United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Anthony P. Patti Magistrate Judge
OPINION AND ORDER OF SUMMARY DISMISSAL
J. MICHELSON U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Hunt filed a pro se civil rights complaint pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Hunt asserts that, after a fellow
jail inmate spat on him near the dining area in the Wayne
County Jail, he asked Officer Jones for a new uniform,
medical attention, and that the affected area be cleaned and
sanitized. But Officer Jones did not follow up to ensure that
Hunt's requests were met. Hunt also asserts that the
inmate who spat on him has since verbally threatened him and
the jail has failed to address Hunt's safety concerns.
reviewed the complaint, the Court concludes that it must be
summarily dismissed for failing to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted.
was granted in forma pauperis status under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a)(1). (R. 3.) Under the Prison Litigation Reform
Act (PLRA), the Court is required to sua sponte
dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint before
service if it determines that the action is frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
failure-to-state-a-claim standard found in §§
1915A(b)(1) and 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is governed by the standard
set forth in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009)
and Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007).
Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir.
2010). And although a pro se litigant is entitled to
a liberal construction of his pleadings and filings, “a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
state a claim under § 1983, “a plaintiff must set
forth facts that, when construed favorably, establish (1) the
deprivation of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of
the United States (2) caused by a person acting under the
color of state law.” Sigley v. City of Parma
Heights, 437 F.3d 527, 533 (6th Cir. 2006). And while it
is not entirely clear whether Hunt is a pretrial detainee or
convicted prisoner (under “prisoner status, ”
Hunt wrote, “Prisoner waiting to go to” on the
“other” line (R. 1, PID 5)), his status
ultimately will not change the legal analysis. Indeed,
“[the Sixth Circuit] has made clear that, under the
Fourteenth Amendment, pretrial detainees are ‘entitled
to the same Eighth Amendment rights as other
inmates.'” See Richko v. Wayne Cty.,
Mich., 819 F.3d 907, 915 (6th Cir. 2016), cert.
dismissed, 138 S.Ct. 34, 198 L.Ed.2d 761 (2017)) (citing
Thompson v. Cty. of Medina, Ohio, 29 F.3d 238, 242
(6th Cir.1994)). “Thus, Supreme Court precedents
governing prisoners' Eighth Amendment rights also govern
the Fourteenth Amendment rights of pretrial detainees.”
Ruiz-Bueno v. Scott, 639 Fed.Appx. 354, 358 (6th
Cir. 2016); see also Richmond v. Huq, 885 F.3d 928,
937 (6th Cir. 2018).
names the Wayne County Jail as a defendant in this action.
(R. 1, PID 1, 3.) But a county jail is “not a legal
entity susceptible to suit.” Watson v. Gill,
40 Fed.Appx. 88, 89 (6th Cir. 2002); see also Gonzales v.
Ingham County Jail, No. 15-13735, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
176793, *2 (E.D. Mich. Nov. 9, 2015) (finding
“Plaintiff's allegations are frivolous and fail to
state a plausible claim for relief because jails are not
legal entities susceptible to suit.”). Hunt's
claims against the county jail must therefore be dismissed.
a jail is a department of the county, the county is the
appropriate party to address Plaintiff's claims.
Watson, 40 Fed.Appx. at 89. But to prevail against
the County, Hunt must show that his “injuries were the
result of an unconstitutional policy or custom of the
County.” Matthews v. Jones, 35 F.3d 1046, 1049
(6th Cir. 1994). And Hunt has made no such allegations.