United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division
JOHN EDWARD MILES, JR. Plaintiff,
OFFICE OF THE SHERIFF MIKE WILLIAMS & DUVAL COUNTY DETENTION CENTER, Defendants.
ORDER OF DISMISSIAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE
TIMOTHY J. CORRIGAN, United States District Judge.
John Edward Miles, Jr., an inmate at the Duval County Jail,
initiated this case by filing a pro se Civil Rights Complaint
(Doc. 1) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and a motion to
proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 2). Plaintiff names
two Defendants: the “Office of the Sheriff Mike
Williams” and the “Duval County Detention
Center.” Doc. 1 at 1. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants
violated his Fourteenth Amendment rights by housing
Plaintiff, a pretrial detainee, in the same cell block with
convicted state prisoner, Freddy Marshall. Id. He
contends that he and Marshall got into a physical altercation
resulting in Plaintiff suffering life threatening injuries.
Id. Plaintiff argues that “[a]t no time should
a sentenced state prisoner be confined with an unsentenced
pretrial detainee for saf[e]ty purposes.” Id.
As relief, Plaintiff requests “the max” for all
his injuries. Id. at 6.
Prison Litigation Reform Act requires the Court to dismiss a
case at any time if the Court determines that the action is
frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). In reviewing a pro se
plaintiff’s pleadings, the Court must liberally
construe the plaintiff’s allegations. See Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Bingham v.
Thomas, 654 F.3d 1171, 1175 (11th Cir. 2011).
respect to whether a complaint “fails to state a claim
on which relief may be granted, ” §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) mirrors the language of Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), so courts apply the same standard
in both contexts. Mitchell v. Farcass, 112 F.3d
1483, 1490 (11th Cir. 1997); see also Alba v.
Montford, 517 F.3d 1249, 1252 (11th Cir. 2008).
“To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.’” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “Labels and conclusions”
or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause
of action” that amount to “naked
assertions” will not do. Id. (quotations,
alteration, and citation omitted). Moreover, a complaint must
“contain either direct or inferential allegations
respecting all the material elements necessary to sustain a
recovery under some viable legal theory.” Roe v.
Aware Woman Ctr. for Choice, Inc., 253 F.3d 678, 683
(11th Cir. 2001) (quotations and citations omitted).
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege that (1) the defendant deprived him of a right secured
under the United States Constitution or federal law, and (2)
such deprivation occurred under color of state law. See
Salvato v. Miley, 790 F.3d 1286, 1295 (11th Cir. 2015).
Moreover, “conclusory allegations, unwarranted
deductions of facts, or legal conclusions masquerading as
facts will not prevent dismissal.” Rehberger v.
Henry Cty., Ga., 577 Fed.App’x 937, 938 (11th Cir.
2014) (per curiam) (quotations and citation omitted). In the
absence of a federal constitutional deprivation or violation
of a federal right, a plaintiff cannot sustain a cause of
action against a defendant.
law determines whether a party has the capacity to be sued.
Dean v. Barber, 951 F.2d 1210, 1214 (11th Cir.
1992). “Florida law has not established Sheriff’s
offices as separate legal entities with the capacity to be
sued.” Faulkner v. Monroe Cty. Sheriff’s
Dep’t, 523 Fed.App’x 696, 701 (11th Cir.
2013). Likewise, jail facilities are not amenable to suit
under § 1983. See Monroe v. Jail, No.
2:15-cv-729-FtM-99MRM, 2015 WL 7777521, at *2 (M.D. Fla. Dec.
3, 2015) (“The jail is not an actionable legal entity
because it does not enjoy a separate legal existence
independent of the County or the Sheriff’s
Office.” (citation omitted)); Mellen v.
Florida, No. 3:13-cv-1233-J-34, 2014 WL 5093885, at *8
(M.D. Fla. Oct. 9, 2014) (recognizing that sheriff’s
offices and jail facilities are not amenable to suit under
§ 1983); Donovan v. Parker, No. 6:10-cv-855,
2010 WL 3259717, at *2-3 (M.D. Fla. Aug. 16, 2010) (finding
that a sheriff’s office and detention center have no
capacity to be sued). Because the Duval County
Sheriff’s Office and the Duval County Jail are not
legal entities amenable to suit, Plaintiff fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted against them. Thus,
the Complaint is due to be dismissed on that basis. See,
e.g., Reyle v. Clay Cty. Jail, No. 3:18-cv-522-
J-34JRK, 2018 WL 2197782, at *1 (M.D. Fla. May 14, 2018)
(holding that dismissal without prejudice was warranted when
the only named defendant in action was the Clay County Jail).
extent Plaintiff sues Sheriff Mike Williams based on
supervisor liability, Plaintiff’s claim fails.
“It is well established in this Circuit that
supervisory officials are not liable under § 1983 for
the unconstitutional acts of their subordinates on the basis
of respondeat superior or vicarious
liability.” Cottone v. Jenne, 326 F.3d 1352,
1360 (11th Cir. 2003) (internal quotation marks and citation
omitted). “The standard by which a supervisor is held
liable in his individual capacity for the actions of a
subordinate is extremely rigorous.” Id.
Supervisor liability arises only “when the supervisor
personally participates in the alleged constitutional
violation or when there is a causal connection between the
actions of the supervising official and the alleged
constitutional deprivation.” Mathews v.
Crosby, 480 F.3d 1265, 1270 (11th Cir. 2007) (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted).
The necessary causal connection can be established
“when a history of widespread abuse puts the
responsible supervisor on notice of the need to correct the
alleged deprivation, and he fails to do so.”
Alternatively, the causal connection may be established when
a supervisor’s “custom or policy . . . result[s]
in deliberate indifference to constitutional rights” or
when facts support “an inference that the supervisor
directed the subordinates to act unlawfully or knew that the
subordinates would act unlawfully and failed to stop them
from doing so.”
Cottone, 326 F.3d at 1360 (internal citations
omitted). See also Richardson v. Johnson, 598 F.3d
734, 738 (11th Cir. 2010) (affirming the district
court’s dismissal of the secretary of the DOC because
the plaintiff failed to allege that the secretary personally
participated in an action that caused the plaintiff injury or
that the plaintiff’s “injuries were the result of
an official policy that [the secretary] established”);
Harvey v. City of Stuart, 296 Fed.App’x 824,
826 (11th Cir. 2008) (affirming dismissal of a § 1983
action against a municipality because the plaintiff
“failed to identify any policy or custom that caused a
constitutional violation, and his vague and conclusory
allegations were insufficient to support the
does not allege that Williams personally participated in the
alleged denial of his constitutional rights. Moreover, he
does not allege that Williams had a policy, practice, or
custom that resulted in constitutional violations. See
generally Doc. 1. Plaintiff asserts only that pretrial
detainees should not be housed with convicted inmates,
because “in June or July of 2019 . . . in the cell
where all state prisoner[s] are held in one cell block[, ] a
prisoner was murdered . . . .” Id. at 4.
However, Plaintiff has not demonstrated that this single
prior incident establishes “a history of widespread
abuse” that would put Williams on notice of the need to
correct Plaintiff’s alleged constitutional violation,
but Williams has failed to do so. See Cottone, 326
F.3d at 1360. Thus, Plaintiff’s conclusory statement
fails to satisfy the pleading standard. See Twombly,
550 U.S. at 570; Harvey, 296 Fed.App’x at 826.
ORDERED AND ADJUDGED:
case is DISMISSED without prejudice.
Clerk shall enter judgment dismissing this
case without prejudice, terminate any pending motions, and
close the file.