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Franklin v. Ramey

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division

May 31, 2018

RICKY LEE FRANKLIN PLAINTIFF
v.
JERRY DON RAMEY, Scott County Circuit Judge; TINA MARTIN, Scott County Probation Officer; JAKE PENNINGTON, Scott County Probation Officer; BILLY CORNAHAN, Scott County Deputy Sheriff; DARELL PYLES; MARCUS VADEN; TOM TATEM;[1] JOHN DOES; JERRY RYAN, Scott County District Judge DEFENDANTS

          ORDER

          P. K. HOLMES, III CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         The 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).

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed his Complaint on October 5, 2017, in the Eastern District of Arkansas. (ECF No. 2). It was transferred to this District on March 27, 2018. (ECF No. 3). On March 29, 2018, the Court entered an Order directing Plaintiff to file an Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 7). Plaintiff filed his Amended Complaint on April 16, 2018. (ECF No. 10).

         Plaintiff's allegations arise from a search of his premises by probation officers and Scott County Sheriff's deputies on February 27, 2014, his subsequent prosecution for burglary and theft in November 2014, and his sentencing in December of 2014. (ECF No. 10).[2]

         Plaintiff alleges Judge Ramey, on December 2, 2014, violated his double jeopardy rights when he sentenced him twice for one burglary. Plaintiff alleges he was sentenced to pay $3, 900.00 in restitution when the amount, by law, should have been $90.00. He further alleges he was charged restitution for the theft charge, which was dismissed. (ECF No. 10 at 4).

         Plaintiff alleges Defendant Tatum, a prosecutor, filed a “false police report” which charged him with burglary, theft, and a probation violation. (ECF No. 10 at 3, 5). Plaintiff alleges Tatum “pressed the issue” of restitution, forcing Plaintiff to pay excessive restitution. (ECF No. 10 at 5).

         Plaintiff alleges Defendants Martin and Pennington allowed the Sheriff's deputies to “use [their] authority” as probation officers to permit the police to search for evidence when there was no probable cause for a search. (ECF No. 10 at 5-6).

         Plaintiff alleges Defendants Pyles and Cornahan “used the authority of probation officers” to enter Plaintiff's premises without probable cause. Plaintiff alleges Pyles found two propane bottles and promptly arrested him without explaining why or reading him his rights. (ECF No. 10 at 6).

         Plaintiff alleges Judge Ryan knowingly and willfully signed an invalid “fake search warrant for Defendant Pyles to help cover up a[n] illegal search.” (ECF No. 10 at 7). Plaintiff alleges the search occurred at 9:30 a.m. on February 27, 2014, and Judge Ryan signed the search warrant at 2:38 p.m. the same day.

         Plaintiff alleges Defendant Vaden, the Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, filed a “false police report” which charged him with burglary, theft, and a probation violation. He further alleges Vaden “pressed the issue” of restitution, forcing Plaintiff to pay excessive restitution. (ECF No. 10 at 8).

         Plaintiff proceeds against Defendants in their personal and official capacities for all claims. (ECF No. 10 at 11-13). Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages. (ECF No. 10 at 14). Plaintiff also asks that all property taken from him be returned, his vehicle be repaired, the charges be dismissed, and the restitution payments be stopped or stayed. (ECF No. 10 at 14).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Under 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 ...


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