United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
OPINION AND ORDER
TIMOTHY L. BROOKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a civil rights action filed by the Plaintiff Francisco
Sanchez pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds
pro se and in forma pauperis. At the times
relevant to this complaint, he was incarcerated in the Benton
County Detention Center ("BCDC").
case is currently before me on the partial motion to dismiss
(Doc. 9) filed by Nurse Tyranny Ray. Nurse Ray is an employee
of Southern Health Partners, Inc. ("SHP").
Plaintiff has not responded to the motion.
to the allegations of the complaint, on December 31, 2015,
after an altercation with an inmate. Plaintiff was attacked
and brutally beaten by four to five deputies. Nurse Ray sent
Plaintiff to the emergency room. Plaintiff alleges that: the
left side of his face was swollen; his left eye was almost
swollen shut and he had eleven stitches over it; he had
broken ribs; his hip was bothering him; his upper lip was
split; he had bruises all over his body; he could not hear
out of his right ear; and he was unable to walk for days.
alleges that he was authorized to have a medical mattress
because of his ribs, but since he is on lock down it is taken
away from him for sixteen hours a day. Although he spoke to
Nurse Ray about this, she said that it was up to security
staff whether his mat was taken away during the day time.
When he asks security staff, Plaintiff states he is told it
is up to the medical staff. Plaintiff does not believe he is
receiving the proper medical treatment for his injuries. He
alleges he is in severe pain because of the broken ribs.
alleges that when he submits requests and grievances they are
redirected to either command or medical staff, with each
blaming the other. He states he still has not seen the jail
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)
("Though pro se complaints are to be liberally
construed, they must allege sufficient facts to support the
claims advanced." (internal citation omitted)).
Ray maintains she is entitled to the dismissal of the
official capacity claims because Plaintiff has not alleged
facts sufficient to assert a plausible claim that an official
institutional policy or custom reflected deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs. Official capacity
claims are "functionally equivalent to a suit against
the employing governmental [or institutional] entity."
Veatch v. Bartels Lutheran Home, 627 F.3d 1254, 1257
(8th Cir. 2010). In this case, Benton County has contracted
with SHP to provide healthcare to County prisoners. For this
reason, the official capacity claims are treated as claims
against SHP. See Murray v. Lene, 595 F.3d 868, 873
(8th Cir. 2010).
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
'deliberate indifference' to its known or obvious
consequences." Moyle v. Anderson, 571 F.3d 814,
817-18 (8th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted).
has not alleged a plausible "policy" claim. He
merely makes the conclusory allegation that jail policies and
procedures are not professionally followed. (Doc. 1, p. 15).
He has not pointed to "any officially accepted guiding
principle or procedure that was constitutionally
inadequate." Jenkins v. Cty. of Hennepin, 557
F.3d 628, 633 (8th ...