United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Southern Division
DANE J. CORPA, Plaintiff,
DALE 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 Dane J. Corpa, an indigent inmate
incarcerated in the Dale County Jail, in which he alleges
that jail personnel have acted with deliberate indifference
to his safety and medical/mental health needs. Doc. 1 at 2-3.
Corpa also complains that he has been denied the opportunity
to bring criminal charges against inmates who he alleges
assaulted him. Doc. 1 at 3. Corpa names the Dale County Jail,
Wally Olson, the Sheriff of Dale County, Lt. Steve Baxley,
Brandon Tucker, Harvey Mcloud and Eric Baker as defendants in
this cause of action.
thorough review of the complaint, the court finds that the
claims presented by Corpa against the Dale County Jail, Wally
Olson, Brandon Tucker and Harvey Mcloud are subject to
summary dismissal in accordance with the provisions of 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and (ii).
Dismissal of Dale County Jail
names the Dale 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 Dale 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) .
Request for Criminal Charges
as Corpa seeks to have state criminal charges brought against
the defendants, he is due no relief from this court. A
“private citizen lacks a judicially cognizable interest
in the prosecution or non-prosecution of another.”
Linda R. S. v. Richard D., 410 U.S. 614, 619 (1973);
Nelson v. Skehan, 386 Fed.Appx. 783, 786 (10th Cir.
2010) (plaintiff has no constitutional right to have a
defendant prosecuted); Napier v. Baron, 198 F.3d
246, 1999 WL 1045169, *1 (6th Cir. 1999) (“[T]he
district court properly dismissed [Plaintiff's] complaint
as frivolous . . . [because] contrary to [his] belief, he
does not have a constitutional right to have a particular
person criminally charged and prosecuted.”); see
also Rockefeller v. United States Court of Appeals Office for
Tenth Circuit Judges, 248 F.Supp.2d 17, 23 (D.D.C 2003)
(criminal statutes “do not convey a private right of
action.”); Risley v. Hawk, 918 F.Supp. 18, 21
(D.D.C. 1996), aff'd, 108 F.3d 1396 (D.C. Cir.
1997) (no private right of action exists under federal
statute criminalizing conspiracies to deprive an individual
of his constitutional rights); Gipson v. Callahan,
18 F.Supp.2d 662, 668 (W.D.Tex 1997) (“Title 18 U.S.C.
§ 242 makes it a crime to willfully deprive persons
under color of law of their rights under the Constitution or
laws of the United States. The statute does not create a
private cause of action. Powers v. Karen, 768
F.Supp. 46, 51 (E.D.N.Y. 1991), aff'd, 963 F.2d
1552 (2nd Cir. 1992); Dugar v. Coughlin, 613 F.Supp.
849, 852 n.1 (S.D.N.Y. 1985).”). Thus, the request for
criminal prosecution of the defendants alleges violation of a
legal interest which clearly does not exist and, as such, is
due to be summarily dismissed pursuant to the directives of
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i).
alleges that defendant Baxley acted with deliberate
indifference to his safety by placing him in Cell Block 3
instead of protective custody. Doc. 1 at 2-3. Corpa also
complains that defendant Baker acted with deliberate
indifference to his mental health and medical needs by
failing to place him on suicide watch upon his initial entry
into the jail and refusing him medical treatment for injuries
suffered in an attack by other inmates. Doc. 1 at ...