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Covey v. Wallens Ridge Psychiatric Dept.

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division

June 19, 2014

TONY WAYNE COVEY, Plaintiff,
v.
WALLENS RIDGE PSYCHIATRIC DEPT., et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

JAMES C. TURK, Senior District Judge.

Tony Wayne Covey, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed a civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, naming as defendants the Wallens Ridge State Prison ("WRSP") Psychiatric Dept. and Dr. R. Krishnappa, the WRSP Psychiatrist. This matter is before the court for screening, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. After reviewing Plaintiff's submissions, the court dismisses the Complaint without prejudice for failing to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

Plaintiff alleges that "Dr. Krishnappa... violated [his] mental and physical health rights which caused mental and physical harm to [him]. [Dr. Krishnappa] failed to study [Plaintiff's] medical file before treating [his] mental health. Dr. [] Krisluiappa['s] negligence led him to prescribe medications for [Plaintiff] that were detrimental and harmful to [Plaintiff's] health and well being." Compl. 2.

To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege "the violation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States, and must show that the alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting under color of state law."[1] West v. Atkins , 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). The WRSP's psychiatric department is not an appropriate defendant. See Will v. Michigan Dep't of State Police , 491 U.S. 58, 70 (1989) (stating neither states nor governmental entities that are considered arms of the state constitute "persons" under § 1983); McCoy v. Chesapeake Corr. Ctr. , 788 F.Supp. 890 (E.D. Va. Apr. 13, 1992) (reasoning jails are not appropriate defendants to a § 1983 action). Plaintiff also fails to describe Dr. Krishnappa's deliberate indifference to a serious medical need in order to state a claim under the Eighth Amendment for the unconstitutional denial of medical assistance. Estelle v. Gamble , 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976). Plaintiff cannot rely on mere labels and conclusions to describe an Eighth Amendment claim. See Twombly , 550 U.S. at 555 ("[A] plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds' of his entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do"). Furthermore, acts of negligence do not constitute a violation of the Eighth Amendment. See, e.g., Wright v. Collins , 766 F.2d 841, 849 (4th Cir. 1985); Russell v. Sheffer , 528 F.2d 318, 319 (4th Cir. 1975) (per curiam). Accordingly, the court dismisses the Complaint without prejudice for failing to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1).


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