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Reed v. Faulkner County Sheriff's Office

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division

February 23, 2018

SIMON ERIC REED PLAINTIFF
v.
FAULKNER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, et al. DEFENDANTS

          RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

         I. Procedure for Filing Objections

         This Recommended Disposition (“Recommendation”) has been sent to Judge D.P. Marshall Jr. You may file written objections to this Recommendation. If you file objections, they must be specific and must include the factual or legal basis for your objection.

         Your objections must be received in the office of the Court Clerk within 14 days of the date this Recommendation is filed. If no objections are filed, Judge Marshall can adopt this Recommendation without independently reviewing the record. By not objecting, you may also waive any right to appeal questions of fact.

         II. Discussion

         A. Background

         Simon Eric Reed, a pre-trial detainee at the Faulkner County Detention Center (“Detention Center”), filed this lawsuit without the help of a lawyer under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Docket entry #2) Because Mr. Reed's original complaint was flawed, he was given an opportunity to amend his complaint to remedy the defects identified by the Court. (#5) Mr. Reed has now filed his amended complaint. (#8)

         B. Analysis

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) requires federal courts to screen prisoner complaints that seek relief against a governmental entity, officer, or employee before ordering service of process. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss claims that are legally frivolous or malicious; that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). When making this determination, a court must accept the truth of the factual allegations set out in the complaint, and it may consider the documents attached to the complaint. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Reynolds v. Dormire, 636 F.3d 976, 979 (8th Cir. 2011).

         1. Faulkner County Sheriff's Office and Faulkner County Detention Center In his original complaint, Mr. Reed named the Faulkner County Sheriff's Office and the Faulkner County Detention Center as Defendants. As previously explained to Mr. Reed, these Defendants are not entities that can be sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See, e.g., Ketchum v. City of West Memphis, 974 F.2d 81, 82 (8th Cir. 1992) (police department is not an entity “suable as such”); Dean v. Barber, 951 F.2d 1210, 1214 (11th Cir. 1992) (“Sheriff's departments and police departments are not usually considered legal entities subject to suit” under § 1983); Martinez v. Winner, 771 F.2d 424, 444 (10th Cir. 1985) (the police department is not a separate suable entity); and Owens v. Scott County Jail, 328 F.3d 1026, 1027 (8th Cir. 2003) (“jails are not legal entities amenable to suit”).

         2. Defendants Ferguson and Fletcher

         In his motion for the Court to accept the amendments to his complaint (#9), Mr. Reed asks to dismiss claims against Defendants Ferguson and Fletcher. Thus, Mr. Reed's claims against those Defendants should be dismissed, without prejudice.

         3. Abstention

         In his original and amended complaints, Mr. Reed claims that officers who arrested him in November 2017, violated his fourth amendment rights by arresting him following a traffic stop. He further claims that he was denied a lawyer for thirty-three days, in violation of his sixth amendment right to counsel; that he was denied a “reasonable cause hearing” in his state court criminal case; that he was charged by felony information rather by indictment, in violation of his due process rights; and that he has not been afforded a bond hearing or a suppression hearing in his state-court criminal case.

         The Court has reviewed Mr. Reed's state-court criminal case, State v. Reed, Faulkner County Circuit Court No. 23CR-17-1194.[1] The docket sheet in that case indicates that, on November 15, 2017, Mr. Reed was arrested following a traffic stop. On November 17, by felony information, Mr. Reed was charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. On the same date, Mr. Reed was brought before the Faulkner County Circuit Court for an initial appearance. At that hearing, the circuit ...


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