United States District Court, D. Utah
JOSHUA A. YOUNGER, Plaintiff,
DAVIS COUNTY JAIL et al., Defendants.
ORDER TO CURE DEFICIENT COMPLAINT & MEMORANDUM
Waddoups District Judge
Joshua A. Younger, a Davis County inmate, filed this pro
se civil rights suit, see 42 U.S.C.S. §
1983 (2018), in forma pauperis, see Id.
§ 1915. The Court now screens the Complaint and orders
Plaintiff to file an amended complaint to cure deficiencies
before further pursuing claims.
Deficiencies in Complaint
(a) improperly names Davis County Jail as a defendant, though
it is not an independent legal entity that can sue or be
(b) possibly inappropriately allege civil-rights violations
on a respondeat-superior theory.
(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)).
Instructions to Plaintiff
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a complaint
to contain "(1) a short and plain statement of the
grounds for the court's jurisdiction . . .; (2) a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief; and (3) a demand for the relief
sought." Rule 8's requirements mean to guarantee
"that defendants enjoy fair notice of what the claims
against them are and the grounds upon which they rest."
TV Commc'ns Network, Inc. v ESPN, Inc., 767
F.Supp. 1062, 1069 (D. Colo. 1991).
litigants are not excused from complying with these minimal
pleading demands. "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, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). Moreover,
it is improper for the Court "to assume the role of
advocate for a pro se litigant." Id. 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).
should consider the following points before refiling
Plaintiff's complaint. First, the revised complaint must
stand entirely on its own and shall not refer to, or
incorporate by reference, any portion of the original
complaint. See Murray v. Archambo, 132 F.3d 609, 612
(10th Cir. 1998) (stating amended complaint supersedes
the complaint must clearly state what each
defendant--typically, a named government employee--did to
violate Plaintiff's civil rights. See Bennett v.
Passic, 545 F.2d 1260, 1262-63 (10th Cir. 1976) (stating
personal participation of each named defendant 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)).
Plaintiff cannot name an individual as a defendant based
solely on his or her supervisory position. See Mitchell
v. Maynard, 80 F.2d 1433, 1441 (10th Cir. 1996) (stating
supervisory status alone does not support § 1983
"denial of a grievance, by itself without any connection
to the violation of constitutional rights alleged by
plaintiff, does not establish personal participation under
§ 1983." Gallagher v. Shelton, No.