Valdez v. Miller County, Arkansas et al
ORDER that 10 Answer to Complaint Referred (42:1983) filed by Nurse Joni, Ronald Stoval and Sheriff Rambo constitutes an answer on behalf of Miller County. Further, the clerk should note on the docket sheet that Miller County is represented by the same counsel as Sheriff Rambo. Attorney C. Burt Newell and Ralph C. Ohm added for Miller County, Arkansas. Signed by Honorable Barry A. Bryant on September 2, 2009. (cap)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS TEXARKANA DIVISION PAUL VALDEZ v. Civil No. 4:08-cv-4124 PLAINTIFF
MILLER COUNTY, ARKANSAS; SHERIFF RAMBO; WARDEN JANICE NICHOLSON; RONALD STOVAL; NURSE JONI; SGT. CAROLINA BALLARD; NURSE TRINA OWENS; CORRECTIONAL OFFICER COLLINS; and NURSE MELODY THOMAS ORDER
On May 12, 2009, an answer (Doc. 10) was filed on behalf of Sheriff Rambo, Nurse Joni, and Ronald Stoval. The answer does not indicate it was filed on behalf of Miller County. However, under Arkansas law the Sheriff is charged with the care and custody of County prisoners. See Ark. Code Ann. § 12-41-502 (1987). When the Sheriff is delegated authority, his policies represent County policy and can give rise to governmental liability. See e.g., Pembaur v. City of Cincinnati, 475 U.S. 469, 483 n. 12, 106 S. Ct. 1292, 89 L. Ed. 2d 452 (1986). Moreover, a claim against the Sheriff in his official capacity is the equivalent of a claim against Miller County. See e.g., Liebe v. Norton, 157 F.3d 574, 578 (8th Cir. 1998). Thus, the answer filed on behalf of Sheriff Rambo also constitutes an answer on behalf of Miller County. The clerk is directed to note on the docket sheet that the answer filed on behalf of Sheriff Rambo also constitutes an answer on behalf of Miller County. Further, the clerk should note on the docket sheet that Miller County is represented by the same counsel as Sheriff Rambo. If counsel is n o t going to represent Miller County, he should so notify the court within ten days by filing a motion to withdraw. IT IS SO ORDERED this 2nd day of September 2009.
/s/ Barry A. Bryant HON. BARRY A. BRYANT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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