United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
Brandon House, Plaintiff, Pro Se.
Jackson, Defendant, represented by Amber Schubert, Arkansas
Jackson, Defendant, represented by Amanda M. LaFever,
Arkansas Municipal League.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE
A. BRYANT, Magistrate Judge.
Brandon House originally submitted this pro se
action for filing on April 29, 2015 in the Eastern District
of Arkansas. ECF No. 2. On May 1, 2015 the case was
transferred to the Western District. ECF No. 3. Pursuant to
the provisions of 28 U.S.C. Â§ 636(b)(1) and (3)(2014), the
Honorable Robert T. Dawson, United States District Judge,
referred this case to the undersigned for the purpose of
making a Report and Recommendation.
case is before me on a Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 32) filed
by Defendant Dawan Morgan. Plaintiff has not responded. After
careful consideration, I make the following Report and
is currently an inmate in the Miller County Correctional
Facility in Texarkana, Arkansas. ECF No. 35. Defendant Dawan
Morgan is employed by the Department of Community
Corrections, a program of the Arkansas Department of
Correction. In his Complaint Plaintiff alleges on October 28,
2013 he was arrested for violating the terms of his probation
and placed in jail in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. ECF No. 2. He
claims his civil rights were violated during the arrest and
he was not, at that time, advised of the reason for his
arrest. Plaintiff states he bonded out of jail and went to
visit Defendant Morgan, his probation officer, on November 4,
2013. According to Plaintiff, Defendant Morgan told him his
probation was being revoked because of the arrest. Plaintiff
alleges from May until November 4, 2013, Defendant Morgan was
"derelict" in his duties as Plaintiff's
probation officer. ECF No. 2. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges
Defendant Morgan was never available to see him and failed to
notify Plaintiff he was not in compliance with the terms and
conditions of his probation until he received a report of
probation violation, filed by Defendant Casey Jackson, on
November 4, 2013. Plaintiff also claims Defendant
Morgan's "unprofessional conduct" led to his
"conviction." ECF No. 2. Plaintiff seeks
"justice, freedom, liberty and compensation" for
his wrongful arrest and he wants to see Defendants punished
or reprimanded. ECF No. 2.
Morgan has moved to dismiss the case against him pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12 (b)(6) on the following grounds: (1)
sovereign immunity bars Plaintiff's claims against
Defendant Morgan in his official capacity; (2) Plaintiff has
failed to state a constitutional claim against Defendant
Morgan in his individual capacity; and (3) Plaintiff's
claims are barred by Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477
Civ. P. 12 (b)(6) provides that a motion to dismiss should be
granted on a plaintiff's claim if he "fail[s] to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted." A
complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim if
it appears beyond a doubt the plaintiff's complaint can
prove no set of facts to support the plaintiff's
purported cause of action. Schaller Tel. Co. v. Golden
Sky Sys., Inc., 298 F.3d 736, 740 (8th Cir. 2001). In
determining whether to dismiss this action under Rule 12
(b)(6), the Court will assume the facts alleged in
Plaintiff's Complaint are correct and will draw
reasonable inferences from the facts in favor of the
allegations in the Complaint. Turner v. Holbrook,
278 F.3d 754, 757 (8th Cir. 2002); In re Navarre Corp.
Sec. Litig., 299 F.3d 735, 738 (8th Cir. 2002).
Official Capacity Claim
section 1983, a defendant may be sued in either his
individual capacity, or in his official capacity, or claims
may be stated against a defendant in both his individual and
his official capacities. Gorman v. Bartch, 152 F.3d
907, 914 (8th Cir. 1998). With respect to the official
capacity claims, they are "functionally equivalent to a
suit against the employing governmental entity."
Veatch v. Bartels Lutheran Home,627 F.3d 1254, 1257
(8th Cir. 2010). In other words, Plaintiff's official
capacity claims against Defendants are treated as claims
against the State of Arkansas. Murray v. Lene, 595
F.3d 868, 873 (8th Cir. 2010); Short v. Westark Cmty.
Coll.,347 Ark. 497, ...