United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT
G. EDMUNDS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter has come before the Court on plaintiff Jeremiah
Johnson's pro se civil rights complaint under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff currently is a state prisoner
at the Marquette Branch Prison in Marquette, Michigan. The
defendants appear to be unidentified Oakland County deputy
sheriffs and the Oakland County Jail.
alleges in his complaint that, between 9:00 p.m. and 10:30
p.m. on November 4, 2016, he was taken to the receiving area
of the Oakland County Jail where he was placed in handcuffs
and told to stop talking. Two deputies then took him to
another room and threw him on the floor. Six individuals in
black suits subsequently kicked him repeatedly for about
ninety seconds and stomped on him. As a result, his ribs were
bruised, he developed migraine headaches, and his wrists and
hands became numb. Plaintiff also alleges that, during the
entire ninety days that he spent at the jail, people in black
suits refused to give him the necessary form for filing a
sues the defendants in their official capacities for alleged
violations of his rights under the First, Eighth, and
Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. He
seeks money damages.
the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996, federal district
courts must screen an indigent prisoner's complaint and
dismiss the complaint if it is frivolous, malicious, fails to
state a claim for which relief can be granted, or seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A; 42
U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(1); Flanory v. Bonn, 604 F.3d
249, 252 (6th Cir. 2010); Smith v. Campbell, 250
F.3d 1032, 1036 (6th Cir. 2001). A complaint is frivolous if
it lacks an arguable basis in law or in fact. Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). "A complaint is
subject to dismissal for failure to state a claim if the
allegations, taken as true, show the plaintiff is not
entitled to relief." Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S.
199, 215 (2007).
a complaint "does not need detailed factual
allegations," the "[f]actual allegations must be
enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level
on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint
are true (even if doubtful in fact)." Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (footnote and
citations omitted). In other words, "a complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, 'to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
"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." Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
extent Plaintiff is suing the Oakland County Jail, his
allegations are frivolous because jails are not legal
entities susceptible to suit. Watson v. Gill, 40
Fed.Appx. 88, 89 (6th Cir. 2002). Furthermore, as noted
above, Plaintiff has sued the unnamed deputy sheriffs who
allegedly beat him on November 4, 2016, in their official
capacity for money damages. The Supreme Court explained in
Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159 (1985), that
[o]fficial-capacity suits ... "generally represent only
another way of pleading an action against an entity of which
an officer is an agent." Monell v. New York City
Dept. of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 690, n. 55, 98
S.Ct. 2018, 2035, n. 55, 56 L.Ed.2d 6111978). As long as the
government entity receives notice and an opportunity to
respond, an official-capacity suit is, in all respects other
than name, to be treated as a suit against the entity.
Brandon [v. Holt, 469 U.S. 464, 471-472, 105 S.Ct.
873, 83 L.Ed.2d 878 (1985)]. It is not a suit
against the official personally, for the real party in
interest is the entity. Thus, ... a plaintiff seeking to
recover on a damages judgment in an official-capacity suit
must look to the government entity itself.
Id. at 165-166 (emphasis in original).
"[A] governmental entity is liable under § 1983
only when the entity itself is a" 'moving
force'" behind the deprivation, Polk County v.
Dodson,454 U.S. 312, 326, 102 S.Ct. 445, 454, 70
L.Ed.2d 509 (1981) (quoting Monell, supra, 436 U.S.,
at 694, 98 S.Ct., at 2037); thus, in an official-capacity
suit the entity's "policy or custom" must have
played a part in the violation of federal law. Monell,
supra; Oklahoma City v. Tuttle,471 U.S. 808, 817, 818,
105 S.Ct. 2427, 2433, 85 ...