United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
OPINION AND ORDER
TIMOTIW L. BROOKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Lentonio M. Jenner, filed this civil rights action pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He proceeds pro se and
in forma pauperis ("IFP"). The case is
before the Court for pre-service screening pursuant to the
Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"). The 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 claims 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).
is incarcerated in the Washington County Detention Center. He
filed this action against the prosecuting attorney, Chloe
Fackler, who was present at his bond hearing; the supervising
prosecuting attorney, Matt Durrett; and the presiding judge,
Judge Casey Jones.
to the allegations of the Complaint (Doc. 1), at Plaintiffs
bond hearing, Prosecutor Fackler requested that Plaintiff be
held without bond. Judge Jones agreed and ruled that
Plaintiff should be held without bond. Plaintiff now
maintains that he is entitled to be released on bond because
he is not charged with a capital crime.
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
has asserted no plausible claims. First, the prosecuting
attorneys, Chloe Fackler and Matt Durrett, are 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);
Brodnicki v. City of Omaha, 75 F.3d 1261 (8th Cir.
extent Plaintiff is requesting 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).
Generally, adequate legal remedies exist through the use of
state procedural safeguards and state and federal habeas
corpus proceedings. Rogers v. Bruntrager, 841 F.2d
853, 856 (8th Cir. 1988). Under Arkansas law, a defendant may
appeal a denial of bail by filing a writ of certiorari.
See, e.g., Larimore v. State, 3 S.W.3d 680, 682
(Ark. 1999). This provides the Plaintiff with an adequate
Casey Jones is also immune from suit. Mireles v.
Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11 (1991) ("Judicial immunity is
an immunity from suit, not just from ultimate assessment of
damages"). "Judges performing judicial functions
enjoy absolute immunity from § 1983 liability."
Robinson v. Freeze, 15 F.3d 107, 108 (8th Cir.
1994). "A judge will not be deprived of immunity because
the action he took was in error, was done maliciously, or was
in excess of his authority." Stump v. Sparkman,
435 U.S. 349, 356-57 (1978).
immunity is overcome in two situations: (1) if the challenged
act is nonjudicial; and, (2) if the action, although judicial
in nature, was taken in the complete absence of all
jurisdiction. Mireles, 502 U.S. at 11. It is clear
from the allegations of the Complaint that neither situation
1983 precludes injunctive relief against a judicial officer
"for an act or omission taken in such officer's
judicial capacity . . . unless a declaratory decree was
violated or declaratory relief was unavailable." 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff does not allege that either of
these prerequisites for injunctive relief are met. Thus, to
the extent Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, his claims are
subject to dismissal.
reasons stated, the claims asserted are subject to dismissal
because they are frivolous, fail to state claims upon which
relief may be granted, or are against Defendants immune from
suit. Therefore, this case is DISMISSE ...