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United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit.

Joe Nathan GILES, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. CRIME STOPPERS OF BIRMINGHAM ALA., Jefferson County Owner of Crime Stopper Care of Company Union, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 17-11518

Decided: April 27, 2018

Before TJOFLAT, NEWSOM, and ANDERSON, Circuit Judges. Joe Nathan Giles, Pro Se

Joe Nathan Giles, an Alabama prisoner proceeding pro se, appeals the sua sponte dismissal of his 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action, against Crime Stopper of Birmingham Alabama/Jefferson County and Company Union/Crime Stopper of Birmingham, Alabama/Jefferson County (“Crime Stoppers”). On appeal, Giles argues that the district court erred in dismissing Giles’s § 1983 complaint for failing to identify a state actor in his complaint.

We review de novo the district court’s sua sponte dismissal for failure to state a claim under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). Leal v. Ga. Dep’t of Corr., 254 F.3d 1276, 1279 (11th Cir. 2001). The allegations in the complaint must be taken as true for purposes of the motion to dismiss, and in the case of a pro se action, we construe the complaint more liberally than we would formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Powell v. Lennon, 914 F.2d 1459, 1463 (11th Cir. 1990).

Only in rare circumstances can a private party be viewed as a state actor for purposes of § 1983. Rayburn v. Hogue, 241 F.3d 1341, 1347 (11th Cir. 2001). To hold that private parties ․ are state actors, [we] must conclude that one of the following three conditions is met: (1) the State has coerced or at least significantly encouraged the action alleged to violate the Constitution (“State compulsion test”); (2) the private parties performed a public function that was traditionally the exclusive prerogative of the State (“public function test”); or (3) “the State had so far insinuated itself into a position of interdependence with the private parties that it was a joint participant in the enterprise.” Id.

The district court did not err in dismissing Giles’s complaint for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted. Crime Stoppers is not a state actor and Giles has not argued any facts that would support a finding that it fell under one of the three circumstances that would, for § 1983, allow it to be viewed as such. Therefore, Crime Stopper is not a proper defendant for a § 1983 claim.



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