United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division
HOLMES, III 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 December 28, 2018. (ECF No. 1).
Plaintiff is currently incarcerated in the Scott County
Detention Center and awaiting trial on his current charges.
(ECF No. 1 at 2-3). He alleges Defendant Barham, the Scott
County Sheriff's Office, and the Scott County
Prosecutor's Office “wrongfully charged” him
with a failure to register in Arkansas. (Id. at 4).
He alleges he had informed the Sheriff's Office he was
moving to Oklahoma, had registered in Oklahoma, and the
warrant listed his address in Oklahoma. (Id.).
Plaintiff specifically alleges:
The above defendants stated filed a failure to register
warrant for me in Oct. 2016 while I was living and registered
in the State of Oklahoma in Aug/Sept 2016. The Prosecuting
Office and Sheriff[']s Office was aware of this because
(1) I informed the Sheriff's Office where I was moving
and gave them the address, (2) on the Affidavit for Warrant
it states the address where I was living and registered in
Oklahoma. The Sheriff[']s Office either didn't put
information into the system or didn't put the information
in correctly which caused them to file a warrant after the
fact. Or the Sheriff[ʼ]s Office and Prosecutor took it
upon themselves to file for a warrant. (Id. at 4-5).
Plaintiff proceeds against these Defendants in both official
and personal capacity. (Id.).
further alleges Defendant Barr has provided inadequate legal
services as his appointed public defender. (Id. at
5). Plaintiff proceeds against Defendant Barr in her personal
capacity only. (Id.).
seeks compensatory and punitive damages. (Id. at 7).
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).
Scott County Sheriff's Office and Scott County
offices are not persons or legal entities subject to suit
under § 1983. See e.g., Dean v. Barber, 951
F.2d 1210, 1214 (11th Cir. 1992) (“[s]heriff's
departments and police departments are not usually considered
legal entities subject to suit”); Young v. Hot
Springs Police Dept., No. 6:16-CV-06062, 2016 WL
10655521, at *3 (W.D. Ark. Sept. 2, 2016),
aff'd, 697 Fed.Appx. 469 (8th Cir. 2017)
(Prosecuting attorney's office not subject to suit);
Powell v. Cook County Jail, 814 F.Supp. 757 (N.D.
Ill. 1993) (jail not subject to suit); Marsden v. Fed.
Bureau of Prisons, 856 F.Supp. 832, 836 (S.D.N.Y. 1994)
(“jail is not an entity that is amenable to
suit”); In re Scott County Master Docket, 672
F.Supp. 1152, 1163 n. 1 (D. Minn. 1987) (sheriff's
department is not a legal entity subject to suit),
aff'd, Myers v. Scott County, 863 F.2d
1017 (8th Cir. 1989).