United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Gibson, Pro Se Plaintiff.
P. Jones United States District Judge.
plaintiff, Derek Lynn Gibson, a Virginia jail inmate
proceeding pro se, filed this action under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, alleging that he received soap instead of medication on
one occasion. I conclude that the action must be summarily
dismissed as frivolous.
is confined at the Southwestern Virginia Regional Jail. The
Complaint form, dated January 7, 2019, offers only these
On or about 5/5/18, I was made to drink liquid soap, when
made to drink I informed Officer Crabtree it was not Motrin,
it was soap.
I filled grievance and grievance appeals, was told Grievances
not vailid [sic].
Was refused proper documentation when I informed jail of
proceeding with 1983 form. I am having sever [sic] stomach
and restroom problems.
Compl. 2, ECF No. 1. As relief, he seeks $250, 000.
42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(1), the court may dismiss any
§ 1983 action “with respect to prison conditions .
. . if the court is satisfied that the action is frivolous,
malicious, [or] fails to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted.” A “frivolous” claim is one
that “lacks an arguable basis either in law or in
fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325,
327 (1989) (interpreting “frivolous” in former
version of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d)). To state a claim, the
plaintiff's “[f]actual allegations must be enough
to raise a right to relief above the speculative level,
” to one that is “plausible on its face, ”
rather than merely “conceivable.” Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 570 (2007).
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. See Cooper v.
Sheehan, 735 F.3d 153, 158 (4th Cir. 2013). The only
entity that Gibson names as a defendant to his § 1983
claims is the jail itself. The jail building, however, is not
a person subject to suit under § 1983. See, e.g.,
McCoy v. Chesapeake Corr. Center, 788 F.Supp. 890,
893-94 (E.D. Va. 1992).
Gibson's complaint presents no legal basis for a claim
actionable under § 1983 against the only defendant he
has named, I will summarily dismiss this action without
prejudice under § 1997e(c)(1) as frivolous. In any
event, I also am satisfied that Gibson cannot state facts
consistent with the allegations in the Complaint that state
any claim upon which relief could be granted under §
prove that medical care an inmate received in jail violated
his constitutional rights, the inmate must show that the
defendants acted with “deliberate indifference to an
inmate's serious medical needs.” Jackson v.
Lightsey, 775 F.3d 170, 178 (4th Cir. 2014).
“[O]fficials evince deliberate indifference by acting
intentionally to delay or deny the prisoner access to
adequate medical care or by ignoring an inmate's known
serious medical needs.” Sharpe v. S.C. Dep't of
Corr., 621 Fed.Appx. 732, 733 (4th Cir. 2015)
(unpublished). Deliberate indifference requires proof of
intent beyond mere negligence, errors in judgment,
inadvertent oversights, or disagreements between doctor and
patient about the prisoner's treatment plan. See
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 105-06 (1976)
(“Medical malpractice does not become a constitutional
violation merely because the victim is a prisoner.”).
Even if Gibson could prove that the substance he ingested in
May 2018 was soap and not medication, he does not state facts
suggesting any likelihood that this one incident is the cause
of the health problems he is now suffering more than eight
months later. More importantly, he has not identified any
serious medical need to which any person at the jail has
knowingly ignored or refused to address.
stated reason, I will summarily dismiss Gibson's
Complaint without prejudice under § 1997e(c)(1) as
frivolous. Dismissal without prejudice leaves Gibson free to
refile one or more of his claims in a new and separate civil
rights action, provided he can ...