Simpson v. FCC Forrest City
ORDER declining to adopt 5 Proposed Findings and Recommendations. The Court directs service of summons and complaint by the United States Marshals Service upon the United States Attorney, the Attorney General, and the Warden of the Federal Correc tional Complex. The Court also directs the Clerk of Court to provide a copy of this Order to Richard Pence, Chief of the Civil Division for the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and the Court orders the United States to respond to Simpson's request for a preliminary injunction on or before May 30, 2014. Signed by Judge J. Leon Holmes on 5/16/2014. (ks)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
MICHAEL DALE SIMPSON,
No. 2:14CV00031 JLH-JJV
FCC FORREST CITY
(Low), Medical Department
Michael Dale Simpson commenced this action seeking injunctive relief against FCC Forrest
City (Low) and FCC (Low) Medical Department. He alleges that he has a serious circulatory
problem that has resulted in leg pain and discoloring but that his requests for treatment have been
ignored. He also alleges “systemic deprivations in general” regarding medical treatment at FCC
Forrest City (Low).
The United States Magistrate Judge to whom this matter was referred has recommended that
this action be dismissed for failure to state a claim. The Proposed Findings and Recommended
Disposition characterizes Simpson’s action as a Bivens claim, which must fail because Bivens claims
cannot be asserted against federal agencies. The recommended disposition cites Patel v. United
States Bureau of Prisons, 515 F.3d 807, 812 (8th Cir. 2008). That case stated:
Bivens allows for a cause of action for damages against federal officials, not federal
agencies, for certain constitutional violations. Accordingly, Patel’s Bivens claims
only extend to the individual Bureau Defendants and not to the BOP itself. The
statutory claims and claims for injunctive relief, however, still apply to the BOP.
Id. (citations omitted). Patel relied on Correctional Services Corp. v. Malesko, 534 U.S. 61, 122
S. Ct. 515, 151 L. Ed. 2d 456 (2001). There, the Supreme Court stated:
If a federal prisoner in a BOP facility alleges a constitutional deprivation, he may
bring a Bivens claim against the offending individual officer, subject to the defense
of qualified immunity. The prisoner may not bring a Bivens claim against the
officer’s employer, the United States, or the BOP.
Id. at 72, 122 S. Ct. at 522. But the Court also stated, “unlike the Bivens remedy, which we have
never considered a proper vehicle for altering an entity’s policy, injunctive relief has long been
recognized as the proper means for preventing entities from acting unconstitutionally.” Id. at 74,
122 S. Ct. at 523.
In short, Simpson’s action is not a Bivens action because he does not seek monetary
damages. Rather, he seeks injunctive relief, and the Bureau of Prisons is a proper defendant for
injunctive relief. Therefore, the Court declines to adopt the Proposed Findings and Recommended
Disposition submitted by the Magistrate Judge. Document #5.
Upon de novo review, the Court finds that Simpson has stated a claim upon which relief may
be granted. Simpson has already been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis, so the Court
directs service of summons and complaint1 by the United States Marshals Service upon the United
States Attorney, the Attorney General, and the Warden of the Federal Correctional Complex in
Forrest City, Arkansas. The Court also directs the Clerk of Court to provide a copy of this Order
to Richard Pence, Chief of the Civil Division for the United States Attorney for the Eastern District
of Arkansas, and the Court orders the United States to respond to Simpson’s request for a
preliminary injunction on or before May 30, 2014.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 16th day of May, 2014.
J. LEON HOLMES
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Although styled as a motion, the document by which Simpson commenced this action also serves
as a complaint because it’s filing commenced this action. Fed. R. Civ. P. 3.
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