United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division
HOLMES, III CHIEF U.S. 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. § 1915A(a).
filed his Complaint on July 10, 2018. (ECF No. 1). He is
currently incarcerated in the Sebastian County Detention
Center (SCDC), and alleges his federal constitutional rights
are being violated because he is not being properly
medicated. (Id. at 2, 4). Specifically, Plaintiff
alleges that “because of improper medication I have had
severe discomfort (gas pains) which don't happen when I
am medicated properly.” (Id. at 5). Plaintiff
describes the custom or policy which caused the violation as
follows: “[M]ed passes will be performed so that you
receive your medications as closely to the required intervals
as poss[i]ble.” (Id. at 6). Plaintiff does not
identify the condition(s) for which he needs medication, the
medication needed, or how his medication is improper.
Complaint is silent as to the capacity in which he is suing
Defendant Stevens. He seeks 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) seeks 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 Atlantic 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).
a plaintiff's complaint is silent about the capacity in
which she is suing the defendant, we interpret the complaint
as including only official-capacity claims.”
Egerdahl v. Hibbing Cmty. College, 72 F.3d 615, 619
(8th Cir. 1995) (internal citation omitted) (citing Nix
v. Norman, 879 F.2d 429, 431 (8th Cir.1989)).
Plaintiff's Complaint is silent as to the capacity in
which he is suing the Defendants. The Court must, therefore,
interpret his Complaint as including only official capacity
fails to allege any plausible official capacity claims. 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, 152 F.3d 907 (8th Cir. 1998),
the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals discussed the distinction
between individual and official capacity suits. As explained
by the Court in Gorman:
“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 plaintiff's 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 ...