United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division
PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
following Proposed Findings and Recommendation have been sent
to United States District D.P. Marshall Jr. You may file
written objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If
you do so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain
the factual and/or legal basis for your objection; and (2) be
received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days
of this Recommendation. By not objecting, you may waive the
right to appeal questions of fact.
Charles David Earwood, currently in custody at the Crittenden
County Detention Center, filed a pro se Complaint
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on September 27, 2018.
(Doc. No. 1). He later filed a motion to proceed in forma
pauperis (“IFP”), which was granted. (Doc.
Nos. 3, 4).
Earwood's Complaint contained unrelated and legally
distinct claims based on wholly separate incidents, the Court
directed Earwood to file an amended complaint describing only
one factually related incident or issue. (Doc. No. 4).
Earwood filed his Amended Complaint on October 24, 2018.
(Doc. No. 8).
docketing the complaint, or as soon thereafter as
practicable, the Court must review the complaint to identify
cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint if it: (1) is
frivolous or malicious; (2) fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted; or (3) seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915A. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2)
requires only “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” In
Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
555 (2007) (overruling Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41
(1957), and setting new standard for failure to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted), the court stated, “a
plaintiff's obligation to provide the ‘grounds'
of his ‘entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than
labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do....Factual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above
the speculative level, ” citing 5 C. Wright
& A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1216,
pp. 235-236 (3d ed. 2004). A complaint must contain enough
facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face, not merely conceivable. Twombly at 570.
However, a pro se plaintiff's allegations must
be construed liberally. Burke v. North Dakota Dept. of
Corr. & Rehab., 294 F.3d 1043, 1043-1044 (8th
Cir.2002) (citations omitted).
case arises out of Earwood's arrest and continued
detention. (Doc. Nos. 1, 8). According to Earwood, the
warrant pursuant to which he was arrested was based on
conduct that took place in 2009. (Doc. No. 1, at 1; Doc. No.
8, at 1). He maintains that the statute of limitations on the
alleged criminal offense expired long before he was taken
into custody. (Doc. No. 1, at 1; Doc. No. 8, at 1). He
further maintains that Defendants Dianne Kelley, Phillip
Morris Kelley, Gary Kelley, and Dennis Barns worked together
to achieve his allegedly unlawful arrest. (Doc. No. 8, at 5).
Earwood complains that after his arrest he has lived in a
state of anxiety, and “that even though innocent, he
may be found guilty.” (Doc. No. 8, at 6). He also
alleges that he is beaten when he goes outside of his cell
because of his relation to Circuit Court Judge John Fogleman
and Chief of Police Gary Kelley, as well as making a medical
claim. (Doc. No. 8, at 6-7). Finally, although not entirely
clear from a reading of the amended complaint, Earwood
complains about the medical care provided to him and his
conditions of confinement. He seeks damages, among other
relief. (Doc. No. 8, at 7-8).
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows a plaintiff to
proceed against multiple defendants when the claims against
them arise out of the same series of occurrences and present
questions of law or fact common to all defendants.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 20; Mosley v. Gen. Motors Corp., 497
F.2d 1330, 1333 (8th Cir. 1974). To the extent Earwood makes
claims based on conditions of confinement and his medical
care, those claims do not arise out of the same occurrences
as his allegedly unlawful arrest and detention, or present
questions of law or fact common to all defendants.
Accordingly, those claims should be dismissed.
criminal charges are pending in state court. (See
Doc. No. 8, at 6). In Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S.
37, 43-45 (1971), the Supreme Court held that federal courts
should abstain from interfering in ongoing state proceedings.
The Court explained the rationale for such abstention as
[The concept of federalism] represent[s] . . . a system in
which there is sensitivity to the legitimate interests of
both State and National Governments, and in which the
National Government, anxious though it may be to vindicate
and protect federal rights and federal interests, always
endeavors to do so in ways that will not unduly interfere
with the legitimate activities of the States.
Id. at 44.
a federal court must abstain from entertaining constitutional
claims when: (1) there is an ongoing state judicial
proceeding; (2) the state proceeding implicates important
state interests; and (3) there is an adequate opportunity in
the state proceedings to raise the constitutional challenges.
YamahaMotor Corp. v. Stroud, 179 F.3d 598,
602 (8th Cir. 1999); Yamaha Motor Corp. v. Riney, 21
F.3d 793, 797 (8th Cir. 1994). If all three questions are
answered affirmatively, a federal court should abstain unless
it detects “bad faith, harassment, or some other