United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division
Paul Nowlin, Plaintiff, Pro Se.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE
A. BRYANT, Magistrate Judge.
Samuel Paul Nowlin filed this case pro se pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983 on July 6, 2016. ECF No. 1. His
application to proceed in forma pauperis was
approved that same day. ECF No. 3. Pursuant to the provisions
of 28 U.S.C. Â§ 636(b)(1) and (3)(2011), the Honorable Susan
O. Hickey, United States District Judge, referred this case
to the undersigned for the purpose of making a Report and
before me is the issue of preservice screening under the
provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act
("PLRA"). Pursuant to the PLRA, the Court shall
review complaints in civil actions in which a prisoner seeks
redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of
a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915A(a).
to Plaintiff's Complaint, his current address is 109
Goodgame, Camden, Arkansas, which is the Ouachita County
Detention Center ("OCDC"). ECF No. 1. Plaintiff has
named Circuit Judge Edwin Keaton as the sole defendant in
this lawsuit. Plaintiff alleges Defendant "Judge Keaton
extended my stay in jail by seeking the approval of the
victim before he sentenced me. They know each other."
ECF No. 1.
to the screening provisions of the PLRA, the Court must
determine whether the causes of action stated in
Plaintiff's complaint (1) are frivolous or malicious, (2)
fail to state claims upon which relief may be granted, or (3)
seek monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from
such relief. See 28 U.S.C. Â§Â§ 1915(e)(2)(B) &
1915(A). A complaint is frivolous if it "lacks an
arguable basis either in law or in fact." Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). To state a claim
under 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983, a plaintiff must allege that a
defendant, acting under color of state law, deprived him of a
right, privilege, or immunity secured by the United States
Constitution or by federal law. See West v.
Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
Complaint Plaintiff is challenging the length of his stay in
jail pending the imposition of his sentence. Plaintiff may
not use the civil rights statutes as substitute for
habeas corpus relief. In other words, he cannot seek
declaratory or injunctive relief relating to his confinement
and/or conviction. See e.g., Edwards v.
Balisok, 520 U.S. 641, 648 (1997); Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 483-89 (1994); Preiser v.
Rodriquez, 411 U.S. 475, 500 (1973) ( habeas
corpus is the sole federal remedy for prisoners
attacking the validity of their conviction or confinement).
Accordingly, Plaintiff's claims regarding his confinement
in the OCDC fail to state cognizable claims under Â§ 1983.
addition, judges are generally immune from lawsuits.
See Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11 (1991)
("judicial immunity is an immunity from suit, not just
from ultimate assessment of damages"); Duty v. City
of Springdale, 42 F.3d 460, 462 (8th Cir. 1994) (judges
are generally immune from suit for money damages);
Robinson v. Freeze, 15 F.3d 107, 108 (8th Cir. 1994)
("Judges performing judicial functions enjoy absolute
immunity from Â§ 1983 liability."). Judicial immunity is
only overcome in two situations: (1) if the challenged act is
non-judicial; and (2) if the action, although judicial in
nature, was taken in the complete absence of all
jurisdiction. Mireles, 502 U.S. at 11; see
also Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 356-57
(1978) ("A judge will not be deprived of immunity
because the action he took was in error, was done
maliciously, or was in excess of his authority; rather, he
will be subject to liability only when he has acted in the
clear absence of all jurisdiction") (internal citations
omitted). Plaintiff has failed to allege any action by Judge
Keaton that was non-judicial or taken without jurisdiction.
Accordingly, Judge Keaton is immune from suit.
foregoing reasons, I recommend Plaintiff's Complaint (ECF
No. 1) be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Â§Â§
1915(e)(2)(B)(i-iii) and 1915A(a) against Defendant Judge
Edwin Keaton. I also recommend this dismissal be counted as a
strike for purposes of 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915(g).
parties have fourteen days from receipt of the Report and
Recommendation in which to file written objections pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. Â§ 636(b)(1). The failure to file timely
objections may result in waiver of the right to appeal
questions of fact. The parties are reminded that objections