Manseau v. Salt Lake County Jail
ORDER TO AMEND DEFICIENT AMEND COMPLAINT & MEMORANDUM DECISION: It is hereby ordered that the Plaintiff must within thirty days cure the deficiencies noted above. The Clerks Office shall mail Plaintiff a copy of the ProSe Litigant Guide. If plaintiff fails to timely cure the above deficiencies according to this Order's instructions, this action will be dismissed without further notice. Signed by Judge Ted Stewart on 6/13/2013. (kpf)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF UTAH
) ORDER TO AMEND DEFICIENT
) AMENDED COMPLAINT,
) & MEMORANDUM DECISION
) Case No. 2:13-CV-78 TS
SALT LAKE COUNTY JAIL,
) District Judge Ted Stewart
BRYAN WILLIAM MANSEAU,
Plaintiff, inmate Bryan William Manseau, filed this pro se
civil rights suit, see 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983 (2013), in forma
pauperis, see 28 id. § 1915.
The Court now screens the Amended
Complaint and orders Plaintiff to file a second amended complaint
to cure deficiencies before further pursuing his claims.
Deficiencies in Amended Complaint
improperly names Salt Lake County Jail as a defendant,
though it is not an independent legal entity that can sue or
states claims in violation of municipal-liability doctrine
does not state a proper legal-access claim (see below).
has claims appearing to be based on conditions of current
confinement; however, the complaint was apparently not
submitted using the legal help Plaintiff is entitled to by
his institution under the Constitution. See Lewis v.
Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 356 (1996) (requiring prisoners be
given "'adequate law libraries or adequate assistance from
persons trained in the law' . . . to ensure that inmates
. . . have a reasonably adequate opportunity to file
nonfrivolous legal claims challenging their convictions or
conditions of confinement") (quoting Bounds v. Smith, 430
U.S. 817, 828 (1977) (emphasis added)).
Instructions to Plaintiff
Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a
complaint to contain "(1) a short and plain statement of the
grounds for the court's jurisdiction . . .; (2) a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief; and (3) a demand for the relief sought."
requirements mean to guarantee "that defendants enjoy fair notice
of what the claims against them are and the grounds upon which
TV Commc'ns Network, Inc. v ESPN, Inc., 767 F. Supp.
1062, 1069 (D. Colo. 1991).
Pro se litigants are not excused from complying with these
minimal pleading demands.
"This is so because a pro se plaintiff
requires no special legal training to recount the facts
surrounding his alleged injury, and he must provide such facts if
the court is to determine whether he makes out a claim on which
relief can be granted."
(10th Cir. 1991).
Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110
Moreover, it is improper for the Court "to
assume the role of advocate for a pro se litigant."
the Court cannot "supply additional facts, [or] construct a legal
theory for plaintiff that assumes facts that have not been
Dunn v. White, 880 F.2d 1188, 1197 (10th Cir. 1989).
Plaintiff should consider the following points before
refiling his complaint.
First, the revised complaint must stand
entirely on its own and shall not refer to, or incorporate by
reference, any portion of the original complaint.
See Murray v.
Archambo, 132 F.3d 609, 612 (10th Cir. 1998) (stating amended
complaint supercedes original).
Second, the complaint must clearly state what each
defendant--typically, a named government employee--did to violate
Plaintiff's civil rights.
See Bennett v. Passic, 545 F.2d 1260,
1262-63 (10th Cir. 1976) (stating personal participation of each
named defendant is essential allegation in civil-rights action).
"To state a claim, a complaint must 'make clear exactly who is
alleged to have done what to whom.'"
Stone v. Albert, No. 08-
2222, slip op. at 4 (10th Cir. July 20, 2009) (unpublished)
(emphasis in original) (quoting Robbins v. Oklahoma, 519 F.3d
1242, 1250 (10th Cir. 2008)).
Third, Plaintiff cannot name an individual as a defendant
based solely on his or her supervisory position.
See Mitchell v.
Maynard, 80 F.2d 1433, 1441 (10th Cir. 1996) (stating supervisory
status alone does not support § 1983 liability).
Fourth, "denial of a grievance, by itself without any
connection to the violation of constitutional rights alleged by
plaintiff, does not establish personal participation under §
Gallagher v. Shelton, No. 09-3113, 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS
25787, at *11 (10th Cir. Nov. 24, 2009).
Fifth, subordinate agencies of counties are not separate
legal entities with capacity to sue or be sued.
See Dean v.
Barber, 951 F.2d 1210, 1214 (11th Cir. 1992) (stating sheriff's
and police departments are not usually considered legal entities
subject to suit under § 1983).
Thus, the Court construes
Plaintiff's claims against the Salt Lake County Adult Detention
Center as claims against Salt Lake County itself.
To establish the liability of municipal entities, such as
Salt Lake County, under § 1983, "a plaintiff must show (1) the
existence of a municipal custom or policy and (2) a direct causal
link between the custom or policy and the violation alleged."
Jenkins v. Wood, 81 F.3d 988, 993-94 (10th Cir. 1996) (citing
City of Canton v. Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 385 (1989)).
entities cannot be held liable under § 1983 based on the doctrine
of respondeat superior.
See Cannon v. City and County of Denver,
998 F.2d 867, 877 (10th Cir. 1993); see also Monell v. Dep't of
Soc. Servs. of N.Y., 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978).
Plaintiff has not so far established a direct causal link
between his alleged injuries and any custom or policy of Salt
Thus, the Court concludes that Plaintiff's
complaint, as it stands, appears to fail to state claims against
Salt Lake County.
Finally, the Court notes that Plaintiff's claims involves
As Plaintiff fashions his amended complaint, he
should therefore keep in mind that it is well-recognized that
prison inmates "have a constitutional right to 'adequate,
effective, and meaningful' access to the courts and that the
states have 'affirmative obligations' to assure all inmates such
Ramos v. Lamm, 639 F.2d 559, 583 (10th Cir. 1980).
Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817 (1977), the Supreme Court expounded
on the obligation to provide access to the Courts by stating "the
fundamental constitutional right of access to the courts requires
prison authorities to assist inmates in the preparation and
filing of meaningful legal papers by providing prisoners with
adequate law libraries or adequate assistance from persons
trained in the law."
Id. at 828 (footnote omitted & emphasis
However, to successfully assert a constitutional claim for
denial of access to the courts, a plaintiff must allege not only
the inadequacy of the library or legal assistance furnished but
also "that the denial of legal resources hindered [the
plaintiff's] efforts to pursue a nonfrivolous claim."
Zavaras, 84 F.3d 1399, 1403 (10th Cir. 1996) (emphasis added);
Carper v. Deland, 54 F.3d 613, 616 (10th Cir. 1995).
words, a plaintiff must show "that any denial or delay of access
to the court prejudiced him in pursuing litigation."
Galetka, 74 F.3d 191, 194 (10th Cir. 1996).
Moreover, the non-
frivolous litigation involved must be "habeas corpus or civil
rights actions regarding current confinement."
Carper, 54 F.3d
at 616; accord Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 353-55 (1996).
McCarthy v. Weinberg, 753 F.2d 836, 838 (10th Cir. 1985).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
(1) Plaintiff must within thirty days cure the deficiencies
(2) The Clerk's Office shall mail Plaintiff a copy of the
Pro Se Litigant Guide.
(3) If Plaintiff fails to timely cure the above deficiencies
according to this Order's instructions, this action will be
dismissed without further notice.
DATED this 13th day of June, 2013.
BY THE COURT:
CHIEF JUDGE TED STEWART
United States District Court
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