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Dulaney v. Salt Lake County Sheriff's Dep't

United States District Court, D. Utah

May 20, 2019

ARTHUR LEE DULANEY, Plaintiff,
v.
SALT LAKE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEP'T et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER REOPENING CASE AND ORDERING AMENDMENT OF DEFICIENT COMPLAINT CASE NO. 2:18-CV-544-TS

          TED STEWART UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         For Plaintiff's failure to file a consent form regarding collection of his filing fee, this prisoner pro se civil-rights suit, see 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983 (2019), [1] was dismissed without prejudice, (Doc. No. 21). Having recently found the consent that Plaintiff submitted before dismissal, the Court now vacates its dismissal order and reopens the case.

         Further, under its statutory review function, [2] the Court screens the Complaint, (Doc. No. 5), and orders Plaintiff to file an amended complaint to cure deficiencies before further pursuing claims.

         Complaint's Deficiencies

         Complaint:

(a) states claims in violation of municipal-liability doctrine (see below).
(b) improperly names Salt Lake County Sheriff's Department as defendant, though it is not an independent legal entity that can sue or be sued.
(c) suggests claims that have not been affirmatively linked to any alleged defendant (e.g., excessive force, negligence, and legal access).
(d) appears to inappropriately allege civil-rights violations on respondeat-superior theory.
(e) does not state proper legal-access claim (see below).
(f) alleges possible constitutional violations resulting in injuries that appear to be prohibited by 42 U.S.C.S. § 1997e(e) (2019), which reads, "No Federal civil action may be brought by a prisoner . . . for mental or emotional injury suffered while in custody without a prior showing of a physical injury or the commission of a sexual act.”
(g) appears to contain claims potentially based on state law--e.g., negligence--though there are no valid federal claims in the Complaint providing grounds for pendent jurisdiction.
(h) evinces misunderstanding of elements of inmate excessive-force claim (see below).
(i) has claims apparently regarding confinement; however, complaint apparently not drafted with contract ...

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