Hill v. Poinsett County Sheriff Department et al
ORDER directing Ms. Hill to file an amended complaint within 30 days. Her failure to comply with this Order could result in the dismissal of her lawsuit. Local Rule 5.5. Signed by Magistrate Judge Beth Deere on 3/1/2017. (jak)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
CASE NO. 3:17-CV-00032 DPM/BD
POINSETT COUNTY SHERIFF
DEPARTMENT, et al.
Plaintiff Barbara Hill, who is currently being held at the Poinsett County Detention
Center (“Detention Center”), filed this civil rights lawsuit without the help of a lawyer.
(Docket entry #2) She alleges that she was somehow injured by “Justin” during her
arrest and, as a result, asked to see a doctor. Subsequently, she alleges, Defendant Cox
refused to provide appropriate medical care. (#2)
There are several problems with Ms. Hill’s complaint. She must file an amended
complaint within thirty days to correct the deficiencies if she wants to pursue her claims
in this case. In her amended complaint, Ms. Hill must explain how she was injured
during her arrest. In addition, she must state each Defendant’s part in violating her rights
and causing her injuries. She must also state exactly what injuries she suffered as a result
of the incident and describe what injuries she suffered as a result of the lack of timely
Ms. Hill has sued the Poinsett County Sheriff’s Department, but a sheriff’s
department is not an entity that can be sued in a civil rights case such as this. She may
sue Poinsett County by suing Defendants in their official capacities, but even then, the
County can only be held liable if its policy or custom led to her injuries. See Dean v.
Barber, 951 F.2d 1210, 1214 (11th Cir.1992) (holding that police and sheriff's
departments are not usually considered legal entities subject to suit); Ketchum v. City of
West Memphis, 974 F.2d 81 (8th Cir.1992) (Police department and paramedic services are
not separate jurisdictional entities). If she wants to pursue claims against Poinsett
County, she must describe the County policy or custom that led to her injuries.
Ms. Hill has thirty days to file an amended complaint. Her failure to comply with
this Order could result in the dismissal of her lawsuit. Local Rule 5.5.
IT IS SO ORDERED, this 1st day of March, 2017.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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