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Kelly v. Sevier County Jail Medical Staff

August 26, 2008

JAMES RICHARD KELLY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SEVIER COUNTY JAIL MEDICAL STAFF AND SEVIER COUNTY JAIL SHIFT SERGEANTS, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thomas W. Phillips United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This pro se prisoner's civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 was filed in forma pauperis in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division, and transferred to this court without service of process. For the reasons stated below, service of process shall not issue and this action will be DISMISSED.

Plaintiff's complaint concerns the conditions of his confinement on medical lockdown while he was incarcerated in the Sevier County Jail. As defendants, plaintiff has named the Sevier County Jail Medical Staff and the Sevier County Jail Shift Sergeants.

In order to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, plaintiff must establish that he was deprived of a federal right by a person acting under color of state law. Black v. Barberton Citizens Hospital, 134 F.3d 1265, 1267 (6th Cir. 1998); O'Brien v. City of Grand Rapids, 23 F.3d 990, 995 (6th Cir. 1994); Russo v. City of Cincinnati, 953 F.2d 1036, 1042 (6th Cir. 1992). For purposes of § 1983, "person" includes individuals and "bodies politic and corporate." Monell v. Department of Social Services of City of New York., 436 U.S. 658, 690 & n. 55 (1978); Mumford v. Basinski, 105 F.3d 264, 267 (6th Cir.1997). The medical department or staff of a prison or jail are not "persons" under § 1983. Hix v. Tennessee Department of Corrections, 196 Fed.Appx. 350, 355 (6th Cir. 2006). Accordingly, the Sevier County Jail Medical Staff is not a suable entity under § 1983.

With respect to the Sevier County Jail Shift Sergeants, plaintiff must name those persons individually; he cannot simply name as defendants the "Shift Sergeants." Pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act, courts no longer have discretion to allow a plaintiff to amend his complaint to avoid dismissal. See McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 612 (6th Cir. 1997); see also Hawkins v. Morse, No. 98-2062, 1999 WL 1023780 *1 (6th Cir. Nov. 4, 1999) ("The PLRA requires district courts to screen cases at the moment of filing. The court is not required to allow a plaintiff to amend his complaint in order to avoid a sua sponte dismissal.") (citations omitted).

Based upon the foregoing, this action is DISMISSED sua sponte, for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under § 1983. The court CERTIFIES that any appeal from this action would not be taken in good faith and would be totally frivolous. See Rule 24 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.

20080826

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