United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
CHRISTOPHER L. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
JOHN T. WILCHER AND CHATHAM COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
CHRISTOPHER L. RAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Christopher L. Williams, proceeding pro se and
in forma pauperis, brings this 42 U.S.C. §1983
Complaint against John T. Wilcher and the Chatham County
Sheriff's Department. Doc. 1. The Court granted
plaintiff's Motion for Leave to proceed in forma
pauperis (IFP), doc. 3, and he has provided all
requested documentation, docs. 4 & 5.The Court now
screens the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
generally alleges that the officers of the Chatham County
Detention Center treated him “unprofessionally.”
Doc. 1 at 5. He also provides as exhibits the records of
seventeen inquiries and grievances submitted between April 5,
2019, and May 9, 2019, which are not formally incorporated
into the record. Docs. 1-1 at 1-17. Such generalized
allegations are not sufficient to state a claim for relief.
See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice” to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted). Even construed liberally, the Court cannot derive
claims cognizable under § 1983.
the Court were able to identify a cognizable claim under
§ 1983 from the Compliant, plaintiff has failed to
identify appropriate defendants for suit. Section 1983 claims
require an allegation of a causal connection between a
defendant's acts or omissions and an alleged
constitutional deprivation. See Zalter v.
Wainwright, 802 F.2d 397, 401 (11th Cir. 1986)
(defendant's position of Secretary of the Florida
Department of Corrections was not alone sufficient to
establish a causal connection to plaintiff's sexual
assault). Plaintiff has not alleged that John Wilcher was in
any way connected to plaintiff's treatment, beyond his
role as head of the Sheriff's Department. This alone is
not sufficient as theories of respondeat superioror
and vicarious liability cannot carry § 1983 claims.
See Polk Cnty. v. Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 325 (1981)
("Section 1983 will not support a claim based on a
respondeat superior theory of liability.");
Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. of New York, 436
U.S. 658, 691 (1978) ("Congress did not intend
municipalities to be held liable unless action pursuant to
official municipal policy of some nature caused a
constitutional tort."); Brown v. Crawford, 906
F.2d 667, 671 (11th Cir. 1990) ("Supervisory liability
occurs either when the supervisor personally participates in
the alleged constitutional violation or when there is a
causal connection between actions of the supervising official
and the alleged constitutional deprivation.").
Similarly, the Chatham County Sheriff's Office has no
independent legal existence and is not subject to suit under
§ 1983. Logue v. Chatham Cty. Det. Ctr., 2008
WL 895717 at * 2 (S.D. Ga. Apr. 2, 2008); see Dean v.
Barber, 951 F.2d 1210, 1214 (11th Cir. 1992) (noting
that sheriff's departments are not usually subject to
suit or liability under § 1983, but deferring to state
law as determinative of capacity to sue and be sued);
Shelby v. City of Atlanta, 578 F.Supp. 1368, 1370
(N.D.Ga. 1984) (city police department is not an entity
subject to suit under § 1983 because it “is merely
the vehicle through which the [c]ity government fulfills its
policing instructions.”). Therefore, plaintiff's
Complaint should be dismissed.
summary, plaintiff's Complaint should be
DISMISSED without prejudice. Meanwhile, it
is time for plaintiff to pay his filing fee. His PLRA
paperwork reflects a current balance of $720.00, with $240.00
in average monthly deposits and a $68.62 average reserved
monthly balance over the six-month period prior to the date
of his Prison Account Statement. Doc. 5. He, therefore, owes
a $144.00 initial partial filing fee. See 28 U.S.C.
§1915(b)(1) (requiring an initial fee assessment
“when funds exist, ” under a specific 20 percent
formula). Hayward's custodian (or designee) shall remit
the $144.00 and shall set aside 20 percent of all future
deposits to his account, then forward those funds to the
Clerk each time the set aside amount reaches $10.00, until
the balance of the Court's $350.00 filing fee has been
paid in full. In the event that Hayward is transferred to
another facility, his present custodian shall forward a copy
of this Order and all financial information concerning
payment of the filing fee and costs in this case to his new
custodian. The balance due from Hayward shall be collected by
the custodian at all future facilities in accordance with the
terms of this Order. A copy of this Order and of the Consent
to Collection of Fees form Trust Account shall be served upon
Hayward and his current custodian. The payment portion of
this Order is to be implemented immediately, as it is not
subject to the adoption provision of Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b).
Report and Recommendation (R&R) is submitted to the
district court judge assigned to this action, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §636(b)(1)(B) and this Court's Local Rule
72.3. Within 14 days of service, any party may file written
objections to this R&R with the Court and serve a copy on
all parties. The document should be captioned
“Objections to Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendations.” Any request for additional time to
file objections should be filed with the Clerk for
consideration by the assigned district judge.
the objections period has ended, the Clerk shall submit this
R&R together with any objections to the assigned district
judge. The district judge will review the magistrate
judge's findings and recommendations pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §636(b)(1)(C). The parties are advised that
failure to timely file objections will result in the waiver
of rights on appeal. 11th Cir. R. 3-1; see Symonett v.
V.A. Leasing Corp., 648 Fed.Appx. 787, 790 (11th Cir.
2016); Mitchell v. United States, 612 Fed.Appx. 542,
545 (11th Cir. 2015).
REPORTED AND RECOMMENDED
 By letter received July 15, 2019,
plaintiff alleges that he was not provided with all of the
documents requested by the Court in granting his motion for
leave to proceed in forma pauperis and that the
missing documents might have been withheld by corrections
officials. As plaintiff has returned all requested forms and
information, any motion intended through plaintiff's
letter is now moot.
 The Prison Litigation Reform Act of
1995 (PLRA), Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321-71, sets
forth procedures governing the filing of complaints in
federal court by prisoners and other detainees. In cases
seeking redress from a government entity or its officials,
PLRA requires a preliminary screening in order to
“identify cognizable complaints” and to dismiss,
prior to service, any complaint that is “frivolous,
malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted” or that “seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C.
 Plaintiff's exhibits suggest
elements of denial of adequate medical care and harassment
claims; however, the presented Complaint is not sufficient
for the court to intuit these claims. Plaintiff may more
fully develop ...