Moldan v. Poinsett County
ORDER directing Moldan to file an amended complaint within thirty days containing the information specified in this Order. Failure to amend his complaint may result in the dismissal of his claims, without prejudice. Signed by Magistrate Judge Beth Deere on 2/11/2016. (jak)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
CASE NO. 3:16-CV-00041 BRW/BD
Plaintiff Michael Moldan, an inmate at the Poinsett County Detention Center
(“Detention Center”), filed this case pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Docket entries #1
and #2) In his complaint, Mr. Moldan claims that he is being mistreated by staff because
he is not from the area. Specifically, Mr. Moldan alleges: he has been denied a full sixty
minutes outside of his cell on a daily basis; he has been denied his mail on days when the
mail runs; and he has been held in a cell with no lights and cold air, causing him to
become ill, and he does not have money to see a doctor.
Mr. Moldan seeks injunctive and monetary relief. It is unclear from the complaint
whether Mr. Moldan can state a federal claim to relief. He will have an opportunity to
amend his complaint.
First, Mr. Moldan names Poinsett County as a Defendant, but he has not alleged
that a Poinsett County policy, custom, or practice led to his injury. A county can be held
liable in § 1983 lawsuit only if an official policy, custom, or practice caused the
plaintiff’s injury. Jenkins, 557 F.3d at 632; Grayson v. Ross, 454 F.3d 802, 810-11 (8th
Cir. 2006). A “policy,” for purposes of § 1983, is “an official policy, a deliberate choice
of a guiding principle or procedure made by an official with authority.” Mettler v.
Whitledge, 165 F.3d 1197, 1204 (8th Cir. 1999). “Custom” means a “persistent,
widespread pattern of unconstitutional conduct of which officials have notice and
subsequently react with deliberate indifference or tacit authorization.” Johnson v.
Outboard Marine Corp., 172 F.3d 531, 536 (8th Cir. 1999).
Second, Mr. Moldan must state how much outdoor recreational time he has been
allowed and identify the individuals responsible for denying him outside recreational
Third, Mr. Moldan must explain whether his personal mail is being withheld from
him and identify the individuals responsible for that conduct.
Finally, in his amended complaint, Mr. Mouldan must explain whether he has been
denied medical care. If he seeks to pursue a claim for lack of medical care, he must
specifically identify those individuals who he believes have failed to address his medical
needs. He should explain how each of those individuals caused him to suffer injury.
Mr. Moldan has thirty days to file his amended complaint. His failure to amend
his complaint may result in the dismissal of his claims, without prejudice.
DATED this 11th day of February, 2016.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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