United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Harrison Division
OPINION AND ORDER
'TIMOTHY L. BROOKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a civil rights case filed by the Plaintiff, Darren L. Norman,
under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff
proceeds pro se and has filed an application to
proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP") (Doc.
2). He is currently incarcerated in the Arkansas Department
of Correction, Pine Bluff Unit. The events at issue in this
case occurred while he was incarcerated in the Baxter County
Detention Center ("BCDC").
Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA") modified the
IFP statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915, to require the Court to
screen complaints for dismissal under § 1915(e)(2)(B).
The Court must dismiss a complaint, or any portion of it, if
it contains claims that: (a) are frivolous or malicious; (b)
fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or,
(c) seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
to the allegations of the Complaint (Doc. 2), on August 18,
2014,  Plaintiff was not feeling well and
reported this to jailers, but nothing was done. At medication
call, Plaintiff got weak, shaky, and his head started hurting
as he walked to the door. The next thing he recalls is waking
up while emergency medical technicians ("EMTs")
were putting him on a stretcher to transport him to the
emergency room. Plaintiff alleges his chest hurt like he had
been beaten. The emergency room doctor looked at Plaintiffs
chest and it was bleeding. A jailer present in the emergency
room told the doctor they had been rubbing Plaintiff's
chest during a seizure to get the Plaintiff to come to.
Plaintiff alleges he had an eight-inch long by two-inch wide
open area on his sternum.
to Plaintiff, the doctor told the jailer "not to ever do
[that] again." Plaintiff's wound was dressed. He was
treated for seizures and returned to the BCDC. Plaintiff
indicates that at the BCDC, he did not receive the wound care
ordered by the doctor.
indicates that pictures were taken of the wound. He also
contends there is video footage that shows a jailer laughing
as he was performing "excessive force on
[Plaintiff's] chest." Plaintiff asserts the
following claims: excessive force, police misconduct,
unauthorized medical procedure, and discrimination against
him based on his mental handicap. He seeks compensatory
damages, a written apology, and additional training for the
jailers. He sues the Defendants in their official capacities
the PLRA, the Court is obligated to screen a case prior to
service of process being issued. A claim is frivolous when it
"lacks an arguable basis either in law or fact."
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A
claim fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted
if it does not allege "enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The Court
bears in mind, however, that when "evaluating whether a
pro se plaintiff has asserted sufficient facts to
state a claim, we hold 'a pro se complaint,
however inartfully pleaded, ... to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'"
Jackson v. Nixon, 747 F.3d 537, 541 (8th Cir. 2014)
(quoting Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
has not alleged facts sufficient to assert a plausible
official capacity claim. 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). A Plaintiff "seeking to impose
liability on a municipality under § 1983 [must] identify
[an unconstitutional] policy or custom that caused the
plaintiff's injury." Board of County Comm'rs
of Bryan Cnty., Okla. v. Brown, 520 U.S. 397, 403
(1997). "There are two basic circumstances under which
municipal liability will attach: (1) where a particular
policy or custom itself violates federal law, or directs an
employee to do so; and (2) where a facially lawful 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
has not alleged that the existence of any custom or policy
was the moving force behind the alleged constitutional
violation. Plaintiff has not alleged a plausible official
capacity claim. Accordingly, as submitted to the Court, the
complaint is subject to dismissal.
has failed to allege any plausible official capacity claims
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is given until
September 28, 2017 to file
an amended complaint to plead sufficient facts and address
the deficiencies identified in this Opinion and Order.
Plaintiff is advised that failure to file the amended
complaint will result in the dismissal of this case.