United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
E. CONRAD SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Duchelle Green, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed
this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
alleging that he did not receive a sufficiently nutritious
diet while confined at the Amherst County Detention Center
("ACADC"). After review of the record, the court
concludes that this civil action must be summarily dismissed
without prejudice for failure to state a claim.
ACADC is a jail facility operated by the Blue Ridge Regional
Jail Authority ("BRRJA"). Green's § 1983
complaint alleges: "I am not being feed [sic] the proper
caloric intake as to the VA. DOC Standard by the Guidelines.
This is a violation of my constitutional rights as being a
VA. State Inmate." Compl. 2, ECF No. 1. As defendants,
Green names the ACADC, the BRRJA, and Timmy
order entered October 30, 2018, the court notified Green that
his complaint did not present enough facts to state any
actionable claim under § 1983 against the defendants he
has named and granted him thirty days to file an amended
complaint or face summary dismissal of the action.
Specifically, the court informed Green that an amended
complaint must state the sequence of events on which he bases
his claims, what actions each defendant took in violation of
his constitutional rights, what harm he suffered as a result
of their conduct, and what relief he seeks. The time granted
for the amended complaint has elapsed, and the court has not
received any further pleading or correspondence from Green.
Accordingly, the court will address his complaint and
attachments as initially filed.
attachments to the complaint provide some additional details.
Green complained in a grievance that the food at ACADC was
making him "very sick" and left him hungry.
Id. at 4. A jail official issued a written response,
stating "[t]he kitchen goes by a menu that is approved
by the state dietician" and food service "staff
oversee the serving line and ensure that the correct amount
of food is placed on each tray." Id. at 5. This
response also indicated that a nurse had spoken with Green
about his complaint of feeling sick. Green appealed the
grievance response to the BRRJA administration, stating
"[i]t is obvious what needs to be done. We need the
Proper Calorie Count In our meal. All the Inmate in K pod
will testify to this; one Boiled egg, 1 ledle [sic] of
oatmeal, one muffin is not the Right Calorie count for
Breakfast. We are starving." Id. at 3. A BRRJA
representative addressed the appeal:
Inmates throughout the [BRRJA] are given meals with
nutritional value[s] that either meet or exceed the
Recommended Dietary Allowance regarding caloric intake. All
menus are approved by a Registered Dietician. While it may
not be the quantity you desire, the amount coincides with the
Virginia DOC Standard.... If you feel at any time like you
need medical attention, submit a request form.
court is required to dismiss any action or claim filed by a
prisoner against a governmental entity or officer if the
court determines that the action or claim is frivolous,
malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). Section 1983 permits
an aggrieved party to file a civil action against a person
for actions taken under color of state law that violated his
constitutional rights. Cooper v. Sheehan, 735 F.3d
153, 158 (4th Cir. 2013). A complaint must be dismissed if it
does not allege "enough facts to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face." Giarratano v.
Johnson, 521 F.3d 298, 302 (4th Cir.
2008). A court must accept the plaintiffs factual
allegations as true, but need not "accept the legal
conclusions drawn from the facts" or "accept as
true unwarranted inferences, unreasonable conclusions, or
arguments." E. Shore Mkts., Inc. v. J.D. Assocs.
Ltd. P'ship, 213 F.3d 175, 180 (4th Cir. 2000).
first names AC ADC as a defendant. A jail building, however,
cannot qualify as a person subject to being sued under §
1983. McCoy v. Chesapeake Corr. Ctr., 788 F.Supp.
890, 893-94 (E.D. Va. 1992). Therefore, the court must
dismiss Green's claims against ACADC.
also names the BRRJA as a defendant. To prove that a
governmental entity, such as a regional jail authority, is
liable under § 1983 for constitutional violations
committed by its employees, the plaintiff must show that the
entity's policy was "the moving force of the
constitutional violation." Polk County v.
Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 326 (1981). "Local governing
bodies . . . can be sued directly under §1983 for
monetary, declaratory, or injunctive relief where ... the
action that is alleged to be unconstitutional implements or
executes a policy statement, ordinance, regulation, or
decision officially adopted and promulgated by that
body's officers." Monell v. Dep't of Soc.
Serv., 436 U.S. 658, 690 (1978). Green states no facts
in the complaint linking the allegedly inadequate amount of
food he received at ACADC to a specific policy or decision
officially adopted by the governing body of the jail
authority. On the contrary, Green's attachments indicate
that per policy, the BRRJA provides its inmates with a diet
approved by a registered dietician as nutritionally
appropriate and consistent with VDOC standards. The court
will summarily dismiss Green's complaint against the
third named defendant is Timmy Trent. He does not state who
Trent is or describe any action Trent took, personally, that
violated Green's rights or harmed him in any way. Thus,
Green's submissions do not state any actionable claim
against Trent. See, e.g., Vinnedge v.
Gibbs, 550 F.2d 926, 928 (4th Cir. 1977) (finding that
under § 1983, "liability will only lie where it is
affirmatively shown that the official charged acted
personally in the deprivation of the plaintiff['s]
rights"). Accordingly, the complaint against Trent must
event, Green's complaint does not state sufficient facts
for an actionable § 1983 claim against anyone. His
stated belief that the ACADA meals failed to provide him with
adequate nutrition and caused him to become sick is
unsupported by factual matter. The court need not accept ...