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Wilson v. State

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Eastern Division

January 28, 2015

TEWAN WILSON, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF ALABAMA, et al., Defendants.

RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE

WALLACE CAPEL, Jr., Magistrate Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

In this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action, Tewan Wilson ("Wilson"), a convicted inmate confined at the Lee County Detention Center, challenges the constitutionality of a conviction imposed upon him by the Circuit Court of Lee County, Alabama. Specifically, Wilson challenges the jury selection process and lack of issuance of a Miranda [1] warning at the time he surrendered to police. Complaint - Doc. No. 1 at 3. He names the State of Alabama, the Lee County Detention Center, and the Circuit Court of Lee County as defendants in this cause of action. Wilson seeks dismissal of his conviction and monetary damages for the alleged violations of his constitutional rights. Id. at 4.

Upon review of the complaint, the court concludes that dismissal of this case prior to service of process is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and (ii).[2]

II. DISCUSSION

A. State of Alabama

The law is well-settled that the State of Alabama is absolutely immune from suit. Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265 (1986) (Unless the State consents to suit, the plaintiff cannot proceed against such defendant as the action is proscribed by the Eleventh Amendment and "[t]his bar exists whether the relief sought is legal or equitable."). Moreover, "a State is not a person' within the meaning of § 1983." Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 65 (1989). Any claims lodged against the State of Alabama are therefore frivolous as such claims are "based on an indisputably meritless legal theory." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989).[3] Consequently, the claims presented by Wilson against the State of Alabama are subject to dismissal as frivolous in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i).

B. Lee County Detention Center

A county detention facility is not a legal entity subject to suit or liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Dean v. Barber, 951 F.2d 1210, 1214 (11th Cir. 1992). In light of the foregoing, the court concludes that the plaintiff's claims against the Lee County Detention Center are due to be dismissed. Id.

C. Circuit Court of Lee County

A state court is not a person within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Moity v. La. State Bar Ass'n, 414 F.Supp. 180, 182 (E.D. La. 1976), aff'd, 537 F.2d 1141 (5th Cir. 1976). Summary dismissal of the claims against this defendant is therefore appropriate under the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i).

D. Miranda Claim

Wilson asserts that when he "turned [himself] in to the Opelika Police Department... Officer Mike Rogers accepted [him] but did not read [him his] Miranda rights." Complaint - Doc. No. 1 at 3. This claim provides no basis for relief as "a claim for a Miranda violation is not cognizable under § 1983." Dollar v. Coweta Cnty. Sheriff's Office, 446 F.Appx. 248, 251-52 (11th Cir. 2011) (citing Jones v. Cannon, ...


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