United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF PARTIAL
GUIROLA, JR. CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
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.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
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.
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
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
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.
 at 1); (Compl. at 6).
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
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.
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.
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.
Jackson has also sued the City of Gulfport. Therefore, the
allegations against the Police Department will be ...