United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
HOLMES, III CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He
proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis.
Currently before the Court is the motion to dismiss (Doc. 10)
for failure to state a claim filed by Separate Defendant
Sheriff Helder pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff has not responded to the motion
events that are the subject of this lawsuit occurred while
Plaintiff was incarcerated in the Washington County Detention
Center. In claim one, Plaintiff lists Sheriff Helder as a
Defendant. Plaintiff then alleges he was denied his
“religious preferences” in the following ways:
“upon intake I was not asked my religious preference
and the staff has refuse[d] to change my meals to a kosher
diet and I was told I was to be contacted by a representative
of the Jewish community and have not seen anybody.”
Claim two asserts a denial of medical care claim against Dr.
Karas and is not at issue in this motion.
proceeds against Sheriff Helder in his individual capacity
only. Plaintiff seeks to recover compensatory and punitive
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 to 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)
(internal quotations omitted)). “A claim has facial
plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678. While the Court will
liberally construe a pro se plaintiff's
complaint, the plaintiff must allege sufficient facts to
support his claims. See Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d
912, 914 (8th Cir. 2004).
Helder maintains the complaint fails to allege any actionable
wrongdoing and the claims against him should be dismissed.
Section 1983 provides a federal cause of action for the
deprivation, under color of law, of a citizen's
"rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the
Constitution and laws" of the United States. In order to
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, plaintiff must
allege that defendant acted under color of state law and that
he violated a right secured by the Constitution. West v.
Atkins, 487 U.S. 42 (1988); Dunham v. Wadley,
195 F.3d 1007, 1009 (8th Cir.1999). The deprivation must be
intentional; mere negligence will not suffice to state a
claim for deprivation of a constitutional right under §
1983. Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327 (1986);
Davidson v. Cannon, 474 U.S. 344 (1986).
of deprivation of a constitutional right cannot be based on a
respondeat superior theory of liability. See
Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 654,
694 (1978). “[A] supervisor is not vicariously liable
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for an employee's
unconstitutional activity.” White v. Holmes,
21 F.3d 277, 280 (8th Cir. 1994); see also Whitson v.
Stone County Jail, 602 F.3d 920, 928 (8th Cir. 2010)
(“In a § 1983 case, an official is only liable for
his own misconduct and is not accountable for the misdeeds of
his agents under a theory such as respondeat superior or
supervisor liability”) (internal quotations omitted);
Keeper v. King, 130 F.3d 1309, 1314 (8th Cir. 1997)
(“general responsibility for supervising the operations
of a prison is insufficient to establish the personal
involvement required to support liability”).
under section 1983 requires a causal link to, and direct
responsibility for, the deprivation of rights. To establish
personal liability of the supervisory defendant, [Plaintiff]
must allege specific facts of personal involvement in, or
direct responsibility for, a deprivation of his
constitutional rights.” Clemmons v.
Armontrout, 477 F.3d 962, 967 (8th Cir. 2007)
(quoting Mayorga v. Missouri, 442 F.3d 1128, 1132
(8th Cir. 2006)); Mark v. Nix, 983 F.2d 138, 139-40
(8th Cir. 1993) (section 1983 liability requires some
personal involvement or responsibility).
Plaintiff has alleged no causal link between the actions of
Sheriff Helder and the alleged deprivation of rights.
Plaintiff does not allege that Sheriff Helder was present
during his intake, was consulted regarding his diet, or was
personally involved in arranging religious visits.
these reasons, Separate Defendant Sheriff Helder's motion
to dismiss (Doc. 10) is GRANTED, and all claims ...