United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
TIMOTHY L. BROOKS United States District Judge
a civil rights case filed by the Plaintiff Michael Alan Stacy
under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff
proceeds in forma pauperis and pro se.
matter is presently before the Court for initial screening of
Plaintiffs 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
is incarcerated in the Faulkner County Detention Center.
According to the allegations of the complaint, the Defendants
have the following relationships with the Plaintiff: Pamela
Ann Stacy-Whittle and Russell Whittle are his sister and
brother-in-law; Amber Whittle Lee is a stay at home mom
(family relationship not stated); Joyce and Guerin Goates are
his mother and step-father; Tara Wright is his ex-wife; Anne
Atteberry is his ex-fiance; Hunter Atteberry is his
ex-finance's son; and Scott Dalrymple is his ex- friend.
All Defendants are citizens of the State of Arkansas.
respect to Pamela and Russell Whittle, Plaintiff alleges they
slandered him, bore false witness against him, falsely
accused him of stealing her pills, their pet raccoon attacked
him in 2015, and they may have sold his pick-up truck by
forging the title. Plaintiff alleges Amber Whittle Lee
slandered him, falsely accused him, and bore false witness.
With respect to Joyce and Guerin Goates, Plaintiff alleges an
accident on their land while building a roof over a deck
almost cost him his life and resulted in him incurring $75,
000 in medical bills. Further, he alleges they may have been
involved in forging the title to his pick-up truck. Plaintiff
alleges Tara Wright slandered him, falsely accused him, got a
six year old child to lie about him, and bore false witness
against him. With respect to Anne Atteberry, Plaintiff
alleges she is a thief, slandered him, falsely accused him,
any may be guilty of murder and attempted murder. Plaintiff
alleges Hunter Atteberry lied about him, bore false witness
against him, slandered him, was a thief, and falsely accused
the Plaintiff. Plaintiff makes no allegations against Scott
asked that polygraph tests be administered to Pamela Whittle,
Russell Whittle, Tara Wright, Amber Whittle Lee, Joyce
Goates, Hunter Atteberry, and Jodi Atteberry. He states they
are all "family & ex'es" so he knows they
will lie. Plaintiff alleges that he is "trying to get to
the truth. I have been lied on, and slandered, &
falsely accused enough over the past 25 years."
(Doc. 2, p. 9).
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 Atl. 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)).
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. See e.g.,
Godfrey v. PulitzerPubl'g Co., 161 F.3d 1137, 1141
(8th Cir. 1998). Generally, the federal district courts may
only exercise jurisdiction over cases in which diversity of
citizenship exists and the requisite amount in controversy is
involved, and in those cases in which a federal question is
presented; that is, those cases involving violations of
federal constitutional or statutory law. See e.g., Sw.
Bell Tel. Co. v. Connect Commc'ns Corp., 225 F.3d
942, 945 (8th Cir. 2000). "The requirement that
jurisdiction be established as a threshold matter
'spring[s] from the nature and limits of the judicial
power of the United States' and is 'inflexible and
without exception.'" Steel Co. v. Citizens for a
Better Env't, 523 U.S. 83 (1998) (quoting
Mansfield, C. & L.M.R. Co. v. Swan, 111 U.S.
379, 382 (1884)) (alteration in original)). If it appears
that jurisdiction is lacking, the Court will raise the issue
sua sponte. Dieser v. Cont'l Cas. Co., 440 F.3d
920, 923 (8th Cir. 2006).
of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 exists if there is
complete diversity of citizenship and the amount in
controversy is more than $75, 000. Advance America
Servicing of Arkansas v. McGinnis, 526 F.3d 1170, 1172
(8th Cir. 2008). In this case, both the Plaintiff and
Defendants are citizens of the State of Arkansas.
only other possible basis of federal court jurisdiction
apparent from the complaint is 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Section
1983 provides a federal cause of action for the deprivation,
under color of law, of a citizen's "rights,
privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and
laws" of the United States. In order to state a claim
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, plaintiff must allege that the
defendant acted under color of state law and that he violated
a right secured by the Constitution. West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42 (1988); Dunham v. Wadley, 195 F.3d 1007,
1009 (8th Cir. 1999). The deprivation must be intentional;
mere negligence will not suffice to state a claim for
deprivation of a constitutional right under § 1983.
Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327 (1986);
Davidson v. Cannon, 474 U.S. 344 (1986).
there are limited circumstances in which a private party may
be considered to be a state actor, Plaintiff has not alleged
the Defendants conspired with the State and its agents or
that these Defendants willfully participated in joint
activity with the State and its agents. See, e.g.,
Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co.,398 U.S. 144, 150
(1970). "[A] private party's mere invocation of
state legal procedures does not constitute state
action." Youngblood v. Hy-Vee Food Stores,
Inc.,226 F.3d 851, 855 (8th Cir. 2001) (store employee,
who was not employed by the police department, was not a
state actor when employee ...