United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
OPINION AND ORDER
HOLMES, III CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and
in forma pauperis.
matter is presently before the Court for initial screening of
Plaintiff's pleading pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
For the reasons discussed below, the Court finds that this
action should be summarily dismissed pursuant to Section
1915A and Section 1915(e)(2)(B).
to the allegations of the complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff has
been incarcerated in the Benton County Detention Center
(BCDC) since October 31, 2016, on pending criminal charges.
He contends that he is being held on excessive bail in
violation of the Eighth Amendment.
asserts that Judge Robin Green has denied him a bond
reduction numerous times. Plaintiff alleges that he comes
from a background of poverty and cannot make the excessively
high bail. He further alleges that Prosecuting Attorney
Carrie Dobbs has continuously objected to any reduction in
the amount of bail.
asserts that both Judge Green and Carrie Dobbs claim to
represent the State of Arkansas in connection with
Plaintiff's pending criminal case. On this basis,
Plaintiff alleges the State should be held liable for any
violation of the Eighth Amendment. He asserts the State has
failed to protect his rights as guaranteed by the
Constitution of the United States of America. Finally he
contends the United States of America has failed to protect
his constitutional rights.
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), the Court is
obligated to screen the case prior to service of process
being issued. 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. § 1915A(b).
is frivolous if “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.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “In 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, 747 F.3d 537, 541 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting,
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)).
the claims against Judge Robin Green are subject to
dismissal. The claims against Judge Green involve actions
taken by Judge Green in a pending criminal case against the
Plaintiff. Judge Green is immune from suit. Mireles v.
Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11 (1991) (“Judicial immunity is
an immunity from suit, not just from ultimate assessment of
damages”); see also Duty v. City of
Springdale, 42 F.3d 460, 462 (8th Cir. 1994).
“Judges performing judicial functions enjoy absolute
immunity from § 1983 liability.” Robinson v.
Freeze, 15 F.3d 107, 108 (8th Cir. 1994). “A judge
will not be deprived of immunity because the action [s]he
took was in error, was done maliciously, or was in excess of
[her] authority.” Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S.
349, 356-57 (1978). Judicial immunity is overcome if: (1) the
judge's challenged action is non-judicial; or (2) the
judge's action, although judicial in nature, [was] taken
in the complete absence of all jurisdiction.
Mireles, 502 U.S. at 11. It is clear from the
allegations of the complaint that neither exception applies
the complaint as against Carrie Dobbs is subject to
dismissal. The prosecuting attorney is immune from suit. The
United States Supreme Court, in Imbler v. Pachtman,
424 U.S. 409, 431 (1976), established the absolute immunity
of a prosecutor from a civil suit for damages under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 "in initiating a prosecution and in
presenting the State's case." Id., 424 U.S.
at 427. This immunity extends to all acts that are
“intimately associated with the judicial phase of the
criminal process.” Id., 424 U.S. at 430.
See also Buckley v. Fitzsimmons, 509 U.S. 259, 113
S.Ct. 2606, 2615 (1993)(Prosecutor acting as an advocate for
the state in a criminal prosecution is entitled to absolute
immunity while a prosecutor acting in an investigatory or
administrative capacity is only entitled to qualified
immunity). Based on the allegations of the complaint, it is
clear the defendant prosecuting attorney is entitled to
absolute immunity. See also Brodnicki v. City of
Omaha, 75 F.3d 1261 (8th Cir. 1996)(County prosecutors
were entitled to absolute immunity from suit).
extent the complaint seeks injunctive relief, the claim is
not cognizable. While the Supreme Court has not held that
this immunity insulates prosecutors from declaratory or
injunctive relief, see Pulliam v. Allen, 466 U.S.
522 (1984), a plaintiff must show some substantial likelihood
that the past conduct alleged to be illegal will recur.
Plaintiff can make no such showing here. Further, injunctive
relief is not appropriate where an adequate remedy under
state law exists. Id., 466 U.S. at 542 & n.22;
see also Bonner v. Circuit Court of St. Louis, 526
F.2d 1331, 1336 (8th Cir. 1975).
the claims against the State of Arkansas are subject to
dismissal. The claims are barred by the Eleventh Amendment.
Will v. Michigan Dept. of State Police, 491 U.S. 58
(1989). “The Eleventh Amendment bars suits against a
State by citizens of that same State in federal court.”
Williams v. Missouri, 973 F.2d 599, 599 -600 (8th
Cir. 1992) (citing Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265,
276 (1986)). "'This ...