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Anderson v. Graves

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division

July 20, 2016

ROBERT LEE ANDERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
CORPORAL GRAVES, Defendants.

          Robert Lee Anderson, Plaintiff, Pro Se.

          Graves, Defendant, represented by Cecilia L. Ashcraft, Malvern City Attorney.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          BARRY A. BRYANT, Magistrate Judge.

         This is a civil rights action filed by the Plaintiff, Robert Lee Anderson, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 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 recommendation. Currently before the Court is Defendant Graves' Motion to Dismiss. ECF No. 18.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed his Complaint in the Eastern District of Arkansas on May 26, 2015. ECF No. 1. It was properly transferred to this District on May 27, 2015. ECF No. 3. Plaintiff filed a Supplement to his Complaint on July 30, 2015. ECF No. 6.

         In his Complaint Plaintiff alleges Defendant Graves lied on his probable cause affidavit. Specifically, he alleges Defendant Graves lied about the amount of methamphetamine found on his person when he was arrested after a traffic stop. ECF No. 1, p. 4. Plaintiff attached a copy of this affidavit. It states Defendant Graves made a traffic stop when he observed Plaintiff cross the line into another traffic lane. When Defendant ran Plaintiff through the system, he found an active Hot Spring County, Arkansas, warrant on Plaintiff for failure to appear. Plaintiff was placed under arrest and searched, and a clear plastic baggie containing 2.2 grams of a crystal substance was found on Plaintiff's person. ECF No. 1, pp. 5-6. Plaintiff alleges he lost his job and vehicle because Defendant Graves lied about the amount of methamphetamine found. He alleges his bond would have been lower if the amount of methamphetamine had been correctly stated to be the half gram he was actually carrying. ECF No. 1, p. 4.

         Plaintiff proceeds against Defendant Graves in his official capacity only. ECF No. 1, p. 2. He seeks to have the charges against him dropped, and "whatever we can do." ECF No. 1, p. 4.

         In his Supplement, Plaintiff provided a copy of the crime lab report. This report states the amount of methamphetamine was 1.2593g (0.0010g). ECF No. 6, p. 2. Plaintiff elaborated on his Complaint, stating "if he would not have lied on my affidavit, my bond would have not [been] so high and I could have bond-out and.. not lost my job or my truck." ECF No. 6, p. 4. He further points out he was stopped for a traffic violation, but never received a traffic ticket. ECF No. 6, p. 1.

         Defendant Graves filed his Motion to Dismiss on December 14, 2015. ECF No. 18. In this Motion, Defendant asserts qualified immunity in his individual capacity, he is immune from suit in his official capacity, and also indicates Plaintiff plead guilty to the charges against him, essentially admitting the facts he now claims are untrue. ECF No. 18, p. 2.

         II. APPLICABLE LAW

         Rule 8(a) contains the general pleading rules and requires a complaint to present "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). "In order to meet this standard, and survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Braden v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotations omitted)). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678. While the Court will liberally construe a pro se plaintiff's complaint, the plaintiff must allege sufficient facts to support their claims. See Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th Cir. 2004).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Defendant argues the case should be dismissed for three reasons: 1) Plaintiff failed to state a constitutional claim, and any constitutional claim would be barred by qualified immunity; 2) the City of Malvern is immune from suit pursuant to Ark. Code. § 21-9-301; and 3) Plaintiff's claim concerning ...


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