Ruth v. McGee et al
ORDER declining to adopt 5 Recommended Disposition; defts Dr. Elgin, Dallas County Jail and Does are dismissed without prejudice; if during discovery, Ruth discovers the names of these persons and can state specifically how they were indifferent to his serious medical needs he may seek leave to amend; the Court will treat Ruth's objections as an amendment to the complaint and directs the Clerk to amend the docket to reflect that Ruth's objection to the report and recommendation will be treated as an amendment to his complaint 6 ; the Court concludes that Ruth's complaint as amended in his objection states a claim against Stan McGee, Brian Shaddock, Laron Williams, Tate and Mike Griffin; the Court again refers this action to Judge Volpe for disposition or recommended disposition as appropriate for all pretrial matters. Signed by Judge J. Leon Holmes on 3/22/16. (tjb)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
PINE BLUFF DIVISION
STAN MCGEE, Sheriff,
Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, et al.
Erwin Ruth brings this action against Stan McGee, the Dallas County Sheriff, and Brian
Shaddock, the administrator for the Dallas County Jail, a doctor named Elgin, and other individuals
who worked at the Dallas County Jail, alleging that while he was detained there these defendants
were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. United States Magistrate Judge Joe J.
Volpe found that the original complaint failed to state a factual basis for how any of the named
defendants were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs, so Judge Volpe ordered Ruth to file
an amended complaint. The amended complaint again failed to specify how each individual
defendant was deliberately indifferent to Ruth’s serious medical needs, so Judge Volpe issued
proposed findings and recommendations in which he recommended that the Court dismiss the
complaint without prejudice for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
Ruth has objected and in his objection specifies how McGee, Shaddock, Laron Williams,
Tate, and Mike Griffin were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. According to
Ruth’s objection, he informed these defendants by face-to-face contact that he needed certain
medications for which he had prescriptions, but they refused to provide those medications. He
mentions Dr. Elgin, but only to report that Dr. Elgin ordered the medications that he needed and
re-ordered them when he ran out. Because Ruth has now specified the manner in which each named
individual defendant, other than Dr. Elgin, was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs,
the Court declines to adopt the proposed findings and recommended disposition.
Ruth still has not explained how Dr. Elgin was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical
needs, so his claims against Dr. Elgin are dismissed without prejudice. Ruth’s claims against the
Dallas County Jail are dismissed without prejudice because county jails are not legal entities
amenable to suit. Owens v. Scott County Jail, 328 F.3d 1026, 1027 (8th Cir. 2003). The complaint
also is dismissed without prejudice as to the unnamed employees. If, during discovery, Ruth
discovers the names of these persons and can state specifically how they were indifferent to his
serious medical needs, he may seek leave to amend.
The Court also will treat Ruth’s objections as an amendment to the complaint. The Court
directs the Clerk to amend the docket to reflect that Ruth’s objection to the report and
recommendation (Document #6) will be treated as an amendment to his complaint. For screening
purposes only, the Court concludes that Ruth’s complaint, as amended in his objection to Judge
Volpe’s report and recommendation, states a claim against Stan McGee, Brian Shaddock, Laron
Williams, Tate, and Mike Griffin.
The Court against refers this action to Judge Volpe for disposition or recommended
disposition, as appropriate, for all pretrial matters.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 22nd day of March, 2016.
J. LEON HOLMES
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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