United States District Court, E.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
A. White United Stales District Judge
a pro se pretrial detainee incarcerated at the Carter County
Detention Center in Ardmore, Oklahoma, has filed this civil
rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, seeking
relief for alleged constitutional violations at his facility
(Dkt. 1). The defendants are the Carter County Detention
Center (CCDC); Chris Bryant, Carter County Sheriff; Kyle
Coffey, CCDC Shift Sergeant; and Brad Dunning, CCDC
Administrator. Plaintiff alleges, among other things, that
the defendants have denied him access to filing a grievance,
denied his right to file charges, denied him access to a law
library and evidence in his case, denied him medical care,
planted paraphernalia, and prevented him from filing assault
charges. After review of the complaint, the Court finds
Plaintiff must file an amended civil rights complaint on the
Court's form, as set forth below.
Federal courts must engage in a preliminary screening of
cases in which prisoners seek redress from a governmental
entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must identify any
cognizable claims and dismiss any claims which are frivolous,
malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); 28 U.S.C.
pleading standard for all civil actions was articulated in
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007).
See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 684 (2009). To
avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a complaint must present factual
allegations, assumed to be true, that “raise a right to
relief above the speculative level.” Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555. The complaint must contain “enough
facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Id. at 570. A court must accept all the
well-pleaded allegations of the complaint as true, even if
doubtful in fact, and must construe the allegations in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff. Id. at
555-56. “So, when the allegations in a complaint,
however true, could not raise a claim of entitlement to
relief, ” the cause of action should be dismissed.
Id. at 558. The Court applies the same standard of
review for dismissals under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) that is employed for Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)
motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Kay v.
Bemis, 500 F.3d 1214, 1217-18 (10th Cir. 2007).
se plaintiff's complaint must be broadly construed under
this standard. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972).
The generous construction to be given to the pro se
litigant's allegations, however, “does not relieve
the plaintiff of the burden of alleging sufficient facts on
which a recognized legal claim could be based.”
Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir.
1991). Notwithstanding a pro se plaintiff's various
mistakes or misunderstandings of legal doctrines or
procedural requirements, “if a court can reasonably
read the pleadings to state a valid claim on which the
plaintiff could prevail, it should do so . . . .”
Id. A reviewing court need not accept “mere
conclusions characterizing pleaded facts.” Bryson
v. City of Edmond, 905 F.2d 1386, 1390 (10th Cir. 1990).
“While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion
to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, 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 will not do.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555 (quotations and citations omitted). 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).
twenty-one (21) days of the entry of this Order, Plaintiff
must file an amended complaint on the Court's form. The
amended complaint must set forth the full name of each person
he is suing under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Sutton v.
Utah State Sch. for the Deaf & Blind, 173 F.3d 1226,
1237 (10th Cir. 1999) (holding that “a cause of action
under' 1983 requires a deprivation of a civil right by a
'person' acting under color of state law”).
Further, the names in the caption of the amended complaint
must be identical to those contained in the body of the
amended complaint, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(a).
respect to Defendant Carter County Detention Center, this is
not a proper party in a civil rights complaint. The capacity
of an entity to be sued is determined by the law of the state
in which the federal district court is located. Fed.R.Civ.P.
17(b). Under Oklahoma law, “any person, corporation,
partnership, or unincorporated association [has] capacity to
. . . be sued in this state.” Okla. Stat. tit. 12,'
2017(B). While the Oklahoma courts have not addressed in a
published opinion the issue of whether a jail or prison has
capacity to be sued, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has
held in an unpublished opinion that “the Creek County
Criminal Justice Center is not a suable entity under §
1983.” Hinton v. Dennis, No. 09-5130, 362
Fed.Appx. 904, 907, 2010 WL 257286, at *3, (10th Cir. Jan.
25, 2010) (citing Martinez v. Winner, 771 F.2d 424,
444 (10th Cir. 1985)). Therefore, the Carter County Detention
Center should not be included as a defendant in the amended
must provide a short and plain statement of when and how each
named defendant violated his constitutional rights and
showing Plaintiff is entitled to relief from each named
defendant. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). He
also shall identify a specific constitutional basis for each
claim. See id. He is admonished that simply alleging
that a defendant is an employee or supervisor of a state
agency is inadequate to state a claim. Plaintiff must go
further and state how the named defendant's personal
participation violated his constitutional rights.
Furthermore, the Court will only consider claims “based
upon the violation of a plaintiff's personal rights, and
not the rights of someone else.” Archuleta v.
McShan, 897 F.2d 495, 497 (10th Cir. 1990).
amended complaint must include all claims and supporting
material to be considered by the Court. See Local
Civil Rule 9.2(c). It must be complete in itself, including
exhibits, and may not reference or attempt to incorporate
material from the original complaint or exhibits.
Id. An amended complaint supersedes the original
complaint and renders the original complaint of no legal
effect. See Miller v. Glanz, 948 F.2d 1562, 1565
(10th Cir. 1991); Gilles v. United States, 906 F.2d
1386, 1389 (10th Cir.1990). See also Local Civil
Rule 9.2(c). Pursuant to Local Civil Rule 5.2(a), the amended
complaint must be clearly legible, and only one side of the
paper may be used.
Court Clerk is directed to send Plaintiff the proper form for
filing an amended complaint. If Plaintiff fails to file an
amended complaint in accordance with this Order, this action
shall be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted.
Plaintiff is directed to file within twenty-one (21) days an
amended complaint on the Court's form as directed in this
Order. The Court Clerk is directed to send Plaintiff a copy
of the form for filing an amended civil rights complaint in
this Court. Failure to comply with this Order will result in
dismissal of this action without further notice.