United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Southern Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
F. MOORER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is an inmate in the custody of the Houston County Jail in
Dothan, Alabama. He files this pro se 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 action alleging Defendants abridged rights,
privileges, or immunities afforded him under the Constitution
or laws of the United States. Plaintiff names as defendants
Dothan City Jail Medic Jesse, Lieutenant Nelms, Dothan City
Chief of Police Steven Parrish, and the City of Dothan.
Plaintiff seeks damages for the alleged violations of his
constitutional rights and dismissal of all fines, CRO
classes, suspended sentences, and probation. Doc. 1. Upon
review, the court concludes that dismissal of Plaintiff's
claims against Defendants Parrish and the City of Dothan
prior to service of process is appropriate under 28 U.S.C.
brings this § 1983 action challenging the provision of
medical care afforded him at the Dothan City Jail in late
February of 2018. According to the complaint, Plaintiff was
treated at a free world hospital following an injury to his
shoulder which occurred at the Dothan City Jail. After his
return to the jail, Plaintiff complains medical staff failed
to fill prescriptions written for him at the hospital,
Defendants Jesse and Nelms failed to take him to follow up
medical appointments, and Defendant Jesse issued unauthorized
medical decisions regarding Plaintiff's medical
treatment. Doc. 1.
Defendant Steven Parrish
noted, Plaintiff names the Dothan City Chief of Police-Steven
Parrish-as one of the defendants. A review of the complaint
reflects no allegations that Defendant Parrish was personally
engaged in the alleged unconstitutional conduct about which
Plaintiff complains. “[S]ection 1983 requires proof of
an affirmative causal connection between the actions taken by
a particular person under color of state law and the
constitutional deprivation.” LaMarca v.
Turner, 995 F.2d 1526, 1538 (11th Cir. 1993) (internal
quotation marks and citations omitted). This Circuit has held
that a court properly dismisses defendants where a prisoner,
other than naming the defendant in the caption, states no
allegations that associate the defendants with the alleged
constitutional violation. Douglas v. Yates, 535 F.3d
1316, 1322 (11th Cir. 2008) (citing Pamel Corp. v. P.R.
Highway Auth., 621 F.2d 33, 36 (1st Cir. 1980)
(“While we do not require technical niceties in
pleading, we must demand that the complaint state with some
minimal particularity how overt acts of the defendant caused
a legal wrong.”)); see also Potter v. Clark,
497 F.2d 1206, 1207 (7th Cir. 1974) (per curiam).
Here, Plaintiff has identified no affirmative action taken by
Defendant Parrish, and thus, asserts no connection between
the conduct complained of and the actions of this defendant
regarding the alleged unconstitutional deprivations. See
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atlantic Corp., v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 570
(2007)) (“[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.' 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.”).
extent the basis for Plaintiff's claim against Defendant
Parrish is that he is responsible for the conduct of his
subordinates, supervisory personnel can be held liable under
§ 1983 for a constitutional violation of one of their
subordinates via a theory of respondeat superior or
on the basis of vicarious liability. Monell v. Dep't
of Social Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691-95 (1978) (doctrine
of respondeat superior is inapplicable to §
1983 actions); Belcher v. City of Foley, 30 F.3d
1390, 1396 (11th Cir. 1994) (42 U.S.C. § 1983 does not
allow a plaintiff to hold supervisory officials liable for
the actions of their subordinates under either a theory of
respondeat superior or vicarious liability); see
also Cottone v. Jenne, 326 F.3d 1352, 1360 (11th Cir.
2003) (holding that a supervisory official is liable only if
he “personally participate[d] in the alleged
unconstitutional conduct or [if] there is a causal connection
between [his] actions ... and the alleged constitutional
deprivation.”) Because Plaintiff fails to allege
Defendant Parrish was personally involved in the
constitutional violations about which he complains or a
causal connection exists between his actions and the alleged
constitutional violations, the complaint against this
defendants is subject to dismissal on this basis as well.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).
Defendant City of Dothan
names the City of Dothan as a defendant. Section 1983 imposes
liability on a municipality such as the City of Dothan only
if it deprives a plaintiff of rights protected by the
Constitution or federal law under an official municipal
policy. Monell v. Dept. of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S.
658, 690-91 (1978). Additionally, governmental entities such
as the City of Dothan cannot be held liable under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 on a theory of respondeat superior.
Id. at 694; Canton v. Harris, 489 U.S. 378,
385 (1989) (“[A] municipality can be found liable under
§ 1983 only where the municipality itself causes the
constitutional violation at issue. Respondeat
superior or vicarious liability will not attach under
19§83.”). Nor may a county be held liable under
§ 1983 simply because it employs a tortfeasor. See
Monell, 436 U.S. at 691. Other than naming the City of
Dothan as defendant, Plaintiff makes no allegations against
this entity. Douglas, 535 F.3d at 1322;
Potter, 497 F.2d at 1207. Consequently,
Plaintiff's claims against the City of Dothan are due to
be dismissed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).
it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that:
1. Plaintiff's complaint against Defendants Steven
Parrish and the City of Dothan be DISMISSED without prejudice
prior to service of process under 28 U.S.C. §
2. Defendants Steven Parrish and the City of Dothan be
DISMISSED as parties to this action; and
3. This action be referred to the undersigned for further
proceedings against the ...