United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division
VINCENT H. SMALL PLAINTIFF
SHERIFF RON BROWN, Crawford County, Arkansas; and MARC MCCUNE, Prosecuting Attorney DEFENDANTS
HOLMES, III CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Vincent H. Small, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§1983. He proceeds pro se and has filed an
application to proceed in forma pauperis. The case
is before the Court for preservice screening under the
provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA).
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court has the
obligation to screen any complaint in which a prisoner seeks
redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of
a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
to the allegations of the complaint (ECF No. 1), Plaintiff
was incarcerated in the State of Oklahoma in 2016. Plaintiff
alleges that on April 21, 2016, Crawford County was notified
of his imprisonment in Oklahoma, but that Crawford County did
not lodge a detainer against him until April 1, 2017.
alleges his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial was
violated by Defendants. Further, he alleges his Fourteenth
Amendment Due Process rights were violated. Finally, he
alleges Rule 29 of the Arkansas Rules of Criminal Procedure
names as Defendants the Crawford County Sheriff, Ron Brown,
and prosecuting attorney, Mark McCune. He has sued them in
their official capacities only.
is currently incarcerated in the Crawford County Detention
Center. As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages,
release from custody, and dismissal of the charges against
the 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:
(1) are frivolous, malicious, or fail to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted; or, (2) seek monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C.
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)).
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, a 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).
claims are subject to dismissal for a number of reasons.
First, the prosecuting attorney, Mark McCune, 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., 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).
Plaintiff's request for injunctive relief, prosecutors
are not immune from claims for equitable relief. Supreme
Court v. Consumers Union, 446 U.S. 719, 736-38 (1980).
However, “[t]he federal courts should not interfere in
state criminal court proceedings [by granting equitable
relief] when state and federal law provide adequate legal
remedies and when intervention needlessly threatens the
principle of comity.” Smith v. Bacon, 699 F.2d
434, 437 (8th Cir. 1983) (per curiam) (citation omitted).
Here, adequate legal remedies exist ...