United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
SUZANNE MITCHELL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Jones (Plaintiff), appearing pro se and in forma pauperis,
brings this civil rights action seeking relief for a claimed
violation of his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel
and unusual punishment at the Oklahoma County Detention
Center (OCDC). Doc. 1, at 6. As Defendants, Plaintiff
lists the OCDC, id. at 1, and he names P.D. Taylor,
Undersheriff, and Brian Maughan, Oklahoma County
Commissioner, in their official and individual capacities.
Id. at 1, 4.
factual support for his claim, Plaintiff alleges
“[i]t's black mold in the shower 8C pod and through
out the building only one shower is usable.”
Id. at 7. He contends “[i]nmates are breathing
this air in because the county jail has recycled air no
outside air.” Id. As relief, he asks
“for the showers to be fixed[, ] for black mold to be
cleaned out of the building, for the county jail to make it
where it's real outside air flowing through this
building, [and] for the courts to make the county jail to pay
me $1 million[.]” Id.
law requires the court to screen complaints filed by
prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an
officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). In addition, because Plaintiff is proceeding
in forma pauperis, the court has an ongoing duty to consider
the sufficiency of his claims. See Id. §
1915(e)(2). The court must dismiss any frivolous or malicious
claim, any claim asking for monetary relief from a defendant
who is immune from such relief, or any claim on which the
court cannot grant relief. Id. §§
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to “state a claim to 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)). “A claim has facial plausibility
when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the
court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.
(citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556); see also Gee
v. Pacheco, 627 F.3d 1178, 1184 (10th Cir. 2010).
“[T]he tenet that a court must accept as true all of
the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to
legal conclusions. Threadbare recitals of the elements of a
cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do
not suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
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). The court, however, may not
serve as Plaintiff's advocate, creating arguments on his
behalf. See Yang v. Archuleta, 525 F.3d 925, 927 n.1
(10th Cir. 2008).
Defendant OCDC is not a suable entity.
caption of his complaint, Plaintiff lists the OCDC-what he
refers to as the Oklahoma County Jail-as the first Defendant.
Doc. 1, at 1. Because the OCDC does not have a legal identity
separate from that of Oklahoma County, the OCDC is not a
suable entity and is not a proper defendant in a § 1983
action. See Aston v. Cunningham, No. 99-4156, 2000
WL 796086, at *4 n.3 (10th Cir. Jun. 21, 2000) (“[A]
detention facility is not a person or legally created entity
capable of being sued.”); Hinton v. Dennis,
362 F. App'x 904, 907 (10th Cir. 2010) (county criminal
justice center is not a “separate suable entity”
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Plaintiff fails to state a
claim against the OCDC- the Oklahoma County Jail, as
Plaintiff terms it-upon which relief may be granted.
Plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted against Defendants Taylor and
Maughan in either their official or individual
individual defendants in their official capacities under
§ 1983 . . . is essentially another way of pleading an
action against the county or municipality they
represent.” Porro v. Barnes, 624 F.3d 1322,
1328 (10th Cir. 2010) (citing Monell v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 690 n.55 (1978)). In order to
state a viable claim, Plaintiff must plausibly allege that
Defendants Taylor and Maughan “committed a
constitutional violation” and that an Oklahoma County
“policy or custom was the moving force behind the
constitutional deprivation.” Campbell v. City of
Spencer, 777 F.3d 1073, 1077 (10th Cir. 2014) (internal
quotation marks omitted). Here, Plaintiff describes allegedly
deficient conditions at OCDC-black mold, lack of usable
showers, recycled air-but he pleads no facts to effectively
allege an “official policy or custom [of Oklahoma
County that] was both deliberately indifferent to his
constitutional rights and the moving force behind his
injury.” Porro, 624 F.3d at 1328. In other
words, “his complaint does not link ...