United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division
OPINION AND ORDER
HOLMES, III, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Defendants' corrected motion (Doc. 51) for
summary judgment, brief in support (Doc. 47) and
corrected statement of facts in support (Doc. 52).
Plaintiff has filed a response (Doc. 53), brief (Doc. 54),
and responsive statement of facts (Doc. 55) in opposition to
the motion for summary judgment. Defendants have filed a
reply (Doc. 60). The motion for summary judgment will be
granted in part.
motion will be granted with respect to all individual
capacity claims. Nowhere in his complaint does Plaintiff
clearly and unambiguously state that any Defendant is sued in
an individual capacity. Accordingly, each is sued only in his
or her official capacity. Mick v. Raines, 883 F.3d
1075, 1079 (8th Cir. 2018) (citing Johnson v. Outboard
Marine Corp., 172 F.3d 531, 535 (8th Cir. 1999)).
motion will also be granted insofar as all County officials
named as Defendants will be dismissed. Official capacity
damages claims naming a government official in an official
capacity are claims against the office, and not the
government official. Baker v. Chisom, 501 F.3d 920,
925 (8th Cir. 2007). Each Defendant named in an official
capacity is an official for Defendant Sebastian County,
Arkansas (“the County”). (Doc. 1, ¶¶
3-5; Doc. 24, ¶ 2; Doc. 26, ¶ 2; Doc. 32, ¶
2). Claims against those named Defendants are redundant to
the claims against the County, and the named Defendants will
be dismissed on that basis. Veatch v. Bartels Lutheran
Home, 627 F.3d 1254, 1257 (8th Cir. 2010).
motion will also be granted with respect to all John Doe
Defendants, to the extent a claim would remain pending
following dismissal for the reasons above. No proof of
service has been filed for any John Doe Defendant, nor has a
motion to extend the time to service been filed. The
complaint also lacks any particular allegations against a
John Doe. Dismissal against these Defendants is proper.
Lee v. Airgas Mid-South, Inc., 793 F.3d 894 (8th
leaves only Plaintiff's claims against the County.
Plaintiff brings claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
violations of his federal constitutional rights and under the
Arkansas Civil Rights Act (“ACRA”), Ark. Code
Ann. § 16-123-105 for violations of his state
constitutional rights. Plaintiff's claims arise out of
the County's alleged failure to address his medical needs
while he was in their custody. Both § 1983 claims and
claims premised on a disregard of a detainee's medical
needs require a showing that Plaintiff had an objectively
serious medical need and officials were deliberately
indifferent to that need. Fourte v. Faulkner County,
Ark., 746 F.3d 384, 387 (8th Cir. 2014). For the County
to be liable, the deliberate indifference of its officials
must have been “pursuant to an official custom, policy,
or practice of the governmental entity.” Moyle v.
Anderson, 571 F.3d 814, 817 (8th Cir. 2009) (citing
Monell v. N.Y. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S.
658, 690-92 (1978)). “There are two basic circumstances
under which [governmental] liability will attach: (1) where a
particular [governmental] policy or custom itself violates
federal law, or directs an employee to do so; and (2) where a
facially lawful municipal policy or custom was adopted with
‘deliberate indifference' to its known or obvious
consequences.” Id. at 817-18. “An
unconstitutional governmental policy can be inferred from a
single decision taken by the highest official responsible for
setting policy in that area of the government's
business.” Dean v. Cnty of Gage, Neb., 807
F.3d 931, 940-41 (8th Cir. 2015) (quoting Angarita v. St.
Louis Cnty., 981 F.2d 1537, 1546 (8th Cir. 1992)).
when a subordinate's decision is subject to review by the
[governmental body]'s authorized policymakers, they have
retained the authority to measure the official's conduct
for conformance with their policies. If the
authorized policymakers approve a subordinate's decision
and the basis for it, their ratification would be chargeable
to the [governmental body] because their decision is final.
Williams v. Butler, 863 F.2d 1398, 1402 (8th Cir.
1988) (quoting City of St. Louis v. Praprotnik, 485
U.S. 112, 127 (1988)).
overcome a motion for summary judgment, Plaintiff must cite
to evidence in the record that establishes a genuine dispute
of material fact remains for trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).
Plaintiff has cited evidence establishing a genuine dispute
of material fact with respect to whether Sebastian County
Detention Center personnel were deliberately indifferent to
his objectively serious medical needs. Plaintiff has also
cited evidence establishing a genuine dispute of material
fact with respect to whether William Hollenbeck, Sebastian
County Sheriff and final policymaker with respect to the
Sebastian County Detention Center, was deliberately
indifferent to Detention Center policies, whether or not
facially constitutional, that resulted in any deliberate
indifference to Plaintiff's objectively serious medical
needs. Finally, Plaintiff has cited evidence establishing a
genuine dispute of material fact with respect to whether
Hollenbeck ratified unconstitutional conduct by Detention
Center personnel as conforming with official policy. For
these reasons, summary judgment is improper for Defendant
Sebastian County, Arkansas.
THEREFORE ORDERED that Defendants' motion (Doc. 51) for
summary judgment is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. The
motion is DENIED insofar as official capacity claims against
Defendant Sebastian County, Arkansas remain for trial. The
motion is otherwise GRANTED, and all remaining claims are
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
 Defendants filed their motion for
summary judgment (Doc. 46) and statement of facts (Doc. 48)
on April 13, 2018, along with the brief in support (Doc. 47).
The filing was timely under the Court's scheduling order
(Doc. 41). Defendants omitted the names of several Defendants
from the caption of statement of facts and from the initial
paragraph of the ...