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 July 10, 2018. (ECF No. 1). His
Complaint centers on his treatment by Hot Springs police
officers after he was involved in a traffic accident
resulting in the death of a motorcyclist on April 19, 2018.
(ECF No. 1 at 6). Plaintiff alleges Defendant Lowry denied
him due process because he did not list witnesses on the
accident report. (Id.). He alleges Defendants Lowry
and Stone falsely imprisoned him when they locked him in the
back of the patrol car with no probable cause or
alleges he was then taken to St. Vincent Hospital, where the
officers falsely told the emergency room staff that he was
there to voluntarily give a blood sample. Plaintiff denied
that he was there voluntarily and attempted to leave the
hospital to pray at the crash site for the victim. He alleges
he was handcuffed and prevented from leaving, thereby denying
him his right to religious freedom. (Id. at 7). He
alleges Defendant Stone told him he would take the handcuffs
off if he gave blood voluntarily. When he removed the
handcuffs, Plaintiff tried to leave, and Stone and his
partner blocked his path. Defendant Stone's female
partner called someone and asked what they should do with
him, as he was trying to leave. She then hung up the phone
and told Defendant Stone to arrest him for driving on a
suspended license. He was then handcuffed again.
(Id. at 7).
40-minute wait, Defendant Jessup arrived with a fake search
warrant for his blood, thereby violating Plaintiff's
rights with a false swearing. (Id. at 7). The
hospital would not draw his blood based on the warrant,
requiring Plaintiff's consent. Defendant Stone then told
the nurse Plaintiff was a “scumbag, ” violating
Plaintiff's rights by humiliating him. The hospital
continued its refusal to draw his blood. (Id. at 7).
was then taken to the National Park Medical Center, where he
was pulled out of the car and thrown onto the concrete while
still handcuffed. Plaintiff alleges this use of excessive
force against him violated his rights. He was placed in a
wheelchair and pushed into the emergency room at the Medical
Center, where he again refused to give a blood sample. The
medical staff at National Park Medical Center also refused to
take a blood sample from him. (Id. at 8).
was then transported to the Garland County Detention Center,
where Defendant Stone wrote a citation for driving on a
suspended license. Plaintiff alleges the events of the night
resulted in him suffering emotional distress. (Id.
Complaint is silent as to the capacity in which he is suing
the Defendants. He seeks punitive damages. (Id. at
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).
plaintiff who wishes to sue a state official in his personal
capacity must so specify in her complaint. If a
plaintiff's complaint is silent about the capacity in
which she is suing the defendant, we interpret the complaint
as including only official-capacity claims.”
Egerdahl v. Hibbing Cmty. College, 72 F.3d 615, 619