United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
January 14, 2015
GARY BUTLER, PLAINTIFF
FAULKNER COUNTY JAIL, et al., DEFENDANTS
Gary Butler, Plaintiff, Pro se, Houston, AR.
PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDED PARTIAL DISPOSITION INSTRUCTIONS
J. Thomas Ray, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
The following recommended partial disposition has been sent to Chief United States District Judge Brian S. Miller. Any party may serve and file written objections to this recommendation. Objections should be specific and should include the factual or legal basis for the objection. If the objection is to a factual finding, specifically identify that finding and the evidence that supports your objection. An original and one copy of your objections must be received in the office of the United States District Clerk no later than fourteen (14) days from the date of the findings and recommendations. The copy will be furnished to the opposing party. Failure to file timely objections may result in waiver of the right to appeal questions of fact.
If you are objecting to the recommendation and also desire to submit new, different, or additional evidence, and to have a hearing for this purpose before the United States District Judge, you must, at the same time that you file your written objections, include a " Statement of Necessity" that sets forth the following:
1. Why the record made before the Magistrate Judge is inadequate.
2. Why the evidence to be proffered at the requested hearing before the United States District Judge was not offered at the hearing before the Magistrate Judge.
3. An offer of proof setting forth the details of any testimony or other evidence (including copies of any documents) desired to be introduced at the requested hearing before the United States District Judge.
From this submission, the United States District Judge will determine the necessity for an additional evidentiary hearing, either before the Magistrate Judge or before the District Judge.
Mail your objections and " Statement of Necessity" to:
Clerk, United States District Court
Eastern District of Arkansas
600 West Capitol Avenue, Suite A149
Little Rock, AR 72201-3325
Plaintiff, Gary Butler, is currently incarcerated in the Faulkner County Jail. He has filed this pro se § 1983 action alleging that three Defendants violated his constitutional rights. Pursuant to the screening function mandated by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court recommends that: (1) Plaintiff be allowed to proceed with his inadequate medical care claims against Defendant John Doe and (2) all other claims and Defendants be dismissed, without prejudice, for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. 2) alleges that he suffers from four separate medical issues for which he has received inadequate care. First, he alleges that Defendant Doe has denied him the use of shoes meant to correct length imbalances in his legs. Id. at 4 . Second, he alleges that Defendant Doe has told him that blood pressure medication will be provided only at Plaintiff's expense. Id. at 5 . Third, he alleges that Defendant Doe has similarly declined to provide him with the hepatitis medication " Tramdol" unless Plaintiff pays for it himself. Id. Finally, Plaintiff claims that Defendant Doe has refused to provide him with medication to alleviate back pain. Id. at 6 . The Court concludes, for screening purposes only, that these inadequate care allegations state viable claims against Defendant Doe.
Plaintiff has also named the Faulkner County Jail as a defendant. County jails, however, are not legal entities subject to suit. Owens v. Scott County Jail, 328 F.3d 1026, 1027 (8th Cir. 2003). Accordingly, the Faulkner County Jail should be dismissed, without prejudice.
Plaintiff's Complaint fails to assert any specific claims against Defendant Stone. However, his name appears on the response to one of Plaintiff's attached grievances. Doc. 2 at 22 . Even if Defendant Stone denied one of Plaintiff's grievances over the inadequate medical care he was receiving, that conduct alone cannot support an actionable constitutional claim against Defendant Stone. Lomholt v. Holder, 287 F.3d 683, 684 (8th Cir. 2002).
In order for Plaintiff to assert an inadequate medical care claim against Defendant Stone, he must allege that Defendant Stone was personally involved in making decisions affecting his medical care. See Brown v. Wallace, 957 F.2d 564, 566 (8th Cir. 1992). Defendant Stone, as a correctional officer, would have had no involvement in the medical treatment which Plaintiff now alleges was inadequate. Accordingly, the Court recommends that Defendant Stone be dismissed, without prejudice.
IT IS THEREFORE RECOMMENDED THAT:
1. Plaintiff be allowed to PROCEED with his inadequate medical care claims against Defendant Doe.
2. Defendants Faulkner County Jail and Stone be DISMISSED, without prejudice, because Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
3. The Court CERTIFY, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that an in forma pauperis appeal from any Order adopting this Recommended Partial Disposition not be taken in good faith.