United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
BARRY A. BRYANT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a civil rights action provisionally filed pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1) and (3)(2011), the Honorable Susan O.
Hickey, United States District Judge, referred this case to
the undersigned for the purpose of making a Report and
before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's false
arrest and imprisonment claim by Defendants Avant, Bethel,
and Collier. (ECF No. 37).
filed his Complaint on January 22, 2016. (ECF No. 1). On
August 24, 2016, the Court entered an Amended preservice
screening Report and Recommendation (ECF No. 12), which was
adopted on September 13, 2016. (ECF No. 18). Plaintiff's
claim for false arrest and imprisonment against Defendants
Collier, Bethel, Watson, Forga, Avant, Morrison, Cain, and
Whitworth survived preservice screening.
September 22, 2016, Defendants Avant, Bethel, and Collier
filed a Motion to Stay the case because Plaintiff's
pending criminal trial stemmed from the same drug arrest in
July 2014 which gave rise to this case. (ECF Nos. 25, 26). At
the time of the motion, the criminal trial had been continued
several times due to Plaintiff's unfitness to stand
trial. (ECF No. 25). This Motion was granted on October 28,
2016. (ECF No. 30). On November 20, 2017, Defendants Avant,
Bethel, and Collier filed a Motion to lift the stay. (ECF No.
33). This Motion was granted on November 28, 2017. (ECF No.
November 29, 2017, Defendants Avant, Bethel, and Collier
filed a Motion to Dismiss the false arrest and imprisonment
claim against them based on the outcome of Plaintiff's
criminal trial in State v. John Dunn, Clark County
Circuit Court, CR-2014-63. (ECF Nos. 37; 38 at 4). On March
7, 2018, the Court entered an Order directing Plaintiff to
Respond to the Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 45). Plaintiff did
so on March 23, 2018. (ECF No. 46).
8(a) contains the general pleading rules and requires a
complaint to present “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “In order to meet
this standard, and survive a motion to dismiss under Rule
12(b)(6), ‘a complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Braden v. Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc., 588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009) (quoting
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(internal quotations omitted)). “A claim has facial
plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678. While the Court will
liberally construe a pro se plaintiff's
complaint, the plaintiff must allege sufficient facts to
support his claims. See Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d
912, 914 (8th Cir. 2004).
argue Plaintiff's false arrest and imprisonment claim
against them is barred by the Heck doctrine because
he was found guilty of all charges in his state case,
State v. John Dunn, Clark County Circuit Court,
CR-2014-63. (ECF No. 38).
response consisted of two climatological tables for July
2014, a document labelled “Release of Employment
Information” stating he has held a secret security
clearance, and his signed release of health information for
this case. (ECF No. 46). His response did not address the
issues raised in the Motion.
United States Supreme Court's ruling in Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994) bars Plaintiff's
§ 1983 claims for false arrest and imprisonment. In
Heck, the Court explained:
We hold that, in order to recover damages for allegedly
unconstitutional conviction or imprisonment, or for other
harm caused by actions whose unlawfulness would render a
conviction or sentence invalid, a § 1983 plaintiff must
prove that the conviction or sentence has been reversed on
direct appeal, expunged by executive order, declared invalid
by a state tribunal authorized to make such determination, or