United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Harrison Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
TIMOTHY L. BROOKS, STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. She
proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis.
Currently before the Court is the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 13)
for failure to state a claim filed by Separate Defendants
Sheriff Mike Moore and Jail Administrator Jason Day, in both
their individual and official capacities, pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff
has not responded to the Motion to Dismiss.
is incarcerated in the Boone County Detention Center
("BCDC"). According to the allegations of the
Amended Complaint (Doc. 16). when Plaintiff was arrested on
November 8, 2018, officers put their knees on her back
despite her saying her back was hurt. After she complained of
her back hurting, Plaintiff alleges the officers pushed down
harder. When she arrived at the BCDC, Plaintiff alleges she
was forced to walk despite her complaint that her back was
"broken" and her leg hurt. Plaintiff maintains the
jailers were only concerned with the fact that she had
staples in her leg.
arrival at the BCDC, Plaintiff alleges Nurse Woods removed
the staples. Plaintiff believes she should have been referred
to an orthopedic doctor and undergone physical therapy. She
does state that an x-ray was taken that showed no obvious
break in her back. She indicates she now walks "with [a]
pronounced limp & sideways." Plaintiff alleges she
has burning pain in her foot and lower back, and her legs go
Plaintiff contends she suffered a head injury in an accident
in August of 2018, prior to her arrest. She maintains that
when she was in jail in November of 2018, she passed out and
hit the call button, but received no help.
relief for her claims, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and
punitive damages. She indicates she will need medical
treatment to repair the damage to her body, as well as
8(a) contains the general pleading rules and requires a
complaint to present "a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). "In order to meet this standard,
and survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), 'a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face."' Braden v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.,
588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009) (quoting Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotations
omitted)). "A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft, 556 U.S.
at 678. While the Court will liberally construe a pro
se plaintiff's complaint, the plaintiff must allege
sufficient facts to support her claims. See Stone v.
Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th Cir. 2004).
1983 provides a federal cause of action for the deprivation,
under color of law, of a citizen's "rights,
privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and
laws" of the United States. In order to state a claim
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, plaintiff must allege that
defendant acted under color of state law and that he violated
a right secured by the Constitution. West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42 (1988); Dunham v. Wadley, 195 F.3d 1007,
1009 (8th Cir. 1999). The deprivation must be intentional;
mere negligence will not suffice to state a claim for
deprivation of a constitutional right under § 1983.
Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327 (1986);
Davidson v. Cannon, 474 U.S. 344 (1986).
Sherriff Moore - Individual & Supervisory Liability
Moore argues that even accepting Plaintiff's allegations
as true, the Amended Complaint fails to state facts showing
that he committed any wrongful activity or caused any damage
or injury. "Liability under section 1983 requires a
causal link to, and direct responsibility for, the
deprivation of rights. To establish personal liability of the
supervisory defendant, [Plaintiff] must allege specific facts
of personal involvement in, or direct responsibility for, a
deprivation of his constitutional rights." Clemmons
v. Armontrout, 477 F.3d 962, 967 (8th Cir. 2007)
(quoting Mayorga v. Mo., 442 F.3d 1128, 1132 (8th
Cir. 2006)); Keeper v. King, 130 F.3d 1309, 1314
(8th Cir. 1997) (no evidence that the defendants were doctors
or were personally involved in making medical decisions about
treatment); Mark v. Nix, 983 F.2d 138, 139-40 (8th
Cir. 1993) (section 1983 liability requires some personal
involvement or responsibility). Here, Plaintiff has not
alleged that Sheriff Moore was present during the arrest, was
even aware that Plaintiff was injured in any way, or was
involved in deciding the medical care she should receive.
Plaintiff has established no causal link or direct
responsibility of Sheriff Moore to the alleged deprivation of
rights. Based on the allegations of the Amended Complaint,
Sheriff Moore is not liable in his individual capacity.
of deprivation of a constitutional right cannot be based on a
respondeat superior theory of liability. See
Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs.,436 U.S. 654, 694
(1978). "[A] supervisor is not vicariously liable under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 for an employee's unconstitutional
activity." White v. Holmes,21 F.3d 277, 280
(8th Cir. 1994); see also Whitson v. Stone Cnty.
Jail,602 F.3d 920, 928 (8th Cir. 2010) ("In a
§ 1983 case, an official is only liable for his own
misconduct and is not accountable for the misdeeds of his
agents under a theory such as respondeat superior or
supervisor liability") (internal quotations omitted);
Keeper v. King, 130 F.3d at 1314 ("general
responsibility for supervising the operations ...