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Jenner v. Washington County

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division

November 2, 2018

LENTONIO MARCELL JENNER PLAINTIFF
v.
WASHINGTON COUNTY, ARKANSAS; CHLOE FACKLER, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Washington County; and JUDGE Y JONES, Washington County DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          TIMOTHY L. BROOKS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Lentonio Marcell Jenner filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis. Plaintiff is currently incarcerated in the Washington County Detention Center.

         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. § 1915(e)(2).

         I. BACKGROUND

         According to the allegations of the Amended Complaint (Doc. 7), Plaintiff was denied bond in violation of his rights. Plaintiff alleges that a defendant can only be denied bond if the charge is a capital offense. He asserts that the prosecutors and judge knew this, and his charge was not a capital offense.

         Plaintiff states in a page attached to the Amended Complaint that the only Defendant who should be listed is Washington County. (Doc. 7 at 8). Plaintiff states he made the mistake of "putting the persons instead of the county." Id. However, on the first page of his Amended Complaint, he has listed in the style of the case: "(Chloe Fackler & Casey Jones)-They are what made this happened." Id. at 1. He also lists Deputy Prosecutor Fackler and Judge Jones as Defendants on pages two and three of the Complaint. Id. at 2-3. When asked to name the Defendants who were involved in the incident, Plaintiff responded "Washington County, [Deputy Prosecutor] Chloe Fackler, [Judge] Casey Jones." Id. at 6. Finally, Plaintiff has indicated that he is suing the Defendants in their official capacities only. Id.

         As relief, Plaintiff is seeking "cash." Id. at 7. He also asks that the conduct at issue be brought to the attention of the individual Defendants' supervisors. Id.

         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; (2) fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or, (3) seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i-iii).

         A claim 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 Atl. 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)).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Section 1983 cannot be used to challenge the denial of a bond, which is a decision that impacts "the very fact or duration of [a state prisoner's] physical imprisonment." Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 500 (1973). Moreover, Plaintiff's claim that he was improperly denied bond as he awaited trial on a criminal charge is subject to dismissal under Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). In Heck, the Supreme Court held that a civil action for alleged civil rights violations that attacks the validity of criminal confinement, which has not been reversed, expunged, invalidated, or called into question by a federal court's issuance of a writ of habeas corpus, is not cognizable under Section 1983.[1]

         IV. CONCLUSION

         For the reasons stated, the claims asserted are subject to dismissal because they are frivolous, fail to state claims upon which relief may be granted, and are asserted against Defendants immune from suit. Therefore, this case is DISMIS ...


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