Mills v. Clay County Detention Center et al
ORDER denying 1 MOTION for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis filed by Frederick A Mills. If Mr. Mills wishes to proceed with this lawsuit, he must submit a new request to proceed in forma pauperis or pay the $350 filing fee w/i 30 days of th is Order. The Clerk is directed to send a copy of this Order to the Warden/Director of the Clay County Detention Center. A county jail cannot be sued under Section 1983, & the Clay County Detention Center is dismissed. Mr. Mills is ordered to file an amended & substituted complaint w/i 30 days pursuant to this Order. Failure to comply with this Order may result in the dismissal of this action. Signed by Magistrate Judge Beth Deere on 8/8/2011. (jct)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
FREDERICK A. MILLS
No. 3:11CV00154 JLH-BD
CLAY COUNTY DETENTION CENTER, et al.
Plaintiff Frederick A. Mills, a detainee at the Clay County Detention Center, filed
a pro se complaint (docket entry #2) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He also filed a motion for
leave to proceed in forma pauperis (#1). Mr. Mills’s motion to proceed in forma
pauperis (#1) is DENIED.
The Prison Litigation Reform Act requires Mr. Mills to submit a complete
application to proceed in forma pauperis, with an attached calculation sheet that shows
deposits into his inmate trust account. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Mr. Mills has not filed an
application that includes a calculation sheet with a trust fund account statement meeting
the requirements of 29 U.S.C. § 1915(a).
If Mr. Mills wishes to proceed with this lawsuit, he must submit a new request to
proceed in forma pauperis or pay the filing fee of $350.00 within thirty days of this
Order. The Clerk of Court is directed to send Mr. Mills an application to proceed in
forma pauperis, along with a copy of this Order. The Clerk also is directed to send a
copy of this Order to the Warden/Director of the Clay County Detention Center, 268
South Second, Piggott, Arkansas 72454.
Federal courts are required to screen prisoner complaints that seek relief against a
government entity, officer, or employee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. The Court must dismiss
any part of a complaint raising a claim that: (a) is legally frivolous or malicious; (b) fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (c) seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from paying damages. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
Here, Mr. Mills names the Defendants only in their official capacities. Defendants
are all employees of Clay County. Claims against individuals in their official capacities
are the same as claims against the entity for which they work – in this case, Clay County,
Arkansas. Gorman v. Bartch, 152 F.3d 907, 914 (8th Cir. 1998). Official capacity claims
require allegations and proof that a county policy or custom caused the constitutional
violation. Id.; see also Parrish v. Ball, 594 F.3d 993, 997 (8th Cir. 2010). In his
complaint, Mr. Mills does not point to any unconstitutional policy or custom of Clay
County that caused him injury.
Mr. Mills also names the Clay County Detention Center as a Defendant. A county
jail cannot be sued under § 1983. See La Garza v. Kandiyohi County Jail, 18 Fed. Appx.
436 (8th Cir. 2001) (unpub. table op.) (affirming dismissal of county jail on grounds that
a jail is not an entity subject to suit under § 1983). See e.g. Powell v Cook County Jail,
814 F.Supp. 757 (N.D. Ill. 1993) (jail not subject to suit under § 1983); Marsden v. Fed.
Bureau of Prisons, 856 F.Supp. 832, 836 (S.D.N.Y. 1994) (“jail is not an entity that is
amendable to suit”). For that reason, Mr. Mills’s claims against the Clay County
Detention Center must be dismissed.
Mr. Mills is ordered to file an amended and substituted complaint within thirty
days specifically identifying those individuals who violated his constitutional rights and
the rights violated. He must also explain what injury he sustained as a result of each
individual’s conduct. Mr. Mills must also clarify whether he is suing the Defendants in
their individual or official capacities.
Failure to comply with this Order may result in the dismissal of this action. See
Local Rule 5.5
IT IS SO ORDERED this 8th day of August, 2011.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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