Swimpson v. Western VA Regional Jail,et al, No. 7:2016cv00434 - Document 25 (W.D. Va. 2017)

Court Description: MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Norman K. Moon on 7/24/2017. (tvt)
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Swimpson v. Western VA Regional Jail,et al Doc. 25 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA ROANOKE DIVISION WILLIE CLARENCE SWIMPSON, Plaintiff, v. WESTERN VA REGIONAL JAIL MEDICAL DEPT., Defendant. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Civil Action No. 7:16cv00434 MEMORANDUM OPINION By: Norman K. Moon United States District Judge After being given the opportunity to amend his complaint, plaintiff Willie Clarence Swimpson, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed an amended complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, naming only the “Western VA Regional Jail Medical Dept.” as a defendant. (Docket No. 21). To state a cause of action under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege facts indicating that he has been deprived of rights guaranteed by the Constitution or laws of the United States and that this deprivation resulted from conduct committed by a person acting under color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42 (1988) (emphasis added). Because a medical department is not a legal entity, it is not a “person” subject to suit under § 1983, and Swimpson cannot maintain this action against it. See Harden v. Green, 27 F. App’x 173, 178 (4th Cir. 2001) (“The medical department of a prison may not be sued, because it is not a person within the meaning of § 1983.”). Accordingly, I will dismiss Swimpson’s complaint without prejudice pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(1). I note that nothing in this opinion precludes Swimpson from refiling his claims against any individuals who may have violated his federal rights, assuming he has exhausted his remedies in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 1997e. 24th ENTER: This _____ day of July, 2017. Dockets.Justia.com