United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge.
filed his Complaint on December 26, 2018. (Filing No.
1.) He has been given leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. (Filing No. 6.) The court now conducts an
initial review of Plaintiff's Complaint to determine
whether summary dismissal is appropriate under 28 U.S.C.
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
the Omaha Police Department alleging a violation of
“Article I, Section 10” which the court assumes
refers to Article I, Section 10 of the Nebraska Constitution
relating to prosecutions for felonies on
indictments. (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF pp. 2-3.)
Plaintiff's “Statement of Claim” alleges the
events giving rise to his claim occurred at the Omaha Police
Department and “Home” but does not allege when
the events took place nor even what happened to him.
(Id. at CM/ECF p. 4.) Rather, Plaintiff only
references “constitution, Article I, Section 10.”
complains of injuries including “[h]andcuff marks,
deprivation of rights leading to harassment and several
mental illness [sic].” (Id. at CM/ECF p. 5.)
As relief, Plaintiff seeks $7, 000, 000 in punitive damages
for which “[n]o explanation [is] necessary.”
APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW
court is required to review in forma pauperis complaints to
determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). The court must dismiss
a complaint or any portion of it that states a frivolous or
malicious claim, that 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. §
plaintiffs must set forth enough factual allegations to
“nudge their claims across the line from conceivable
to plausible, ” or “their complaint must be
dismissed.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 569-70 (2007); see also Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (“A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”).
essential function of a complaint under the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure is to give the opposing party ‘fair
notice of the nature and basis or grounds for a claim, and a
general indication of the type of litigation
involved.'” Topchian v. JPMorgan Chase Bank,
N.A., 760 F.3d 843, 848 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Hopkins v. Saunders, 199 F.3d 968, 973 (8th Cir.
1999)). However, “[a] pro se complaint must be
liberally construed, and pro se litigants are held to a
lesser pleading standard than other parties.”
Topchian, 760 F.3d at 849 (internal quotation marks
and citations omitted).
DISCUSSION OF CLAIMS
court has carefully reviewed Plaintiff's Complaint,
keeping in mind that complaints filed by pro se litigants are
held to less stringent standards than those applied to formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers. See Haines v. Kerner,
404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). However, as set forth above, even
pro se litigants must comply with the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 requires that
every complaint contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief” and that “each allegation . . . be
simple, concise, and direct.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2),
(d)(1). A complaint must state enough to “‘give
the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.'” Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Here, Plaintiff's
Complaint fails to meet this minimal pleading standard.
Plaintiff cannot maintain a § 1983 action against the
Omaha Police Department because it is not a distinct legal
entity amenable to suit under § 1983. See
Ketchum v. City of West Memphis, Ark., 974 F.2d 81,
82 (8th Cir. 1992) (departments or subdivisions of local
government are “not juridical entities suable as
such”); Dean v. Barber, 951 F.2d 1210, 1214-15
(11th Cir. 1992) (“[s]heriff's departments and
police departments are not usually considered legal entities
subject to suit”). Because the only named defendant is
a non-suable entity, the court will dismiss Plaintiff's
Complaint without prejudice for failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted.
THEREFORE ORDERED that: This matter is dismissed without
prejudice. The court will enter ...