United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
MARK E. FORD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
a civil rights action provisionally filed pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1) and (3) (2011), the Honorable Susan O.
Hickey, Chief United States District Judge, referred this
case to the undersigned for the purpose of making a Report
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 12, 2019. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff
was ordered to submit an in forma pauperis
application, and he did so on July 22, 2019. (ECF No. 4).
Plaintiff filed a Supplement to his Complaint on July 31,
2019. (ECF No. 5). Plaintiff alleges he was denied dental and
medical care while incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of
Correction (“ADC”). Plaintiff alleges he was made
to wait 15 months to have two teeth pulled. (ECF No. 1 at 4).
He names Defendant Jones for this claim and identifies him as
“dental practitioner” and an employee of Correct
Care Solutions. (Id. at 2, 4). In his Supplement,
Plaintiff attaches grievance SNU18-00070, in which his
complaints concerning his dental care were found to be with
merit due to the delay in treatment for two cavities. (ECF
No. 5 at 3). Plaintiff also alleges Defendant Robertson would
not follow up on his claims of pain in his neck and back, and
as a result, it took 18 months for Plaintiff to receive a CT
scan and medication. (ECF No. 1 at 6). He identifies
Robertson as a nurse and employee of Correct Care Solutions.
(Id. at 3). In his Supplement, Plaintiff provided
grievance GR-19-00170. In this document, Plaintiff stated his
neck and back pain were the result of an excessive force
incident in 2017. (ECF No. 5 at 1-2). The grievance response
noted Plaintiff had been scheduled and rescheduled for a CT
scan several times staring in 2017 but did not receive one
until February 7, 2019. His grievance was found to be without
proceeds against both Defendants in their official and
personal capacities. (ECF No. 1 at 5). 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).
Official Capacity Claims
Care Solutions is a private correctional health care services
corporation contracted with the ADC to provide those
services. Defendants are identified as employees of Correct
Care Solutions. Through this contract, Correct Care Solutions
and Defendants are acting under color of state law and are
subject to suit under § 1983. West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42 (1988); Burke v. North Dakota Dept. of
Corrections and Rehab., 294 F.3d 1043 (8th Cir. 2002);
Montano v. Hedgepeth, 120 F.3d 844, 849-50 (8th Cir.
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 ...