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Martin v. Cook

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

December 14, 2018

JONATHAN HUNTER MARTIN, AIS #276233, Plaintiff,
v.
MARY COOK, et al., Defendants.

          RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          CHARLES S. COODY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action is pending before the court on a complaint filed by Jonathan Hunter Martin, an indigent state inmate currently confined at the Fountain Correctional Facility. In this complaint, Martin challenges the constitutionality of actions which occurred during his confinement at Draper Correctional Facility in October or November of 2017. Specifically, Martin alleges that defendants Cook and King failed to protect him from attack by another inmate.

         Upon thorough review of the complaint, the court concludes that the claims presented by Martin against Bullock Correctional Facility and the Alabama Department of Corrections are subject to summary dismissal in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i).[1]

         II. DISMISSAL OF DEFENDANTS

         A. Bullock Correctional Facility

         Martin names Bullock Correctional Facility as a defendant in this case. A state correctional facility is merely a building which is not a legal entity subject to suit or liability in a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action. See Dean v. Barber, 951 F.2d 1210, 1214 (11th Cir. 1992). Thus, Bullock Correctional Facility is not a suable entity.

         B. The Alabama Department of Corrections

         Martin also names the Alabama Department of Corrections as a defendant. The law is well-settled that the State of Alabama and, by extension, its departments are absolutely immune from suit. Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265 (1986) (Unless the State consents to suit, the plaintiff cannot proceed against the State or any department thereof as the action is proscribed by the Eleventh Amendment and “[t]his bar exists whether the relief sought is legal or equitable.”). Consequently, any claim lodged against the Alabama Department of Corrections is therefore frivolous as such claim is “based on an indisputably meritless legal theory.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989).

         III. CONCLUSION

         Accordingly, it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that:

1. The plaintiff's claims against Bullock Correctional Facility and the Alabama Department of Corrections be dismissed with prejudice prior to service of process pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i).
2. Bullock Correctional Facility and the Alabama Department of Corrections be dismissed as defendants in this cause of action.
3. This case, with respect to the plaintiff's claims against Mary Cook and Captain King, be referred back to the ...

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