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, Richard Patrick
Horton, under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma
pauperis ("IFP"). He is currently incarcerated
in the Benton County Detention Center ("BCDC"). The
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), on January 16,
2017, the Plaintiff bonded out of the BCDC. He was arrested
on January 18, 2017, in Benton County, on failure to appear
charges arising out of Pulaski County, and was transported
there. On February 7, 2017, Plaintiff alleges that he was in
the process of bonding out, with his bondsman actually at the
Pulaski County Jail, when Defendant Simer, a Benton County
Deputy, arrived to transport him back to the BCDC on a
"pick up" order. Plaintiff alleges he asked the
officers if they were refusing to allow him to bond out. In
response, Plaintiff states he was told by both Defendant
Simer and the Pulaski County transport deputy, that he could
not bond out and had to be transported to the BCDC.
they arrived at the BCDC, Plaintiff alleges he immediately
confronted Defendant Cogdill asking why he had been
transported there, under whose authority, and what probable
cause existed. Defendant Cogdill replied that a pick up order
had been issued by Judge Green. Since he was technically free
on bond on his Benton County charges, Plaintiff alleges he
asked Defendant Cogdill who had initiated the pick up order.
According to Plaintiff, Defendant Cogdill implied that the
Benton County Sheriffs Office had initiated it since
Plaintiff had "trouble showing up to court." When
Plaintiff asked about being released since his bond had been
paid in Pulaski County, Plaintiff states he was told that he
had to remain in jail until his court appearance on February
Plaintiff returned from court on February 9, 2017, he asked
Defendant Guenther if he was going to be transported back to
Pulaski County. Plaintiff alleges Defendant Guenther advised
him that he was being held on an Arkansas Department of
Correction ("ADC") hold. Plaintiff alleges he told
Defendant Guenther that it was not possible because he was
not on probation or parole and had not been in the ADC since
February 10, 2017, Plaintiff submitted a grievance regarding
having been picked up from Pulaski County. Defendant Holt
responded saying the prosecuting attorney's office had
received a pick up order signed by a judge. That same day,
Plaintiff submitted a request to the transport division
asking if he was going to be taken back to Pulaski County.
Defendant Johnston responded that Plaintiff would go back as
soon as possible, but not that weekend. (Doc. 9, p 1).
submitted another request to the transport division on
February 10, 2017, stating that he had been told he was being
held on an ADC hold but had not been in the ADC since 1992.
Id. Defendant Johnston replied that the ADC hold was
in error and had been corrected. Id. Plaintiff then
alleges that the Defendants allowed him to remain
incarcerated from February 7, 2017, until February 14, 2017.
Plaintiff maintains their actions deprived him of his
freedom. As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive
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). The Court
bears in mind, however, 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. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
claims against the transport deputies, Defendant Simer and
the John Doe Transport Deputy (Pulaski County), are subject
to dismissal. The deputies believed their actions were based
on a pick up order entered by Judge Green.
Baker v. McCollan, 443 U.S. 137 (1979), the Supreme
The Fourteenth Amendment does not protect against all
deprivations of liberty. It protects only against
deprivations of liberty accomplished "without due
process of law." A reasonable division of functions
between law enforcement officers, committing magistrates, and
judicial officers-all of whom may be potential defendants in
a § 1983 action-is entirely consistent with "due
process of law."
Id. at 145-46. Unless an officer has reason to
question the validity of a court order, he may take action in
reliance on it. Rogers v. Bruntrager,841 F.2d 853,
856 (8th Cir. 1988) (officials are entitled to quasi-judicial
immunity for "acts they are specifically required to do
under court order or at a judge's discretion");
Henry v. Farmer City State Bank,808 F.2d 1228,
1238-39 (7th Cir. 1986) (non-judicial officials have absolute
immunity in executing a facially valid court order); cf.,
Malley v. Briggs,475 U.S. 335 (1986) (officer cannot
rely on a search warrant to shield himself from liability if
he knows the warrant is invalid). Plaintiff makes no