United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
D. WHITNEY CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on initial review of
Plaintiff's Complaint. (Doc. No. 1). He is proceeding
in forma pauperis. See (Doc. No. 6).
se Plaintiff, who is an inmate at the Piedmont
Correctional Institution, has filed a civil rights Complaint
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He names as the sole
Defendant the Mecklenburg County Jail. He alleges that his
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated during
Ramadan because he was only provided breakfast and dinner,
which “clearly depriv[ed him] of the necessary
calories, as well as the recommended daily value of nutrients
that [his] body requires to function normally.” (Doc.
No. 1 at 1). He alleges that the deprivation of lunch is
cruel and unusual punishment that is directed toward all
Muslims. He seeks a jury trial and $250, 000 in
“monetary and punitive” damages. (Doc. No. 1 at
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Plaintiff is a prisoner proceeding in forma
pauperis, the Court must review the Complaint to
determine whether it is subject to dismissal on the grounds
that it is “(i) frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to
state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). In its
frivolity review, a court must determine whether the
Complaint raises an indisputably meritless legal theory or is
founded upon clearly baseless factual contentions, such as
fantastic or delusional scenarios. Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327-28 (1989). A complaint
should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim
“unless ‘after accepting all well-pleaded
allegations in the plaintiff's complaint as true and
drawing all reasonable factual inferences from those facts in
the plaintiff's favor, it appears certain that the
plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of his
claim entitling him to relief.'” Veney v.
Wyche, 293 F.3d 726, 730 (4th Cir. 2002)
(quoting Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231,
244 (4th Cir. 1999)).
pro se complaint must be construed liberally.
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); see
also Smith v. Smith, 589 F.3d 736, 738 (4th
Cir. 2009) (“Liberal construction of the pleadings is
particularly appropriate where … there is a pro
se complaint raising civil rights issues.”).
However, the liberal construction requirement will not permit
a district court to ignore a clear failure to allege facts in
his complaint which set forth a claim that is cognizable
under federal law. Weller v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990). A
pro se complaint must still contain sufficient facts
“to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level” and “state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 570 (2007); see Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) (the Twombly
plausibility standard applies to all federal civil complaints
including those filed under § 1983). This
“plausibility standard requires a plaintiff to
demonstrate more than a sheer possibility that a defendant
has acted unlawfully.” Francis v. Giacomelli,
588 F.3d 186, 193 (4th Cir. 2009) (internal
quotation marks omitted). He must articulate facts that, when
accepted as true, demonstrate he has stated a claim entitling
him to relief. Id.
order to successfully allege a violation of 42 U.S.C. §
1983, the plaintiff must allege that a “person”
acting under the color of state law violated the
plaintiff's constitutional rights. Rule 17(b) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states that a party's
capacity to be sued is determined by the law of the state in
which the District Court is held. Under North Carolina law,
unless a statute provides to the contrary, only persons in
being may be sued. McPherson v. First & Citizens Nat.
Bank of Elizabeth City, 240 N.C. 1, 18, 81 S.E.2d 386
(1954). Jails may not be sued. Brooks v. Pembroke City
Jail, 722 F.Supp. 1294, 1301 (E.D. N.C. 1989)
(“Claims under § 1983 are directed at
“persons” and the jail is not a person amenable
to suit.”); Thomas v. Anderson City Jail, 2011
WL 534392 at *1 (D.S.C. Feb. 8, 2011) (“The Anderson
City Jail is an inanimate object that can not act under color
of state law and therefore is not a “person”
subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.”).
has named as the sole Defendant in this case the Mecklenburg
County Jail. That entity is not a “person” within
the meaning of § 1983 or the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. See Wiley v. Buncombe County, 846
F.Supp.2d 480 (W.D. N.C. 2012), aff'd 474
Fed.Appx. 285 (4thCir. 2012). Therefore, the
Complaint will be dismissed without prejudice.
reasons stated herein, the Complaint is deficient and subject
to dismissal. Plaintiff shall have fourteen (14)
days in which to file an Amended Complaint in which
he may attempt to cure these deficiencies and state a
facially sufficient claim for relief. Although Petitioner is
appearing pro se, he is required to comply with all
applicable timeliness and procedural requirements, including
the Local Rules of the United States District Court for the
Western District of North Carolina and the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. The Amended Complaint must be on a §
1983 form, which the Court will provide, and it must refer to
the instant case number so that it is docketed in the correct
case. It must contain a “short and plain statement of
the claim” showing that Plaintiff is entitled to relief
against each of the defendants. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The
Amended Complaint must contain all claims Plaintiff intends
to bring in this action, identify all defendants he intends
to sue, and clearly set forth the factual allegations against
each of them. Plaintiff may not amend his Complaint by merely
adding defendants and claims in a piecemeal fashion. The
Amended Complaint will supersede the original Complaint so
that any claims or parties omitted from the Amended Complaint
will be waived. See Young v. City of Mt. Ranier, 238
F.3d 567 (4th Cir. 2001).
IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that:
Complaint, (Doc. No. 1), is DISMISSED as
facially insufficient pursuant to 28 ...