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Johnston v. Rivers

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division

December 1, 2017

CHARLES K. JOHNSTON, JR. PLAINTIFF
v.
KINSEY RIVERS DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Timothy L. Brooks Judge.

         This is a civil rights case filed by the Plaintiff, Charles K. Johnston, Jr., under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and has filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis (IFP)(Doc. 2). He is currently incarcerated in the Ouachita River Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction.

         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).

         I. BACKGROUND

         According to the allegations of the Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff was on parole from the Arkansas Department of Correction. Defendant Kinsey Rivers is a Rogers, Arkansas, parole agent.

         Plaintiff alleges he left Conway, Arkansas, on or about October 1, 2016, and traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in an effort to find work and keep from becoming homeless. Plaintiff alleges that he failed to find work but was unable to return to Conway to meet with his parole officer. His failure to report led to a charge of absconding parole and the issuance of a parole violation warrant (a "white warrant").

         Plaintiff turned himself in on the parole violation warrant to the Tulsa County Jail on December 19, 2016. He was held in the David L. Moss Detention Center until his release on May 1, 2017.[1] Plaintiff alleges a detainer was lodged against him on December 20, 2016, on the parole violation. No new charges were filed against him. Plaintiff further alleges he appeared by video in court on December 22, 2016, and the presiding judge explained the extradition rules and procedures. Plaintiff states he signed a waiver of extradition. He was told by the presiding judge that she would notify the State of Arkansas parole office that Plaintiff was "ready for extradition."

         During the entire time he was incarcerated in Tulsa, Plaintiff alleges he was never contacted by the Arkansas Parole Office and told what he needed to do or how to contact his parole agent for assistance. He was not extradited back to Arkansas.

         Upon his release, Plaintiff alleges he was homeless and had no money or cell phone to make contact with anyone. Plaintiff states he walked to the public library to use the Internet to contact his "former boss" and ask for a job in Olathe, Kansas. Plaintiff alleges his former boss provided him with a one-way bus ticket to Kansas City, Kansas.

         On or around June 21, 2017, Plaintiff alleges the Olathe, Kansas, Police Department arrested him on the same parole violation warrant. Plaintiff states he refused to sign the extradition papers and was unwillingly extradited to Arkansas. Plaintiff states he was transported by probation/parole officers to the Benton County Detention Center on or about June 22, 2017.

         Plaintiffs parole revocation hearing was held on August 17, 2017, with the Honorable Lisa M. Wilkins presiding. According to Plaintiff, at his hearing, Kinsey Rivers perjured herself by testifying that the Tulsa detention center had failed to notify the Arkansas parole office of Plaintiff's incarceration and ultimate release. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant also drafted a typed statement in which she stated that the parole office was unaware that Plaintiff was being held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, until after his release when they were notified the parole hold had been withdrawn by the judge. At the time, Plaintiff had already been released from incarceration.

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages. He also asks that the "rest" of his parole be terminated.

         II. DISCUSSION

         Under 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 Ml. 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 ...


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