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Hairston v. St. Clair County Sheriff's Dep't

January 2, 2008

SHAUNTEZ T. HAIRSTON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ST. CLAIR COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPT. AND MICHAEL MILTON, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, an inmate in the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action arose from an incident that occurred on June 14, 2007, at the St. Clair County courthouse. Plaintiff and another inmate, Danny Wiley, were both handcuffed and taken on the elevator together, despite their protestations that they needed to be separated. On the elevator, Wiley attempted to assault Plaintiff, and Defendant Milton intervened. However, Milton then proceeded to assault Plaintiff in the elevator and in the parking area.

The intentional use of excessive force by prison guards against an inmate without penological justification constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment and is actionable under Section 1983. Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 6-7 (1992); DeWalt v. Carter, 224 F.3d 607, 619 (7th Cir. 2000). "[W]henever prison officials stand accused of using excessive physical force in violation of the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause, the core judicial inquiry is . . . whether force was applied in a good-faith effort to maintain or restore discipline, or maliciously and sadistically to cause harm." Hudson, 503 U.S. at 6-7. Applying these standards to the allegations in the complaint, the Court is unable to dismiss this excessive force claim against Milton at this time. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

Plaintiff also lists the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department as a defendant in this action. However, in order to obtain section 1983 relief against a municipality, a plaintiff must allege that the constitutional deprivations were the result of an official policy, custom, or practice of the municipality. Monell v. Dept. of Social Services of the City of New York, 436 U.S. 658, 691 (1978). No such allegations are made in this action, and the Sheriff's Department is therefore dismissed from this action with prejudice.

Finally, Plaintiff includes vague statements about lack of medical treatment for his injuries from Milton's assault. The individuals he mentions in conjunction with these statements are not named as defendants in this action, and thus the Court construes these statements as extraneous material, rather than as an attempt to assert a separate claim regarding medical treatment.

DISPOSITION

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the ST. CLAIR COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT is DISMISSED from this action with prejudice.

The Clerk is DIRECTED to prepare Form 1A (Notice of Lawsuit and Request for Waiver of Service of Summons) and Form 1B (Waiver of Service of Summons) for Defendant MILTON. The Clerk shall forward those forms, USM-285 forms submitted by the Plaintiff, and sufficient copies of the complaint to the United States Marshal for service.

The United States Marshal is DIRECTED, pursuant to Rule 4(c)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, to serve process on Defendant MILTON in the manner specified by Rule 4(d)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Process in this case shall consist of the complaint, applicable forms 1A and 1B, and this Memorandum and Order. For purposes of computing the passage of time under Rule 4(d)(2), the Court and all parties will compute time as of the date it is mailed by the Marshal, as noted on the USM-285 form.

With respect to former employees of St. Clair County Jail who no longer can be found at the work address provided by Plaintiff, the County shall furnish the Marshal with the Defendant's last-known address upon issuance of a court order which states that the information shall be used only for purposes of effectuating service (or for proof of service, should a dispute arise) and any documentation of the address shall be retained only by the Marshal. Address information obtained from the County pursuant to this order shall not be maintained in the court file, nor disclosed by the Marshal.

The United States Marshal shall file returned waivers of service as well as any requests for waivers of service that are returned as undelivered as soon as they are received. If a waiver of service is not returned by a defendant within THIRTY (30) DAYS from the date of mailing the request for waiver, the United States Marshal shall:

! Request that the Clerk prepare a summons for that defendant who has not yet returned a waiver of service; the Clerk shall then prepare such summons as requested.

! Personally serve process upon the defendant pursuant to Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and 28 U.S.C. § 566(c).

! Within ten days after personal service is effected, the United States Marshal shall file the return of service for the defendant, along with evidence of any attempts to secure a waiver of service of process and of the costs subsequently incurred in effecting service on said defendant. Said costs shall be enumerated on the USM-285 form and shall include the costs incurred by the Marshal's office for photocopying additional copies of the summons and complaint and for preparing new USM-285 forms, if required. Costs of service will be taxed against the ...


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