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 David Allen
Cannady pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Cannady proceeds
pro se and in forma pauperis. He is
currently incarcerated in the Grimes Unit of the Arkansas
Department of Correction (ADC).
case is currently before me on the Partial Motion to Dismiss
(Doc. 8) filed by Separate Defendants Dr. Roberto Saez, Nurse
Tyranny Ray, and Nurse Patricia Davis (the Medical
Defendants). Specifically, the Medical Defendants seek
dismissal of the official capacity claims against them.
Cannady had not responded to the Motion.
to the allegations of the Complaint (Doc. 1), when Cannady
was incarcerated in the Benton County Detention Center
(BCDC), awaiting transfer to the ADC, the Medical Defendants
denied him an intake physical, a tuberculosis (TB) test
and/or other necessary tests, and housed him with inmates
with contagious diseases. He also alleges the Medical
Defendants failed to provide him with a safe, sanitary, and
orderly jail and denied him adequate exercise and nutrition.
As against all Defendants, Cannady further alleges that he
was subjected to unconstitutional conditions of confinement
including filthy cells, an inadequate diet, the facility
being too hot in the summer and cold in the winter, a lack of
drinking water resulting in dehydration, a lack of space to
exercise, no tuberculosis lights or censors, and being housed
with inmates with contagious diseases.
relief, Cannady seeks compensatory and punitive damages. He
also asks for medical tests to be performed to see if he
contracted any diseases.
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.'" Id., at 594. 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) (while
pro se complaints are liberally construed, they must
allege sufficient facts to support the claims.).
Medical Defendants maintain they are entitled to the
dismissal of the official capacity claims because Cannady 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. The
Medical Defendants are all employed by Southern Health
Partners, Inc. (SHP), the contract medical care provider for
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." Board of Cnty. Comm'rs of Bryan Cnty.,
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. In
short, he has not pointed to "any officially accepted
guiding principle or procedure that was constitutionally
inadequate." Jenkins v. Cnty. of Hennepin, 557
F.3d 628, 633 (8th Cir. 2009). When asked to describe the
custom or policy on the form complaint, he merely makes the
conclusory statements that he was locked up with inmates with
contagious diseases and subjected to unconstitutional
conditions of confinement. Cannady has not pointed to a
"deliberate choice of a ...