United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
STAN BAKER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
careful de novo review of the record in this case, the Court
concurs with the Magistrate Judge's January 7, 2019
Report and Recommendation, (doc. 7), to which Plaintiff filed
Objections, (doc. 13). For the reasons set forth below, the
Court OVERRULES Plaintiff's Objections
and ADOPTS the Report and Recommendation as
the opinion of the Court. Consequently, the Court
DISMISSES WITHOUT PREJUDICE Plaintiff's
Complaint against Chatham County Narcotics Team. The Court
also DISMISSES WITHOUT PREJUDICE any
attempted complaint against Bloomingdale Police Department
and Chatham County Police Department.
objections, Morris protests that his claims against the
Bloomingdale Police Department and the Chatham County Counter
Narcotics Team (“C.N.T.”) should be approved for
service because the individual officers who injured him were
operating in their “official and individual
capacit[ies].” (Id. at 2.) As an initial
matter, the complaint does not set forth any claims against
the Bloomingdale Police Department. Even if it had, Police
Departments, and by extension their subdivisions, are not
entities subject to suit under § 1983. Lovelace v.
DeKalb Cent. Prob., 144 Fed.Appx. 793, 795 (11th Cir.
2005) (county police department not a legal entity subject to
suit under § 1983); Dean v. Barber, 951 F.2d
1210, 1214 (11th Cir. 1992) (sheriff and police departments
are not considered legal entities subject to suit), cited
by Bunyon v. Burke Cnty., 285 F.Supp.2d 1310, 1328 (S.D.
Ga. 2003). To the extent Morris believes that the department
is responsible as the officers' employer, claims against
local governments, government officials, or supervisors
brought pursuant to § 1983 cannot be based upon theories
of respondeat superior or vicarious liability.
See Polk Cty. v. Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 325 (1981);
Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. of New York, 436
U.S. 658, 691 (1978); Brown v. Crawford, 906 F.2d
667, 671 (11th Cir. 1990). That is, a governmental entity
cannot be held liable just because it employs a tortfeasor.
The CNT, Chatham County Police Department, and Bloomingdale
Police Department are not viable defendants. Thus, any claims
against either Chatham County Police Department, the C.N.T.,
or the Bloomingdale Police Department are
DISMISSED. This case will proceed against
the four unnamed police officers.
other orders of business, Plaintiff has requested that he be
appointed counsel. (Doc. 10.) In this civil case, however,
plaintiff has no constitutional right to the appointment of
counsel. Wright v. Langford, 562 Fed.Appx. 769, 777
(11th Cir. 2014) (citing Bass v. Perrin, 170 F.3d
1312, 1320 (11th Cir. 1999)). “Although a court may,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1), appoint counsel for
an indigent plaintiff, it has broad discretion in making this
decision, and should appoint counsel only in exceptional
circumstances.” Wright, 562 Fed.Appx. at 777
(citing Bass, 170 F.3d at 1320). Appointment of
counsel in a civil case is a “privilege that is
justified only by exceptional circumstances, such as where
the facts and legal issues are so novel or complex as to
require the assistance of a trained practitioner.”
Fowler v. Jones, 899 F.2d 1088, 1096 (11th Cir.
1990) (citing Poole v. Lambert, 819 F.2d 1025, 1028
(11th Cir. 1987), and Wahl v. McIver, 773 F.2d 1169,
1174 (11th Cir. 1985)).
“key” to assessing whether counsel should be
appointed “is whether the pro se litigant needs help in
presenting the essential merits of his or her position to the
court. Where the facts and issues are simple, he or she
usually will not need such help.” McDaniels v.
Lee, 405 Fed.Appx. 456, 457 (11th Cir. 2010)
(quoting Kilgo v. Ricks, 983 F.2d 189, 193 (11th
Cir. 1993)). A review of the record and pleadings in this
case reveals no such “exceptional circumstances”
warranting the appointment of counsel.
plaintiff is incarcerated, this Court has repeatedly found
that “prisoners do not receive special consideration
notwithstanding the challenges of litigating a case while
incarcerated.” See, e.g., Hampton v. Peeples,
2015 WL 4112435 at *2 (S.D. Ga. July 7, 2015). “Indeed,
the Eleventh Circuit has consistently upheld district
courts' decisions to refuse appointment of counsel in 42
U.S.C. § 1983 actions similar to this case for want of
exceptional circumstances.” Id. (citing
Smith v. Warden, Hardee Corr. Inst., 597 Fed.Appx. 1027,
1030 (11th Cir. 2015); Wright, 562 Fed.Appx. at 777;
Faulkner v. Monroe Cty. Sheriff's Dep't, 523
Fed.Appx. 696, 702 (11th Cir. 2013); McDaniels, 405
Fed.Appx. at 457; Sims v. Nguyen, 403 Fed.Appx. 410,
414 (11th Cir. 2010); Fowler, 899 F.2d at 1091,
1096; Wahl, 773 F.2d at 1174). This case is not so
complex, legally or factually, as to prevent plaintiff from
presenting “the essential merits of his position”
to the Court. Indeed, Morris has already demonstrated an
exceptional ability to succinctly set forth the events as
they transpired and describe the roles of the defendants
involved. His request for appointment of counsel (doc. 10) is
plaintiff has filed a Motion to Amend the Complaint. (Doc.
14.) That document purports to “add statement of
facts and relief section.” (Id.) Insofar as
this document purports to add to rather than superseded
plaintiffs initial complaint, (doc. 1), plaintiffs motion is
GRANTED. However, plaintiff is warned that a
further amendment will supersede all previous versions of his
complaint and therefore must be complete in itself.
 Plaintiff appears to request that
certain discovery be made to ascertain the names of the
officers involved in this suit. Doc. 13 at 3. However, the
Court notes that waivers on behalf of CNT Agent Woodruff,
doc. 16, CNT Agent J. Hood, doc. 18, and CNT Agent Krouse,
doc. 20, have been filed with this Court. The Court will
DEFER ruling on such a request until ...