United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
OPINION AND ORDER
TIMOTHY L. BROOKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case is before the Court for preservice screening under the
provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act
("PLRA"). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the
Court has the obligation to screen any complaint in which a
prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer
or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. §
an inmate at the Washington County Detention Center, filed
his Complaint on October 30, 2017. (ECF No. 1). On October
30, 2017, the Court entered an Order directing Plaintiff to
file an Amended Complaint because Plaintiff had mistakenly
listed himself as the Defendant involved for each of his
claims. (ECF No. 3). Plaintiff filed his Amended Complaint on
November 14, 2017. (ECF No. 6). In his Amended Complaint,
Plaintiff again listed himself as the Defendant for each
claim. Id. at 4, 5. Plaintiff did, however, clearly
state for Claim One that he was given over ten
times the amount of insulin he was supposed to
receive "by the nurse of this facility."
Id. at 4. Plaintiff also alleges he was given the
wrong type of insulin as well as an excessive dose for Claim
Two. Id. at 5. Plaintiff declined to provide a
description of the custom or policy which he believed
violated his rights for Claim One, crossing out that section.
Id. For Claim Two, Plaintiff alleges the custom or
policy is "carelessness and not being attentive to
dosage needed or proper insulin." Id. at 7.
proceeds against all Defendants in both their personal and
official capacities. Id. at 4, 5. Plaintiff seeks
compensatory and punitive damages. Id..
the PLRA, the Court is obligated to screen the case prior to
service of process being issued. The Court must dismiss a
complaint, or any portion of it, if it contains claims that:
(1) are frivolous, malicious, or fail to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted; or, (2) seek monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C.
is frivolous if "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). "In 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 (2007)). Even a
pro se Plaintiff must allege specific facts
sufficient to support a claim. Martin v. Sargent,
780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985).
failed to state a plausible official capacity claim against
any Defendant. Under Section 1983, a defendant may be sued in
either his individual capacity, or in his official capacity,
or in both. In Gorman v. Bartch, the Eighth Circuit
Court of Appeals discussed the distinction between individual
and official capacity suits. As explained in the
Claims against government actors in their individual
capacities differ from those in their official capacities as
to the type of conduct that is actionable and as to the type
of defense that is available. See Hafer v. Melo, 502
U.S. 21, 112 S.Ct. 358, 116 L.Ed.2d 301 (1991). Claims
against individuals in their official capacities are
equivalent to claims against the entity for which they work;
they require proof that a policy or custom of the entity
violated the plaintiffs rights, and the only type of immunity
available is one belonging to the entity itself. Id.
502 U.S. at 24-27, 112 S.Ct. at 361-62 (1991). Personal
capacity claims, on the other hand, are those which allege
personal liability for individual actions by officials in the
course of their duties; these claims do not require proof of
any policy and qualified immunity may be raised as a defense.
Id. 502 U.S. at 25-27, 112 S.Ct. at 362.
Gorman, 152 F.3d 907, 914 (8th Cir.1998).
"[R]igorous standards of culpability and causation must
be applied to ensure that the [county] is not held liable
solely for the actions of its employee" in cases where a
plaintiff claims a county has caused an employee to violate
the plaintiff's constitutional rights. Board of Cty.
Comm'rs, Oklahoma v. Brown, 520 U.S. 397,
Plaintiff has not identified any specific policy or custom of
Washington County which violated his rights. Instead he
alleges only that there was general carelessness and
inattention to medication details. Such vague and conclusory
allegations cannot support an official capacity claim.
See Nix v. Norman, 879 F.2d 429, 433 (8th Cir.
1989). ("To establish liability in an official-capacity
suit under section 1983, a plaintiff must show either that
the official named in the suit took an action pursuant to an
unconstitutional governmental policy or custom . . .or that
he or she possessed final authority over the subject matter
at issue and used that authority in an unconstitutional
manner."); Arnold v. Corizon, Inc, No.
1:15CV62, 2015 WL 4206307, at*2 (E.D. Mo. July 10, 2015)
(conclusory claims that defendants acted according to some
unspecified policies or customs are not enough to state
official capacity claims).
personal capacity claims against Karas Medical Services must
likewise fail because he did not allege any action or
inaction by this Defendant which violated his rights. As
stated above, even a pro se Plaintiff must allege