United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Glen E. Conrad, Senior United States District Judge.
McMillan, Jr., a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se,
filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983, against the “Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority
institution [“BRRJA”] and medical department,
” concerning two separate incidents that occurred
there.Compl. 1, ECF No. 1. After review of the
record, the court concludes that this civil action is
appropriately dismissed without prejudice for failure to
state a claim.
end of January 2019, McMillan “felt [him]self
experiencing chest pains and couldn't breathe.”
Id. at 2. He claims that he “had a seizure
[sic]” and “was moved while unconscious to a
drunk tank where [he] was maced and beat right after having
surgery.” Id. McMillan also alleges “I
was thrown in a cell full of urine and fecies for having a
seizure [sic] and jail and nurses tried to cover it
up.” Id. at 3. “I was in medical and
woke in another cell after experiencing chest pains and
passing out. No. hospital.” Id.
March 21, 2019, McMillan was allegedly “beaten up,
sprayed with mace placed in a[ ] choke hold [until he]
couldn't breathe, slammed to the ground, punched and
kicked in [his] back and ribs” by some jail officers.
Id. at 2. An officer also allegedly “choked
[McMillan] out and dislocated” his jaw. Id. at
3. Then, McMillan claims, he was “denied proper medical
treatment” and medication, and “[t]he jail staff
and nurse tried to cover this up.” Id.
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). A complaint must be
dismissed if it does not allege “enough facts to state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007). A court must accept the plaintiff's 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).
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). The BRRJA
medical department, as a group of individuals, cannot qualify
as a “person” subject to suit under § 1983.
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”) (emphasis added). Therefore,
the court must dismiss McMillan's claims against the
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). McMillan states no
facts in the complaint suggesting that the allegedly
inadequate medical care he received in January 2019 or the
use of force against him occurred in furtherance of a BRRJA
practice or policy. The court will summarily dismiss his
complaint against the BRRJA.
these reasons, the court concludes that McMillan's
submissions do not state any claim upon which relief could be
granted against the only defendants he has identified in the
heading of his complaint. Therefore, the court will summarily
dismss the action without prejudice under § 1915A(b)(1).
An appropriate order will enter this day. Such a dismissal
leaves McMillan free to refile his claims in a new and
separate civil action if he can correct the deficiencies
described in this opinion. The Clerk is directed to send copies of
this memorandum opinion and accompanying order to plaintiff.
 McMillan's submissions indicate
that he is now confined at a different jail facility.
 The court notes that McMillan's
current complaint also violates the federal rules governing
joinder, because his claims are based on separate events that
involved different individuals. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 18,
20. Rule 18(a) only allows a plaintiff to join as many claims
as it has against an opposing party” (emphasis
added). On the other hand, Rule 20 allows the joinder of
several parties only if the claims arose out of the same
transaction or occurrence, or series thereof, and contain a
question of fact or law common to all the defendants. Thus,
if the ...