United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
GEORGE CARAM STEEH
OPINION AND ORDER OF SUMMARY DISMISSAL
CARAM, STEEH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a pro se civil rights case brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. The plaintiff, Cornelius Mayfield, a federal
prisoner currently confined in another state, sues the Clare
County Jail in Clare, Michigan alleging that he was given the
wrong medications on two occasions while held at the jail and
that he had metal on his body when given an MRI at a local
medical facility in February, 2018. He alleges a violation of
his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights and seeks
injunctive relief and monetary damages.
the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996
(“PLRA”), the Court is required to sua sponte
dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint before service on a
defendant 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. See 42 U.S.C. §
1997e(c); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The Court is
similarly required to dismiss a complaint seeking redress
against government entities, officers, and employees which it
finds to be frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915A. A complaint is frivolous if it lacks
an arguable basis in law or in fact. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992); Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989).
se civil rights complaint is to be construed liberally.
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972).
Nonetheless, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires
that a complaint set forth “a short and plain statement
of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,
” as well as “a demand for the relief
sought.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), (3). The purpose of this
rule is to “give the defendant fair notice of what the
claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(citation omitted). While this notice pleading standard does
not require “detailed” factual allegations, it
does require more than the bare assertion of legal principles
or conclusions. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Rule 8
“demands more than an unadorned, the
defendant-unlawfully-harmed me accusation.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
“A pleading that offers ‘labels and
conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.'”
Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
“Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders
‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further
factual enhancement.'” Id. (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).
state a civil rights claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must allege that: (1) he or she was deprived of a
right, privilege, or immunity secured by the federal
Constitution or laws of the United States; and (2) the
deprivation was caused by a person acting under color of
state law. Flagg Bros. v. Brooks, 436 U.S. 149,
155-57 (1978); Harris v. Circleville, 583 F.3d 356,
364 (6th Cir. 2009). Additionally, a plaintiff must allege
that the deprivation of his or her rights was intentional.
Davidson v. Cannon, 474 U.S. 344, 348 (1986);
Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327, 333-36 (1986).
plaintiff's complaint against the Clare County Jail, the
only named defendant in this action, must be dismissed.
Section 1983 imposes liability on any “person”
who violates an individual's federal constitutional or
statutory rights. It is well-settled that county jails,
sheriff departments, and other governmental agencies are not
legal entities subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
See Edward v. Jail, No. 2:16-CV-11596, 2016 WL
2937146, *2 (E.D. Mich. May 20, 2016) (citing cases and
ruling that county jails, sheriff departments, and other
governmental agencies are not legal entities amenable to suit
under § 1983); Coopshaw v. Lenawee Co. Sheriff's
Office of Lenawee Co., No. 05-CV-72569, 2006 WL 3298898,
*6-7 (E.D. Mich. Nov. 14, 2006) (citing cases); see also
Boykin v. Van Buren Twp., 479 F.3d 444, 450 (6th Cir.
2007) (police department is an improper defendant in a §
1983 case); Rhodes v. McDannel, 945 F.2d 117, 120
(6th Cir. 1991) (sheriff's department may not be sued
under § 1983). The plaintiff's complaint against the
Clare County Jail must therefore be dismissed.
reasons stated, the Court concludes that the plaintiff fails
state a claim upon which relief may be granted under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 in his complaint. Accordingly, the Court
DISMISSES WITH PREJUDICE the civil rights
complaint. The Court further concludes that an appeal
from this order cannot be taken in good faith. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3); Coppedge v. United
States, 369 U.S. 438, 445 (1962).
IS SO ORDERED.