United States District Court, E.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
H. PAYNE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a pro se state prisoner incarcerated at Davis Correctional
Facility (DCF) in Holdenville, Oklahoma, has filed this civil
rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, seeking
relief for alleged constitutional violations at his facility
and requesting monetary relief (Dkt. 1). The defendants
listed in caption are Ms. Canada, DCF mail room employee;
CoreCivic; and DCF. The body of the complaint, however, does
not include CoreCivic as a defendant.
alleges Defendant Canada mishandled his legal mail on May 16,
2019, when she failed to give him a legal letter from the
Oklahoma City courthouse (Dkt. 1 at 4). He claims he did not
know what the letter contained, and “it could of been
anything such as a deadline for me to get back in court to
fight for my freedom.” Id. He speculates that
if it contained a deadline, he will “have to stay in
prison because D.C.F. workers lost my legal mail.”
Id. Plaintiff makes no specific claims about
Defendants DCF or CoreCivic. 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.
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 can 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).
Davis Correctional Facility
has named DCF as a defendant in this matter. DCF is a
medium-security correctional center in Holdenville, Oklahoma.
(accessed on August 16, 2019). DCF is not itself a
corporation or independent legal entity, but an operation of
CoreCivic, a publicly traded real estate investment trust
headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. See
http://ir.corecivic.com (accessed on August 16, 2019).
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 17(b)(3), the capacity to
sue or be sued by a party such as Defendant DCF is determined
“by the law of the state where the court is located,
” i.e., by the law of the State of Oklahoma.
Under Oklahoma law, because Defendant DCF is not a
“person, corporation, partnership, or unincorporated
association, ” it lacks capacity to be sued in this
action. See Okla. Stat. tit. 12, § 2017(B);
Fed.R.Civ.P. 17(b)(3). See, e.g., Wherry v. Gunter,
No. 15-545-HE, 2016 WL 3676796, at *4 (W.D. Okla. 2016)
(unpublished order adopting report and recommendation)
(dismissing private prison owned by CoreCivic as lacking
capacity to be sued in Oklahoma). Therefore, all claims
against Defendant Davis Correctional Facility are DISMISSED
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).
sets forth the following allegations against Defendant Ms.
Canada, the DCF mail room employee:
On Thursday, May 16, 2019, Ms. Canada/mail room lady came to
my cell door on FC #108 at D.C.F. with some legal mail for
me. In order for me to receive my legal mail she had me sign
a legal sheet of paper so she can log it in the book showing
what I signed and who it came from. She gave me two (2) legal
letters, but didn't give me my legal letter from OKC, OK
Courthouse that I signed for. I ask Ms. Canada about it then
I mark my name out and wrote by it “I didn't get
this legal mail.” Ms. Canada told me she will try to
find it and bring it back, but never did.
Due to the fact I don't know what that legal mail was
that she lost/misplaced when it could of been anything such
as a deadline for me to get back in court to fight for my
freedom and I miss it I'll have to stay ...