United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
HOLMES, III CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
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).
filed his Complaint on March 6, 2018. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff
was directed to file an Amended Complaint, and did so on
March 21, 2018. (ECF No. 8).
Claim One, Plaintiff alleges Defendants Daniel, Russell, and
Giels “worked together decietfully [sic] to have me
falsely arrested then framed me for a theft that did not
happen to wrongfully convict me.” Plaintiff alleges
this occurred between April 17, 2017 and June 21, 2017. (ECF
No. 8 at 4). Plaintiff alleges “the 2 detectives lied
to Memphis authorities saying that they had my fingerprints
from a store to get me across the Arkansas state line,
” and then brought a warrant against him for a theft at
Southfork Truck Stop “that did not happen.” (ECF
No. 8 at 4).
Claim Two. Plaintiff alleges the Clark County Prosecutor,
Blake Badston, “gave me a 75 thousand dollar bond . . .
to make sure I couldn't get out while they framed me on
the made up theft of 17 thousand dollar theft from Southfork
Truck Stop.” (ECF No. 8 at 5).
claims arise out of the same criminal case. Plaintiff states
that he was convicted of the crime alleged and sentenced to
two 30-year sentences and one 15-year sentence, for which he
is still incarcerated. (ECF No. 8 at 4).
proceeds against all Defendants in their official and
personal capacities. (ECF No. 8 at 4, 5). Plaintiff seeks
punitive damages and injunctive relief. (ECF No. 8 at 7).
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) seeks 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)). Even a
pro se Plaintiff must allege specific facts
sufficient to support a claim. Martin v. Sargent,
780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985).
claims against Clark County Prosecutor Badston are subject to
dismissal. 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). Based on the allegations of the
complaint, it is clear Defendant Badston was acting as the
prosecuting attorney at all times alleged in the complaint.
Accordingly Defendant Badston is entitled to absolute
immunity. See also Brodnicki v. City of Omaha, 75
F.3d 1261 (8th Cir. 1996) (County prosecutors were entitled
to absolute immunity from suit).
all of Plaintiff's are barred by the Heck
doctrine. In Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 114
S.Ct. 2364, 129 L.Ed.2d 383 (1994), the Supreme Court held
that a claim for damages for "allegedly unconstitutional
conviction or imprisonment, or for other harm caused by
actions whose unlawfulness would render a conviction or
sentence invalid" is not cognizable until “the
conviction or sentence has been reversed on direct appeal,
expunged by executive order, declared invalid by a state
tribunal authorized to make such a determination, or called
into question by a federal court's issuance of a writ of
habeas corpus." Heck, 512 U.S. 486-87. The
Court noted that if a successful claim would not demonstrate
the invalidity of an outstanding criminal judgment, it should
be allowed to proceed. The Heck doctrine has ...