United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division
DUSTIN D. SWEETLAND PLAINTIFF
JAILER FLORANCE Greenwood Police Department, JAIL ADMINISTRATOR PEVEHOUSE, SHERIFF HOLLENBECK and DOE MEDICAL SUPERVISOR Sebastian County Detention Center DEFENDANTS
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 in the Eastern District of Arkansas on
January 31, 2019. (ECF No. 1). It was transferred to this
District on February 5, 2019. (ECF No. 4). That same day, the
Court entered an Order directing Plaintiff to file an Amended
Complaint. (ECF No. 7). Plaintiff did so on February 19,
2019. (ECF No. 8). Plaintiff was granted in forma
pauperis (IFP) status on March 7, 2019. (ECF No. 9).
Plaintiff had previously filed his claims in Case No.
2:17-cv-02153, which was dismissed without prejudice on July
23, 2018 for failure to comply with a Court Order and failure
to prosecute the case.
alleges his constitutional rights were violated on February
4, 2017, while he was incarcerated in the Sebastian County
Detention Center (SCDC). (ECF No. 8 at 8). He alleges Deputy
Florance and Deputy England were to take him from Holding
Cell Three to the Hospital Cell. Florance told Plaintiff to
give him his shoes and his artificial leg. (Id.).
Plaintiff refused to do so because medical staff had told him
he could keep his shoes and leg. (Id.). Florance
then “twisted and ripped” Plaintiff's
artificial leg off, causing his knee to pop out of place.
(Id.). Florance also proceeded to elbow and punch
Plaintiff in the face about 8-10 times. (Id.).
England pulled Florance off, but Florance “broke
free” and hit Plaintiff another 8-10 times.
(Id.). Florance then drug Plaintiff to the front of
the holding cell “bleeding and choking the whole way,
” and he was not able to stand up because he was
missing his artificial leg and his knee was out on his other
leg. (Id.). The nurse came to the holding cell, and
Plaintiff was drug back into the cell without his leg or
shoes. (Id.). Florance and England left him in
Holding Cell Three for over a week with no medical attention,
even though he “asked for medical numerous
times.” (Id. at 9). Plaintiff alleges his knee
and arm were swollen and bruised so badly he could not use
them for days. (Id.). He was never permitted to see
medical, but pictures were taken of his knee and face
immediately after the incident. (Id.). Plaintiff
alleges he did not fight or resist in any way and did not
deserve the beating. (Id.).
proceeds against all Defendants in their personal and
official capacities. (Id. at 4). He 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).
Sheriff Hollenbeck, Jail Administrator Pevehouse, and Doe
under Section 1983 requires a causal link to, and direct
responsibility for, the deprivation of rights.”
Madewell v. Roberts, 909 F.2d 1203, 1208 (8th Cir.
1990) (citing Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 370
(1976)). Thus, to state a cognizable Section 1983 claim, a
complaint must set forth specific factual allegations showing
what each named defendant did, or failed to do, that
allegedly violated the plaintiff's federal constitutional
rights. Martin, 780 F.2d at 1337.
Hollenbeck, Pevehouse, and Doe Medical Supervisor are named
as Defendants in this case. (ECF No. 1 at 2-3, 5). Plaintiff
does not, however, provide any specific factual allegations
detailing how they were involved in, or responsible for, any
purported violation of his constitutional rights. To the
extent Plaintiff named Defendants because they are in
positions of authority in SCDC, he may not bring a claim
solely on the theory of respondeat superior. See
Monell v. Department of Social Services,436 ...