United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
BASIL ABDUL RASHEED, JR. PLAINTIFF
CITY OF TEXARKANA, ARKANSAS, DEFENDANTS
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
this Court is the Motion to Dismiss filed herein by
Defendants Sheriff Jackie Runion (“Runion”) and
Warden Jeffie Walker (“Walker”). ECF No. 28.
Plaintiff filed a response to this motion. ECF No. 34.
Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and
(3) (2005), the Honorable P. K. Holmes, III referred this
motion to this Court for the purpose of making a report and
recommendation. On January 10, 2018, a hearing was held on
this Motion. All Defendants appeared through counsel.
Plaintiff, who is proceeding pro se, also appeared.
The Court, having reviewed the parties' arguments and
briefing, recommends the Motion To Dismiss (ECF No. 28) of
Runion and Walker be GRANTED.
17, 2017, Plaintiff filed a pro se Complaint against
several parties. ECF No. 1. Plaintiff's claims relate to
a traffic stop involving his son, Demetrius Stanley. The
limited facts alleged in the Complaint state that on March
27, 2016, Co-Defendant Jones arrested the Plaintiff's
son, Demetrius Stanley. ECF No. 1. This arrest followed a
traffic stop conducted by Co-Defendant Officer Freeman for
expired car registration. Id. Following the stop, it
was confirmed that Demetrius Stanley had an outstanding
warrant for a parole violation out of Bowie County, Texas.
Id. The traffic stop and arrest occurred at the
intersection of St. Michael Drive and State Line Avenue in
Texarkana, Texas. Id. Plaintiff's Complaint
makes no allegation he was present during the traffic stop
and arrest on March 27, 2016. Additionally, Plaintiff, at the
hearing held on January 10, 2018, acknowledged he was not
present at the time of the traffic stop and arrest of
appears to make a claim against only these two defendants
alleging he is unable to send mail to his son while
incarcerated in the Miller County Arkansas Jail.
Runion and Walker filed a Motion to Dismiss under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) for lack of standing, 12(b)(6) for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted,
and based on qualified immunity for Runion and Walker. ECF.
No. 28. Plaintiff responded to this motion. ECF No. 34.
Because this court finds Plaintiff lacks standing under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) to bring this suit, and because of
qualified immunity, only these grounds will be addressed in
the Report and Recommendation.
the Plaintiff was proceeding pro se, the Court has
liberally construed his complaint. However, the Plaintiff
must still allege sufficient facts to support his claims.
See Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th Cir.
is a necessary component of the jurisdiction of an Article
III court, which exists to resolve cases or controversies.
Broadrick v. Oklahoma, 413 U.S. 601, 93 S.Ct. 2908,
37 L.Ed.2d 830 (1973). If a Plaintiff lacks standing, the
district court has no subject matter jurisdiction.
Friedmann v. Sheldon Cmty. Sch. Dist., 995 F.2d 802,
804 (8th Cir.1993). To establish standing, the Plaintiff must
demonstrate: (1) he suffered an injury in fact which is (a)
concrete and particularized and (b) actual and imminent; (2)
a causal connection between the conduct complained of and the
alleged injury; and, (3) it must be likely, as opposed to
speculative, that the injury will be redressed by a favorable
decision. Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S.
555, 560- 561 (1992).
Plaintiff's claims relate to a traffic stop involving his
son, Demetrius Stanley. Plaintiff was not involved, nor even
present, at the time of the traffic stop. Plaintiff's
Complaint makes no allegation showing he was in any way
stopped, detained, touched, arrested or effected in any way
by the traffic stop which occurred on March 27, 2106.
Plaintiff has not pled a single contact with Runion or Walker
related to the March 27, 2016 traffic stop. Plaintiff's
position at the hearing on this Motion was simply that he
“had the right to defend his son.” Plaintiff has
failed to allege any injury he suffered related to the March
27, 2016 traffic stop.
this Court finds Plaintiff lacks standing to bring this
action and, consequently the Court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction to entertain Plaintiff's claims as it
relates to the traffic stop which occurred on March 27, 2016.
also seems to allege he is unable to send mail to his son
while he is being held at the Miller County Arkansas Jail.
During the hearing, Plaintiff stated he was not able to send
mail in an envelope, but was allowed to send post cards to
his son. Even assuming Plaintiff has standing to bring this
claim, Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity.
immunity serves to shield a governmental official from
prosecution and liability based on the performance of
discretionary duties. Government officials are immune from
civil rights claims brought under § 1983 if “their
conduct does not violate clearly established rights of which
a reasonably objective party would have known.”
Harlow v. Fitzgeral, 457 U.S. 800, 818 (1882).
Recently, the Eighth Circuit has held a postcard-only
incoming-mail policy is constitutional. Simpson v. County
of Cape Girardeau, 2018 WL 258744 (8th Cir.
Jan. 2, 2018) Accordingly, Defendants Runion and Walker have
not violated any clearly established constitutional right by
requiring incoming mail to be on post cards. To the contrary,
this policy is clearly constitutional.