SUTPHIN v. KING POLICE DEPARTMENT et al
Plaintiff: GREGORY ALLEN SUTPHIN
Defendant: KING POLICE DEPARTMENT and JORDAN BOYETTE
Case Number: 1:2022cv00093
Filed: January 31, 2022
Court: US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
Presiding Judge: L PATRICK AULD
Referring Judge: CATHERINE C EAGLES
Nature of Suit: Habeas Corpus (Prison Condition)
Cause of Action: 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 Civil Rights Act
Jury Demanded By: None
Docket Report

This docket was last retrieved on February 28, 2022. A more recent docket listing may be available from PACER.

Date Filed Document Text
February 28, 2022 Opinion or Order Filing 5 ORDER AND JUDGMENT signed by JUDGE CATHERINE C. EAGLES on 2/28/2022 adopting the Magistrate Judge's Recommendation; that this action is dismissed without prejudice, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B) for failure to state a claim. The Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over any state claims under 28 U.S.C. 1367. (Sheets, Jamie)
February 25, 2022 CASE REFERRED RE: RECOMMENDED RULING - MAGISTRATE JUDGE to JUDGE CATHERINE C. EAGLES (Winchester, Robin)
February 4, 2022 Filing 4 Notice of Mailing Recommendation. Objections to R&R due by 2/18/2022. Objections to R&R for Pro Se due by 2/22/2022. (Carter, Alexus)
February 4, 2022 TEXT ORDER terminating #1 Application, in light of Text Recommendation of dismissal without prejudice. Issued by MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD on 02/04/2022. (AULD, L.)
February 4, 2022 TEXT RECOMMENDATION that the Court dismiss this action without prejudice, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. s 1915(e)(2)(B), for failure to state a claim. In #2 Complaint and #3 Amended Complaint (filed in connection with #1 Application to Proceed in District Court without Prepaying Fees or Costs), Plaintiff purports to sue the King Police Department and its Chief, Jordan Boyette, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. s 1983 (and its criminal counterparts 18 U.S.C. ss 241, 242), as well as 28 U.S.C. s 171 (mis-identified as "Tort Claims Procedure"), for various putative violations of the First, Fourth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, arising from incidents on 04/18/2019 at a gas station and on 09/12/2019 at a county fair grounds. This action should not proceed against the named Defendants (at least not in this Court based on the present allegations). As an initial matter, Section 171 provides for the appointment of judges to the United States Court of Claims (not any "Tort Claims Procedure" or other mechanism for a suit of this sort). Next, the King Police Department does not constitute a proper party to suit under Section 1983. See Jones v. City of Greensboro, 51 N.C. App. 571, 593 (1981) ("Defendants Greensboro Police Department and Greensboro Coliseum Complex would not be amenable to suit under [Section] 1983 since they are component parts of defendant City of Greensboro and as such lack the capacity to be sued."), overruled on other grounds, Fowler v. Valencourt, 334 N.C. 345 (1993); see also Ellison v. Elledge, No. 3:10CV157, 2010 WL 1506904, at *1 (W.D.N.C. April 14, 2010) (unpublished) (holding that Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department lacks capacity to be sued and thus is not proper party); Gore v. Conway Police Dep't, No. 9:0801806, 2008 WL 2566985, at *2 (D.S.C. June 26, 2008) (unpublished) (listing federal court decisions holding that a police department is not a "person" under [Section] 1983). Plaintiff theoretically could have lodged a claim under Section 1983 against the City of King (the local government that presumably operates the King Police Department), as "Congress did intend municipalities and other local government units to be included among those persons to whom Section 1983 applies," Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. of City of New York, 436 U.S. 658, 689 (1978); however, Section 1983 liability can attach to a local government entity only if "execution of [that] government's policy or custom, whether made by its lawmakers or by those whose edicts or acts may fairly be said to represent official policy, inflicts the injury," Collins v. City of Harker Heights, 503 U.S. 115, 121 (1992) (internal quotation marks omitted). Nowhere does #2 Complaint or #3 Amended Complaint allege factual matter sufficient to establish that a policy or custom of the City of King led to the alleged violations of Plaintiff's constitutional rights. Finally, neither #2 Complaint nor #3 Amended Complaint allege factual matter sufficient to establish liability for Chief Boyette; instead, Plaintiff's pleadings almost exclusively refer to the actions of unnamed King Police Department officers and theories of respondeat superior or liability predicated solely on a defendant's identity as a supervisor do not exist under Section 1983, see Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 662, 677 (2009). The only factual allegation(s) regarding acts/omissions by Chief Boyette (i.e., that he "watched body cam footage" and "concealed footage/obstructed justice") remain too conclusory to support liability under Section 1983. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (rejecting reliance on "unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation[s]"). To the extent #2 Complaint and #3 Complaint assert state claims, the Court should decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. s 1367. Issued by MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD on 02/04/2022. (AULD, L.)
February 3, 2022 Motions Referred to MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD RE: #1 APPLICATION to Proceed IFP. (Carter, Alexus)
February 3, 2022 Case ASSIGNED to JUDGE CATHERINE C. EAGLES and MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD. (Carter, Alexus)
January 31, 2022 Filing 3 SUPPLEMENT re #2 Complaint by Plaintiff GREGORY ALLEN SUTPHIN. (Carter, Alexus)
January 31, 2022 Filing 2 COMPLAINT against All Defendants, filed by GREGORY ALLEN SUTPHIN. (Carter, Alexus)
January 31, 2022 Filing 1 APPLICATION to Proceed IFP by GREGORY ALLEN SUTPHIN. (Attachments: #1 Envelope - Front and Back) (Carter, Alexus)

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Plaintiff: GREGORY ALLEN SUTPHIN
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Defendant: KING POLICE DEPARTMENT
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Defendant: JORDAN BOYETTE
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