United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
following Recommended Disposition
(“Recommendation”) has been sent to United States
District Judge James M. Moody, Jr. You may file written
objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If you do
so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain the
factual and/or legal basis for your objection; and (2) be
received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days
of the date of this Recommendation. If you do not file
objections, Judge Moody can adopt this Recommendation without
independently reviewing all of the evidence in the record. By
not objecting, you may waive the right to appeal questions of
Clark Gray (“Gray”) is a pretrial detainee in the
Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility
(“PCRDF”). He has filed a pro se §
1983 Complaint and Amended Complaint alleging that Defendants
violated his constitutional rights. Docs. 2 & 5.
Before Gray may proceed with this case, the Court must screen
original Complaint, Gray alleged that Defendant PCRDF and an
indeterminate number of unnamed Doe Defendants subjected him to
inhumane conditions of confinement because of the presence of
black mold in the showers, the ceiling registers, and the air
ducts in the R Unit of the PCRDF. According to Gray, even
though the showers, registers and vents were recently
cleaned, the mold had already returned. He alleged that the
“toxic” mold posed a safety hazard and made it
hard to breathe. Doc. 2.
November 6, 2018, the Court entered an Order informing Gray
that his Complaint was deficient because: (1) the PCRDF was
not a legal entity that could be sued in a § 1983
action; (2) he was required to name individuals who
were responsible for the alleged constitutional violations;
and (3) his case could not proceed until he identified at
least one of the individual Doe Defendants listed in his
Complaint. Doc. 4 at 2. The Court further ordered
Gray to file an Amended Complaint that:
(1) names individual Defendants who allegedly violated his
constitutional rights; (2) states specific facts about how
each of those Defendants personally
participated in exposing him to black mold, including
dates, times and places, if applicable; (3) describes
how long he was exposed to black mold in the PCRDF
and how he was personally harmed by that exposure;
and (4) explains why he has named Defendants in both their
individual and official capacities.
Id. at 2-3 (emphases added).
December 3, 2018, Gray filed an Amended Complaint. Doc.
5. That pleading corrects none of the deficiencies
outlined by the Court. Instead, the Amended Complaint states
in its entirety:
There [is] black mold in the vent [in the] showers on the
ceiling and the return vent of the cells and the return vents
do not come off. They can't be cleaned and it [is] still
very hard to breath[e] smelling that black mold.
Id. at 4. In the section for listing Defendants,
Gray identifies no individuals or entities,
leaving the entire section blank. Id. at 1-2. For
the following reasons, the Court finds that, even reading his
Complaint and Amendment together, and giving those pleadings
a liberal construction,  Gray has failed to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted.
the only named Defendant in the original Complaint was the
PCRDF. As previously explained to Gray, it is well settled
that a county detention facility is not a legal
entity that can be sued in a § 1983 action. See
Owens v. Scott County Jail, 328 F.3d 1026, 1027 (8th
Cir. 2003); Williams v. Pulaski County Detention
Facility, 278 Fed.Appx. 695, 695 (8th Cir. 2008).
Accordingly, the PCRDF is not a proper Defendant.
rather than identifying at least one of the individual Doe
Defendants - as directed by the Court and as required for his
case to proceed - Gray's Amended Complaint names no
Defendants whatsoever. Doc. 5 at 1-2. Gray provides no
further information to identify, or enable the United States
Marshal to effectuate service upon, any of the Doe
Defendants, who are unnamed and indeterminate in number.
See Estate of Rosenberg v. Crandell, 56 F.3d 35, 37
(8th Cir. 1995) (affirming dismissal of “various other
John Does to be named when identified”); Lee v.
Armontrout, 991 F.2d 487, 489 (8th Cir. 1993)
(explaining that it is responsibility of a prisoner
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in
a § 1983 action to provide a proper service address for
each defendant); Munz v. Parr, 758 F.2d 1254, 1257
(8th Cir. 1985) (dismissal of a “John Doe”
defendant named by a plaintiff proceeding in forma
pauperis is proper when it appears that the true
identity of the defendant cannot be learned); Fed.R.Civ.P.
4(m) (requiring dismissal of defendants who are not served
within ninety days of the filing of the complaint).
fundamentally, however, Gray has not offered sufficient
allegations of personal involvement on the part of any Doe
Defendant, or any other individual. See Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 676 & 678 (explaining that, because there is no
vicarious liability in § 1983 actions, a prisoner
“must plead that each Government-official defendant,
through the official's own individual actions, has
violated the Constitution”; complaint must contain
sufficient “factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged”). Liability under §
1983 “requires a causal link to, and direct
responsibility for, the deprivation of rights.”
Madewell v. Roberts,909 F.2d 1203, 1208 (8th Cir.