. at 5.
Standard for Dismissal on Screening
initial review of a complaint filed by a prisoner, the Court
is charged with the duty to identify cognizable claims or to
dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, that
is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. §§
court's initial review of a complaint to determine
whether a litigant has stated a claim upon which relief may
be granted under these statutes mirrors the review required
by Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). The court must accept the
plaintiff's allegations as true and construe them, and
any reasonable inferences to be drawn from them, in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff. See Kay v. Bemis,
500 F.3d 1214, 1217 (10th Cir. 2007). The court
“review[s] the complaint for plausibility; that is, to
determine whether the complaint includes enough facts to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Young v. Davis, 554 F.3d 1254, 1256 (10th Cir. 2009)
(quotations and citation omitted). “Threadbare recitals
of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere
conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Court has thoroughly reviewed Plaintiff's allegations in
the Complaint as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
Because FDBDC and Mr. Drake are not proper defendants subject
to suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the claims against FDBDC
and Mr. Drake must be dismissed for failure to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted.
a correctional institution, is not a proper defendant. Both
this Court and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals have
concluded that correctional facilities lack the capacity to
be sued because such facilities lack an identity separate and
apart from the county or state itself. See Witmer v.
Grady County Jail, 483 F. App'x 458 (10th Cir. 2012)
(affirming district court decision finding that county jail
“lacked the legal capacity to be a defendant under
Oklahoma law”); Buchanan v. Oklahoma, No.
CIV-09-744-D, 2010 WL 1449603, at *4 (W.D. Okla. March 4,
2010) (finding that detention facilities “lack a
separate legal identity from the state and cannot be
sued” and citing numerous cases in other districts in
which courts have held the same); Hines v. Oklahoma,
No. CIV-07-197-R, 2007 WL 3046458, at *18 (W.D. Okla. Oct.
17, 2007) (holding that Oklahoma County Detention Center and
Jess Dunn Correctional Facility, inter alia, lacked the
capacity to be sued). Thus, claims against FDBDC should be
dismissed without prejudice on initial screening.
claims against Mr. Drake must also be dismissed. A claim
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 may be sustained only against
defendants who were acting under color of state law.
See 42 U.S.C. § 1983. “Under Section
1983, liability attaches only to conduct occurring
‘under color of law.'” Gallagher v. Neil
Young Freedom Concert, 49 F.3d 1442, 1447 (10th Cir.
1995). The under-color-of-state-law requirement is a
“jurisdictional requisite for a § 1983 action,
which ... furthers the fundamental goals of preserving an
area of individual freedom by limiting the reach of federal
law ... and avoiding imposing on the state, its agencies or
officials, responsibility for conduct for which they cannot
fairly be blamed.” Jojola v. Chavez, 55 F.3d
488, 492 (10th Cir. 1995). “The traditional definition
of acting under color of state law requires that the
defendant in a § 1983 action have exercised power
‘possessed by virtue of state law and made possible
only because the wrongdoer is clothed with the authority of
state law.'” West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42,
49 (1988) (quoting United States v. Classic, 313
U.S. 299, 326 (1941)). “The authority with which the
defendant is allegedly ‘clothed' may be either
actual or apparent.” Jojola, 55 F.3d at 493.
Thus, “‘the conduct allegedly causing the
deprivation of a federal right' must be ‘fairly
attributable to the State.'” Gallagher, 49
F.3d at 1447 (quoting Lugar v. Edmondson Oil Co.,
457 U.S. 922, 937 (1982)). Here, Mr. Drake, a fellow inmate,
was not acting under color of state law. Thus, the claims
against Mr. Drake should be dismissed without prejudice for
failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
the claims against FDBDC and Mr. Drake should be summarily
dismissed, Plaintiff's Complaint, liberally construed,
has stated a claim upon which relief may be granted as to Lt.
claims against the F. DeWayne Beggs Detention Center and Mr.
Drake should be dismissed without prejudice pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1) for failure ...