United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
JAMES E. STACKHOUSE, Plaintiff,
COVINGTON COUNTY JAIL, et al., Defendants.
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Charles S. Coody United States Magistrate Judge
U.S.C. § 1983 action is pending before the court on a
complaint filed by James E. Stackhouse, an indigent inmate
incarcerated in the Covington County Jail, in which he
challenges his access to medical and dental treatment. Doc. 1
at 2-3. Stackhouse names the Covington County Jail, and
Dennis Meeks, the Sheriff of Covington County, as defendants
in this cause of action.
thorough review of the complaint, the court finds that the
claims presented by Stackhouse against the Covington County
Jail are subject to summary dismissal in accordance with the
provisions of 28 U.S.C. §
DISMISSAL OF THE COVINGTON COUNTY JAIL
names the Covington County Jail as a defendant in this case.
The law is well settled that
in order to state a claim for relief under Section 1983, a
plaintiff must satisfy two elements. First, a plaintiff must
allege that an act or omission deprived him “of some
right, privilege, or immunity secured by the Constitution or
laws of the United States.” Hale v. Tallapoosa
Cty., 50 F.3d 1579, 1582 (11th Cir. 1995). Second, a
plaintiff must allege that the act or omission was committed
by “a person acting under color of state law.”
Id. While local governments qualify as
“persons” under Section 1983, state agencies and
penal institutions are generally not considered legal
entities subject to suit. See Grech v. Clayton Cty.,
335 F.3d 1326, 1343 (11th Cir. 2003). Consequently, a county
jail [is] not [a] viable defendant under Section 1983.
Williams v. Chatham Cty. Sherriff's Complex, No.
4:07-CV-68, 2007 WL 2345243, at *1 (S.D. Ga. Aug. 14, 2007)
(“The county jail . . . has no independent legal
identity and therefore is not an entity that is subject to
suit under Section 1983.”).
Bell v. Brown, 2017 WL 3473845, at *5 (S.D. Ga. Aug.
11, 2017); see Ex parte Dixon, 55 So.3d 1171, 1172
n.1 (Ala. 2010) (“Generally, the departments and
subordinate entities of municipalities, counties, and towns
that are not separate legal entities or bodies do not have
the capacity to sue or be sued in the absence of specific
light of the foregoing, it is clear that the Covington County
Jail is not a legal entity subject to suit and is therefore
due to be dismissed as a defendant in accordance with the
directives of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i).
it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that:
1. The plaintiff's claims against the Covington County
Jail be dismissed with prejudice prior to service of process
pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §
2. The Covington County Jail be dismissed as a defendant in
this cause of action.
3. This case, with respect to the plaintiff's claims
against defendant Dennis Meeks, be referred back to the