United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Harrison Division
OPINION AND ORDER
a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff Eddie Chriswell,
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro
se and in forma pauperis.
was incarcerated in the Boone County Detention Center
("BCDC") at all times relevant to this lawsuit. He
filed this lawsuit on October 1, 2015, maintaining he was
being denied adequate medical care. The case is before the
Court on a Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 10) filed by Separate
Defendants Southern Health Partners, Inc. ("SHP")
and Nurse Jodi Woods. Plaintiff has not responded to the
30, 2015, Plaintiff was booked into the BCDC. Doc. 1 at 5. He
advised the booking officers that he was on Depakote 500 mg.
twice daily and Trazadone 100 mg. once a day. Id.
When he did not begin receiving his prescriptions, he
submitted a written medical request. Id. After this.
Nurse Jodi Woods ("Nurse Jodi") had him sign a
release so that she could obtain his medical records.
result of not having his medication, Plaintiff began having
"bad thoughts and dreams again." Id. After
a week or two, Plaintiff wrote to Jason Day about not getting
his medication. Id. After that, Nurse Jodi came back
and was rude to him and said it was difficult to get a hold
of Nevada Regional Mental Health Unit. Id. She also
said that Health Resources of Arkansas indicated they had
never heard of him. Id.
September 14, 2015, Plaintiff states he gave Nurse Jodi a
copy of his medical jacket he received when he wrote the
medical care provider. Id. He still did not receive
his medications. In fact, Plaintiff alleges he was without
his medications the entire time he was at the BCDC and was
not seen by any doctor in order to get his medications
was transferred to the Arkansas Department of Correction on
February 2, 2016. (Doc. 21, p. 1). On February 3, 2016,
Plaintiff states he began receiving his medication.
8(a) contains the general pleading rules and requires a
complaint to present "a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). "In order to meet this standard,
and survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), 'a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its
face.'" Braden v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.,
588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009) (quoting Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)).
plausibility standard requires a plaintiff to show at the
pleading stage that success on the merits is more than a
'sheer possibility.'" Braden, 588 F.3d
at 594 (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). The
standard does "not impose a probability requirement at
the pleading stage; it simply calls for enough fact to raise
a reasonable expectation, " or reasonable inference,
that the "defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; see also
Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th Cir. 2004)
(finding that while pro se complaints are to be
liberally construed, they must allege sufficient facts to
support the claims).
Nurse Jodi maintain that Plaintiff failed to allege any facts
that show an official institutional policy or custom
reflecting deliberate indifference to his serious medical
needs. SHP and Nurse Jodi therefore move for dismissal of all
official capacity claims against them. As noted above,
Plaintiff did not respond to the Motion to Dismiss.
capacity claims are "functionally equivalent to a suit
against the employing governmental [or institutional]
entity." Vetch v. Bartels Lutheran Home, 627
F.3d 1254, 1257 (8th Cir. 2010). In this case, Boone County
has contracted with SHP to provide health care to County
prisoners. Therefore, the official capacity claims against
Nurse Jodi are treated as claims against SHP.
Plaintiff "seeking to impose liability on a municipality
[or institution] under § 1983 [must] identify [an
unconstitutional] policy or custom that caused the plaintiffs
injury." Bd. of Cty. Comm'rs of Bryan Cty.,
Okla. v. Brown,520 U.S. 397, 403 (1997). "There
are two basic circumstances under which municipal [or
institutional] liability will attach: (1) where a particular
[institutional] policy or custom itself violates federal law,
or directs an employee to do so; and (2) where a facially
lawful [institutional] policy or custom was adopted with