United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
O. HICKEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant Charles Black's Motion to Dismiss.
(ECF No. 18). Plaintiff has filed a response. (ECF No. 21).
The Court finds this matter ripe for consideration.
is currently an inmate in the Miller County Detention Center
(“MCDC”) in Texarkana, Arkansas. On September 12,
2018, Plaintiff filed his Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. (ECF No. 1). His application to proceed in
forma pauperis was granted the same day. (ECF No. 3). In
addition to Black, Plaintiff names Lisa Goodwin, Brian
Tribble, and Zachery White as Defendants in this lawsuit.
Black is employed by the State of Arkansas as a prosecuting
attorney in Miller County, Arkansas. Plaintiff alleges that
his constitutional rights were violated when he was
“accused…of stealing out of a business …I
didn't do it.” Plaintiff states as a result, he was
arrested and incarcerated based on charges that were
eventually nolle prossed. (ECF No. 1, pp. 4-7). In
addition, Plaintiff states that he was forced to accept three
years of probation for a crime he did not commit, was
threatened by the District Attorney with the Habitual
Offender's Act, was retaliated against by the District
Attorney's Office, and mistakenly had his parole revoked.
(ECF No. 1, pp. 15-18).
attached the Criminal Information sheet from his criminal
case signed by Defendant Black for the theft of property
charge and the supporting Affidavit of Defendant Brian
Tribble, dated June 7, 2018, to his Complaint. Plaintiff is
suing Defendant Black in his individual and official
capacities. He is seeking compensatory and punitive damages
and states that he would like Defendant Black to “[d]o
[a]way” with his probation, fines, and assessments in
Miller County. (ECF No. 1, p. 14).
Black argues in the instant Motion to Dismiss that Plaintiff
failed to state any claim against him because, as a
prosecuting attorney, he is entitled to both sovereign and
absolute immunity. In addition, he states that
Plaintiff's allegations are barred as a matter of law by
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994) and that the
Court should not exercise supplemental jurisdiction of the
state law claim of false imprisonment. (ECF No. 18).
Plaintiff filed a Response stating that “the
Fraud[u]lent Accusations of Lisa Goodwin in The Police Report
generated by Detectives Brian Tribble and Sergeant Zachary
White Insinuated felonious Activities Perpetrated by Another
Indivi[d]ual that Legally and Publicly Impugh [sic] my
char[c]ater, and stole my freedom.” (ECF No. 21).
Plaintiff does not mention Defendant Black in his Response.
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 for 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)).
“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).
alleges that Defendant Black violated his civil rights when
Defendant Black charged him with a crime he did not commit
and then, after the charges were dropped, retaliated against
him by revoking his probation.
previously stated, Defendant Black is employed by the State
of Arkansas as a prosecuting attorney in Miller County,
Arkansas. The United States Supreme Court in Imbler v.
Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409 (1976), established the absolute
immunity of a prosecutor from a civil suit for damages under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 “in initiating a prosecution and
in presenting the State's case.” Id. at
427. This immunity extends to all acts that are
“intimately associated with the judicial phase of the
criminal process.” Id. at 430; see also
Buckley v. Fitzsimmons, 509 U.S. 259 (1993) (holding
that a prosecutor acting as an advocate for the state in a
criminal prosecution is entitled to absolute immunity while a
prosecutor acting in an investigatory or administrative
capacity is only entitled to qualified immunity).
addition, “A claim for damages against a state employee
in his official capacity is barred under the Eleventh
Amendment.” Andrus Ex Rel. Andrus v. Arkansas,
197 F.3d 953, 955 (8th Cir. 1999) (citing Will v.
Michigan Dept. of State Police, 491 U.S. 58 (1989)). As
such, a state official sued in his official capacity is
protected by the sovereign immunity of the Eleventh Amendment
from all claims except equitable relief. Reynolds v.
Dormire, 636 F.3d 976, 981 (8th Cir. 2011). Based on the
allegations in his Complaint, all actions ...