Bohanan v. Southern Health Partners et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION OF THE COURT. Signed by District Judge Aleta A. Trauger on 3/24/17. (xc:Pro se party by regular and certified mail.)(DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(af)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
RICHARD W. BOHANAN
SOUTHERN HEALTH PARTNERS,
M E M O R A N D U M
The plaintiff, proceeding pro se, is an inmate at the Wilson
County Jail in Lebanon, Tennessee. He brings this action pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department
and Southern Health Partners, a corporate entity under contract to
provide health care services for the Wilson County Jail, seeking
The complaint describes two instances in which the plaintiff
noticed spots on his body. He reported the spots to health care
providers who would not test him to determine the nature and cause
of the spots. Instead, he was given an injection with a change of
medications. The plaintiff believes that he has been “medically
To establish a claim for § 1983 relief, the plaintiff must
plead and prove that a person or persons, while acting under color
Constitution or laws of the United States. Parratt v. Taylor, 451
U.S. 527, 535 (1981).
A county sheriff’s department is not a “person” subject to
liability under § 1983. Petty v. County of Franklin, Ohio, 478 F.3d
341, 347 (6th Cir. 2007). Of course, giving this pro se pleading a
liberal construction, the Court could construe the complaint as an
responsible for the operation of the Jail. However, for Wilson
County to be liable, the plaintiff would have to allege and prove
that his constitutional rights were violated pursuant to a “policy
statement, ordinance, regulation or decision officially adopted and
Services, 436 U.S. 658, 689-690 (1978). No such allegation appears
in the complaint. Therefore, the plaintiff has failed to state a
claim against the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department upon which
relief can be granted.
The plaintiff has also named Southern Health Partners as a
defendant. This defendant, though, is a corporate entity that is
not liable under § 1983 for the alleged torts of its employees.
Polk v. Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 325 (1981). Rather, Southern Health
Partners can only be held liable under § 1983 when an official
policy or custom of that entity causes the alleged constitutional
violation. Ellington v. Strode, 2012 WL 1906511 at pg.2 (W.D. Ky.;
5/25/12). No such allegation appears in the complaint. Therefore,
the plaintiff has failed to state an actionable claim against this
defendant as well.
Under such circumstances, the Court is obliged to dismiss the
complaint sua sponte. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
An appropriate order will be entered.
Aleta A. Trauger
United States District Judge
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