United States District Court, D. Utah
MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER TO CURE DEFICIENCIES
WADDOUPS United States District Judge.
Ramiro Marquez-Duran, a Texas inmate, filed this pro
se civil-rights suit. See 42 U.S.C.S. §
1983 (2017). Plaintiff proceeds in forma pauperis.
See 28 id. 1915. After reviewing the
Complaint, (Docket Entry # 4), the Court has determined that
Plaintiff's Complaint is deficient as described below.
(a) improperly names Salt Lake County Jail as a defendant,
though it is not an independent legal entity that can sue or
(b) appears to state claim in violation of
municipal-liability doctrine (see below).
(c) has claims appearing to be based on conditions of current
confinement; however, the complaint was apparently not
submitted using the legal help Plaintiff is entitled to by
his institution under the Constitution. See Lewis v.
Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 356 (1996) (requiring prisoners be
given "'adequate law libraries or
adequate assistance from persons trained in the
law' . . . to ensure that inmates . . . have a reasonably
adequate opportunity to file nonfrivolous legal claims
challenging their convictions or conditions of
confinement") (quoting Bounds v. Smith, 430
U.S. 817, 828 (1977) (emphasis added)).
Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure a complaint is
required to contain "(1) a short and plain statement of
the grounds upon which the court's jurisdiction depends,
. . . (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief, and (3) a demand for
judgment for the relief the pleader seeks." Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a). The requirements of Rule 8(a) are intended to guarantee
"that defendants enjoy fair notice of what the claims
against them are and the grounds upon which they rest."
TV Commnc'ns Network, Inc. v. ESPN, Inc., 767
F.Supp. 1062, 1069 (D. Colo. 1991), aff'd, 964
F.2d 1022 (10th Cir. 1992).
litigants are not excused from compliance with the minimal
pleading requirements of Rule 8. "This is so because a
pro se plaintiff requires no special legal training to
recount the facts surrounding his alleged injury, and he must
provide such facts if the court is to determine whether he
makes out a claim on which relief can be granted."
Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1009 (10th Cir.
1991). Moreover, "it is not the proper function of the
Court to assume the role of advocate for a pro se
litigant." Id. at 1110. Thus, the Court cannot
"supply additional facts, [or] construct a legal theory
for plaintiff that assumes facts that have not been
pleaded." Dunn v. White, 880 F.2d 1188, 1197
(10th Cir. 1989).
must consider these points before refiling his complaint:
First, the revised complaint must stand entirely on its own
and shall not refer to, or incorporate by reference, any
portion of any prior complaint. See Murray v.
Archambo, 132 F.3d 609, 612 (10th Cir. 1998) (stating
amended complaint supersedes original). Second, the complaint
must clearly state what each individual defendant did to
violate Plaintiff's civil rights. See Bennett v.
Passic, 545 F.2d 1260, 1262-63 (10th Cir. 1976) (stating
each named defendant's personal participation is
essential allegation in civil-rights action). "To state
a claim, a complaint must 'make clear exactly
who is alleged to have done what to
whom.'" Stone v. Albert, No.
08-2222, slip op. at 4 (10th Cir. July 20, 2009)
(unpublished) (emphasis in original) (quoting Robbins v.
Oklahoma, 519 F.3d 1242, 1250 (10th Cir. 2008)). Third,
Plaintiff may not name an individual as a defendant based
solely on supervisory position. See Mitchell v.
Maynard, 80 F.3d 1433, 1441, (10th Cir. 1996) (stating
supervisory status alone is insufficient to support liability
under § 1983). And, fourth, Plaintiff is warned that
litigants who have had three in forma pauperis cases
dismissed as frivolous or meritless will be restricted from
filing future lawsuits without prepaying fees.
to establish the liability of a municipal entity, such as
Salt Lake County, under § 1983, "a plaintiff must
show (1) the existence of a municipal custom or policy and
(2) a direct causal link between the custom or policy and the
violation alleged." Jenkins v. Wood, 81 F.3d
988, 993-94 (10th Cir. 1996) (citing City of Canton v.
Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 385 (1989)). Municipal entities
cannot be held liable under § 1983 based on the doctrine
of respondeat superior. See Cannon v. City and
County of Denver, 998 F.2d 867, 877 (10th Cir. 1993);
see also Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. of N.Y.,
436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978).
has not so far established a direct causal link between his
alleged injuries and any custom or policy of Salt Lake
County. Thus, the Court concludes that Plaintiff's
Complaint, as it stands, appears to fail to state claims