United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
WANDA T. ANDALUZ-PRADO PLAINTIFF
SHERIFF TIM HELDER; and PUBLIC DEFENDER BLAKE CHALLENGER DEFENDANTS
OPINION AND ORDER
TIMOTHY L. BROOKS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a civil rights case filed by the Plaintiff Wanda T.
Andaluz-Prado under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Andaluz-Prado proceeds pro se and in forma
pauperis. She is incarcerated in the Washington County
Detention Center (WCDC).
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) modified the IFP statute,
28 U.S.C. § 1915, to require the Court to screen
complaints for dismissal under § 1915(e)(2)(B). The
Court must dismiss a complaint, or any portion of it, if it
contains claims that: (a) are frivolous or malicious; (b)
fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or
(c) seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
to the allegations of the Complaint (Doc. 1), Andaluz-Prado
is being held on a first degree murder charge. Andaluz-Prado
has sued Sheriff Tim Helder for having released her private
information and having authorized news media to publish
pictures taken in the courtroom at the jail. Specifically,
she contends the jail released a court date for her
"sentencing" and allowed the media to publish a
picture of her in a jail uniform. With respect to the court
date, Andaluz-Prado states it was released as a
"sentencing" date. She asserts this was clearly
false as she has not yet been convicted of a crime. She
contends these actions have violated her right to privacy and
damaged her reputation.
respect to Blake Challenger, her public defender,
Andaluz-Prado contends he has breached the attorney client
privilege. Specifically, she alleges the following: "(1)
documents entered in my name and signed in my name; (2) the
results of my mental exam published on the internet and
newspapers; (3) photo of myself in jail scrubs from the first
day in front... of the judge." (Doc. 1, p. 8).
has attached to the Complaint: a picture of her in her jail
uniform looking down at something with a man at her side,
presumably Blake Challenger; a newspaper article in English
stating Andaluz-Prado was declared mentally fit to stand
trial; and a newspaper article in Spanish.
relief, Plaintiff seeks to be exonerated on all charges
brought against her. She also seeks monetary damages as a
result of the release of information and her photograph.
the PLRA, the Court is obligated to screen a case prior to
service of process being issued. A claim is frivolous when it
"lacks an arguable basis either in law or fact."
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A
claim fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted
if it does not allege "enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face." BellAtl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). However, the
Court bears in mind that when "evaluating whether a
pro se plaintiff has asserted sufficient facts to
state a claim, we hold 'a pro se complaint,
however inartfully pleaded, ... to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'"
Jackson v. Nixon, 141 F.3d 537, 541 (8th Cir. 2014)
(quoting Erickson v. Partus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
claims are subject to dismissal. First, she has no right to
privacy in her arrest records or in her appearance at a place
open to members of the public. It has been recognized that a
constitutional right to privacy exists as to certain forms of
personal information possessed by the state if "an
individual has a legitimate expectation ... that it will
remain confidential while in the state's
possession." Sheets v. Salt Lake Cnty., 45 F.3d
1383, 1387 (10th Cir. 1995). "The constitutional right
to privacy is generally limited to only the most intimate
aspects of human affairs." Wade v. Goodwin, 843
F.2d 1150, 1153 (8th Cir. 1988) (citations omitted);
Powell v. Schriver, 175 F.3d 107, 112 (2d Cir. 1999)
(gratuitous disclosure of inmate's confidential
information violates the Constitution). The right to privacy
is balanced against legitimate penological interests.
records, including any booking photographs, are public
records and are not protected from disclosure. See
Ark. Code Ann. § 25-19-103(7)(A) (definition of public
records) (2015); Furman v. Holloway, 312 Ark. 378
(1993) (inmate's prison file was public record). The
booking information available to the public clearly does not
infringe on the "most intimate aspects of human
affairs." The fact that Andaluz-Prado has not been
convicted of the crime with which she is charged does not
serve to exclude these public records from disclosure. The
definition of public records is broad. Specifically, the term
is defined as follows:
"Public records" means writings, recorded sounds,
films, tapes, electronic or computer-based information, or
data compilations in any medium required by law to be kept or
otherwise kept and that constitute a record of the
performance or lack of performance of official functions that
are or should be carried out by a public official or
employee, a governmental agency, or any other agency or
improvement district that is wholly or partially supported by
public funds or expending public funds. All Records