Rylander v. Collin County Sheriff Office et al
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE for 49 Motion to Dismiss filed by Collin County Sheriff Office, 59 Report and Recommendations. ORDERED that Plaintiff's Objections (Dkt. 65) are OVERRULED. It is further ORDERED that the Report and Recommendation (Dkt. 59) is ADOPTED. It is further ORDERED that Defendant Collin County Sheriff's Office Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 49) is GRANTED. Signed by Judge Richard A. Schell on 1/9/2017. (daj, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
DOMINIC LATRELL RYLANDER,
COLLIN COUNTY SHERIFF
OFFICE, ET AL.
CIVIL ACTION NO. 4:13CV707
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF
THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
The Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge (the “Report”) (Dkt. 59),
which contains her findings, conclusions, and recommendation for the disposition of Collin
County Sheriff’s Office’s Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) (Dkt. 49), has been presented for consideration. The Report recommends that the court
grant the motion and, furthermore, deny Plaintiff’s request to substitute Collin County as a
defendant. Plaintiff has filed written Objections (Dkt. 65). Having made a de novo review of the
Objections, the court concludes that the findings, conclusions, and recommendation of the
Magistrate Judge are correct.
Plaintiff objects to the Magistrate Judge’s conclusion that he should not be permitted to
substitute Collin County as the real party in interest for County officials and employees named in
his Amended Complaint (Dkt. 33). He argues Collin County is subject to liability for the acts of
its employees because they were acting in accordance with a policy or custom sanctioned by the
As the Magistrate Judge correctly explained, “a local government may not be sued under
§ 1983 for an injury inflicted solely by its employees or agents. Instead, it is when execution of a
government’s policy or custom, whether made by its lawmakers or by those whose edicts or acts
may fairly be said to represent official policy, inflicts the injury that the government as an entity
is responsible under § 1983.” Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. of City of N.Y., 436 U.S. 658, 694
(1978). The description of a governmental policy or custom and its relationship to the underlying
constitutional violation cannot be conclusory; it must contain specific facts. See id. at 1278.
In his Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleged Defendant Sheriff Box, an official of
Collin County, “failed to see if disease control policies were being followed” within Collin
County Detention Facility. Dkt. 33 at 3. He further asserted that the other defendants, Collin
County Sheriff’s Office, Chief Deputy Allen, Assistant Chief Deputy Adams, and Captain Khlar,
all of whom were agents or employees of Collin County, violated, disregarded, or failed to
properly implement County policy related to maintaining inmate health and safety. See Dkt. 33 at
4. Notably, Plaintiff did not allege that the acts and omissions complained of were the result of a
County-sanctioned policy. As the Magistrate Judge aptly noted, Plaintiff asserted the opposite,
claiming that “the relevant actors tortiously violated or disregarded policy related to maintaining
inmate health and safety.” Dkt. 59 at 5.
In his Objections, Plaintiff claims for the first time that the medical errors and denials of
care alleged in his Amended Complaint indicate the existence of a County-sanctioned custom or
policy of denying medical care to inmates. However, Plaintiff cannot “demonstrate the existence
of the alleged customs or policies by pointing to what happened to him and reasoning that
because of these events, the asserted customs or policies must exist.” Moore v. Bowie Cty., Tex.,
No. 5:11CV110, 2012 WL 4355031, at *17 (E.D. Tex. July 31, 2012), report and
recommendation adopted, No. 5:11CV110, 2012 WL 4355000 (E.D. Tex. Sept. 21, 2012); see
also Colle v. Brazos Cty., Texas, 981 F.2d 237, 245 (5th Cir.1993) (the existence of alleged
policies may not be inferred simply because harm resulted from an interaction with a government
agency). Accordingly, Plaintiff has failed to show a basis for holding Collin County liable.
In light of the foregoing, it is ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Objections (Dkt. 65) are
OVERRULED. It is further ORDERED that the Report and Recommendation (Dkt. 59) is
ADOPTED. It is further ORDERED that Defendant Collin County Sheriff’s Office Motion to
Dismiss (Dkt. 49) is GRANTED.
SIGNED this the 9th day of January, 2017.
RICHARD A. SCHELL
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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