Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Jackson v. City of Gulfport

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division

February 16, 2017

WILLIE LOUIS JACKSON, # 399289 PLAINTIFF
v.
CITY OF GULFPORT, GULFPORT POLICE DEPARTMENT, LARRY MCCOOK, ADAM GIBBIONS, and ARRON FORE DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF PARTIAL DISMISSAL

          LOUIS GUIROLA, JR. CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This case is before the Court sua sponte. Pro se Plaintiff Willie Louis Jackson is a pretrial detainee at the Harrison County Detention Center, and this Complaint arises from a prior arrest by the Gulfport Police Department. The Court has considered and liberally construed the pleadings. As set forth below, Defendants Gulfport Police Department, Adam Gibbions, and Arron Fore are dismissed, as are the respondeat superior claims.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Jackson is currently a pretrial detainee in Harrison County. Defendants are the City of Gulfport, the Gulfport Police Department, and its officers Detective Larry McCook, Sergeant Adam Gibbions, and Sergeant Arron Fore.

         Jackson alleges that on September 10, 2014, he was driving his vehicle in Gulfport, Mississippi, when he was pulled over by officers from the Police Department's Narcotics Division. One of these officers was McCook. Jackson claims that one officer snatched him from the car and began to beat him and handcuffed him for no reason. While Jackson was handcuffed, several officers including McCook allegedly attacked Jackson, causing him to black out several times. According to the pleadings, when he passed a blood alcohol test, the officers took his vehicle and told him to leave. They denied his request for medical attention. He contends that he went to the hospital on his own that night and was treated for head injuries.

         The next day, Jackson alleges he went to the police station to file a grievance against these officers. Jackson asserts that the police department's policy is that any grievance concerning a police officer “must go to the Chief of Police before the Internal Affairs can investigate where the Chief . . . is the supervis[o]r of the officers and don't let them investigate.” (Compl. at 6). It is not clear whether the goal is to prevent the accused officers, or Internal Affairs, from investigating. Instead, when Jackson informed the desk clerk of his intent, the desk clerk called two of the allegedly offending officers, including McCook. These two officers proceeded to arrest Jackson, in what he maintains was retaliation for trying to file a grievance against them.

         Jackson alleges that Gibbion and Fore are supervisors of the Narcotics Division, and he is not sure whether they participated in the alleged events described above. (Resp. [9] at 1); (Compl. at 6).

         Jackson initiated this Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming illegal search and seizure, excessive force, denial of medical treatment, and retaliation. He sues the City under respondeat superior and perhaps Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978).

         DISCUSSION

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996, applies to prisoners proceeding in forma pauperis in this Court. The statute provides in pertinent part that, “the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action . . . (i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The statute “accords judges not only the authority to dismiss a claim based on an indisputably meritless legal theory, but also the unusual power to pierce the veil of the complaint's factual allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are clearly baseless.” Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32 (1992). “[I]n an action proceeding under [28 U.S.C. § 1915, a federal court] may consider, sua sponte, affirmative defenses that are apparent from the record even where they have not been addressed or raised.” Ali v. Higgs, 892 F.2d 438, 440 (5th Cir. 1990). “Significantly, the court is authorized to test the proceeding for frivolousness or maliciousness even before service of process or before the filing of the answer.” Id. The Court has permitted Jackson to proceed in forma pauperis in this action. His Complaint is subject to sua sponte dismissal under § 1915.

         Jackson asserts claims under § 1983 for illegal search and seizure, excessive force, denial of medical treatment, and retaliation. Among others, he sues the City, Police Department, Gibbion, and Fore.

         Police Department

         The capacity of the Police Department to be sued is determined according to Mississippi law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 17(b)(3). Under Mississippi law, a police department is not a separate legal entity that may be sued. Rather, it is an extension of the city. Miss. Code Ann. § 21-17-1(1) (municipalities are distinct legal entities); Miss. Code Ann. § 21-21-1, et seq. (municipalities may create and fund police departments); see also Brown v. Thompson, 927 So.2d 733, 737 (¶12) (Miss. 2006) (sheriff's department). Therefore, the Gulfport Police Department is dismissed.

         Notably, Jackson has also sued the City of Gulfport. Therefore, the allegations against the Police Department will be ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.