Cowette v. Aroostook County Jail

1996 | Cited 0 times | D. Maine | September 16, 1996


Plaintiff has filed this pro se Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis. However, the Court concludes that the Complaint may fairly be considered frivolous within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1915, and should therefore be dismissed.

Plaintiff's Complaint asks the Court why the Aroostook County Jail violates Maine Law by transporting prisoners in a county van over the van's capacity and without safety belts. He apparently seeks a declaration that the Jail is jeopardizing prisoners' lives as a result of these transgressions.

Nowhere does Plaintiff allege that he was personally transported in the manner described, nor would the Court be inclined to characterize such transportation as a "deprivation[] denying 'the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities,'" as would be required to state a claim of cruel and unusual punishment. Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 298 (1991) (quoting Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 346 (1981)). Further, Plaintiff does not name as a Defendant any individual who is alleged to have perpetrated the violation. The "Aroostook County Jail" is simply not a person within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. section 1983. See Will v. Michigan Dept. of State Police, 491 U.S. 58 (1989) (finding the same for the State Police). Nor would it serve Plaintiff's cause to substitute the individual administrator of the Jail, as there is no respondeat superior liability under section 1983. Monell v. Department of Soc. Serv., 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978).


Accordingly, I hereby recommend Plaintiff's Complaint be dismissed as frivolous within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1915.


A party may file objections to those specified portions of a magistrate judge's report or proposed findings or recommended decisions entered pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) (1988) for which de novo review by the district court is sought, together with a supporting memorandum, within ten (10) days of being served with a copy thereof. A responsive memorandum shall be filed within ten (10) days after the filing of the objection.

Failure to file a timely objection shall constitute a waiver of the right to de novo review by the district court and to appeal the district court's order.

Dated in Bangor, Maine on September 16, 1996.

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