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Sweat v. South Central Correctional Center

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Columbia Division

May 4, 2015

DONALD EARL SWEAT, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
SOUTH CENTRAL CORRECTIONAL CENTER, Defendant.

ORDER

WILLIAM J. HAYNES, Jr., Senior District Judge.

Before the Court is the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation (Docket Entry No. 46) to grant Defendant South Central Correctional Center's motion for judgment on the pleadings (Docket Entry No. 44). Plaintiff did not file an objection.

After de novo review, the Court adopts the Magistrate Judge's conclusion that Plaintiff's claims against South Central Correctional Center or Corrections Corporation of America ("CCA"), the corporation that privately operates SCCC, should be dismissed.

Although in the body of the complaint Plaintiff lists "Casteel Debra" and "Arvil Chapman" as Defendants, Plaintiff does not specify in what capacity these Defendants are being sued. Nor does Plaintiff specify what remedies he seeks.[1] Applying the "course of proceedings' test to determine whether ยง 1983 defendants have received notice of the plaintiff's intent to hold them personally liable, " Moore v. City of Harriman, 272 F.3d 769, 772 (6th Cir. 2001), the Court concludes that these Defendants are being sued only in their official capacities.[2] See Coleman v. Porch, Nos. 3 09 0286, 3:09mc0022, 2009 WL 792300, at *1-2 (M.D. Term. March 25, 2009). "[O]fficial-capacity suits generally represent only another way of pleading an action against an entity of which an officer is an agent." Monell v. New York City Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 690 n.55 (1978); Matthews v. Jones, 35 F.3d 1046, 1049 (6th Cir. 1994) ("A suit against an individual in his official capacity is the equivalent of a suit against the governmental entity."). Thus, Plaintiff's claims against these Defendants in their official capacities are, in essence, against CCA, of which they are agents. Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 166 (1985). Therefore, Plaintiff's claims against Defendants "Casteel Debra" and "Arvil Chapman" should be dismissed.

Accordingly, the Report and Recommendation is ADOPTED, and Defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings (Docket Entry No. 44) is GRANTED.

This is the Final Order in this action.

It is so ORDERED.


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