United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
OPINION AND ORDER
TIMOTHY L. BROOKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a civil rights case filed by the Plaintiff, James Griffin,
Jr., under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff
proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis. He
is currently incarcerated in the Washington County Jail.
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), Plaintiff has
been incarcerated in first the juvenile detention center, and
then the county jail since his arrest on July 6, 2013. (Doc.
1, p. 4). Plaintiff alleges he is being kept in jail without
a conviction and is therefore being falsely imprisoned. (Doc.
1, p. 5).
December 2, 2016, the Court entered an order directing
Plaintiff to complete an addendum to provide additional
details on is claim. In the addendum, Plaintiff stated he was
suing Defendant Creed for postponing court dates (including a
trial date), prosecuting the same case for more than a year,
failing to provide an acceptable plea bargain, and failing to
get a conviction on any pending charge. He alleges he is
suing Defendant Durrett, as the head of the prosecuting
attorney's office, for not enforcing the rules and his
rights. Plaintiff further states that he was found to be
"mentally incapable, " a menace to the public,
is held on a $125, 000 bond. (Doc, 7, p. 1). He further
states his bond hearing was denied due to his history of
being placed in mental institutions from the time he was
seven years of age.
relief, Plaintiff asks for unspecified compensatory and
punitive damages. (Doc. 1, p. 5) In his addendum, Plaintiff
states he "want[s] out." (Doc. 1, p. 2).
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." Bell Atl.
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, 747 F.3d 537, 541 (8th Cir. 2014)
(quoting Erickson v. Partus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
claims against both Matt Durrett and Seth Creed are subject
to dismissal. Prosecuting attorneys are 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. at 427.
This immunity extends to all acts that are "intimately
associated with the judicial phase of the criminal
process." Id. at 430; see also Buckley v.
Fitzsimmons, 509 U.S. 259 (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); Brodnicki v. City of Omaha, 75
F.3d 1261 (8th Cir. 1996) (County prosecutors were entitled
to absolute immunity from suit).
cognizable claim is stated against either Defendant.
Addendum, Plaintiff asked to be released from incarceration.
Plaintiff may not use the civil rights statutes as a
substitute for habeas corpus relief. In other words,
he cannot seek declaratory or injunctive relief relating to
his confinement 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 exclusive remedy for prisoners attacking
the validity of their conviction or confinement).
Complaint fails to state a cognizable claim under § 1983
and is frivolous and/or asserted against an individual immune
from suit. The case is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. See28 U.S.C.
§1915(e)(2)(B)(1)-(iii) (IFP action may be dismissed ...