Lindsey v. Blytheville Police Department et al

Filing 6

ORDER granting 4 Motion to Dismiss Party. The City of Blytheville Police Department is dismissed as a party to this action. Signed by Judge Susan Webber Wright on 3/4/09. (jct)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS WESTERN DIVISION M. DEWAYNE LINDSEY Plaintiff VS. THE CITY OF BLYTHEVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT, THE CITY OF BLYTHEVILLE, ARKANSAS, ET AL. Defendants * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ORDE R NO: 3:09CV00015 SWW Plaintiff M. DeWayne Lindsey filed this wrongful employment termination action in state court, and Defendants removed the case to this federal Court. Before the Court is a motion to dismiss by the City of Blytheville Police Department (docket entry #4). The time for responding has passed, and Plaintiff has not filed a response. After careful consideration, and for the reasons that follow, the motion to dismiss will be granted, and the City of Blytheville Police Department will be dismissed as a party to this action. The capacity to sue or be sued is determined by the law of the state in which the district court is held. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 17(b). Under Arkansas law, political subdivisions, including cities, are empowered to sue and be sued, see Ark. Code Ann. 14-54-101, but police 1 departments are merely divisions or departments of political subdivisions, without the capacity to sue or be sued. See Ketchum v. City of West Memphis, Ark., 974 F.2d 81, 81 (8th Cir.1992)("The West Memphis Police Department and West Memphis Paramedic Services are not juridical entities suable as such. They are simply departments or subdivisions of the City government."). The Court agrees that the City of Blytheville Police Department is not subject to suit and must be dismissed as a party to this action. IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Defendant's motion to dismiss (docket entry #4) is GRANTED. The City of Blytheville Police Department is dismissed as a party to this action. IT IS SO ORDERED THIS 4TH DAY OF MARCH, 2009. /s/Susan Webber Wright UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 2

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