United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division
HOLMES, III 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 January 8, 2019. (ECF No. 1). He
alleges his constitutional rights were violated when he was
wrongfully accused of three (3) counts of rape. (Id.
at 4). Plaintiff proceeds against all Defendants in their
official and personal capacity. (Id. at 4, 5).
Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages. He further
seeks dismissal of all charges and the bonds against him.
(Id. at 6).
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).
State of Arkansas
claim against the State of Arkansas is subject to dismissal.
States and state agencies are not “persons”
subject to suit under § 1983. Howlett v. Rose,
496 U.S. 356 (1990); Will v. Mich. Dept. of State
Police, 491 U.S. 58 (1989); McLean v. Gordon,
548 F.3d 613, 618 (8th Cir. 2008).
prosecuting attorney, Defendant Johnson is immune from suit.
A prosecutor is absolutely immune from suit for any conduct
undertaken in his or her role as advocate for the state.
Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409 (1976). Absolute
prosecutorial immunity protects the prosecutor as a key
participant in the criminal justice process, such that the
prosecutor need not be inhibited from performing his or her
functions by a constant fear of retaliation. Id. at
428. This is true no matter the underlying motive of the
prosecutor or the propriety of the actions taken. Myers
v. Morris, 810 F.2d. 1437, 1446 (8th Cir. 1987) (finding
that allegations that a prosecutor proceeded with a
prosecution based on an improper motive did not defeat
absolute prosecutorial immunity); Schenk v. Chavis,
461 F.3d 1043, 1046 (8th Cir. 2006) (“Actions connected
with initiation of prosecution, even if those actions are
patently improper are immunized.” (internal quotation
extent Plaintiff's allegations can be interpreted as a
claim of ineffective assistance of counsel against Defendant
Barr, his appointed public defender, it is subject to
dismissal. To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff
must allege that the defendant, while acting under color of
state law, deprived him of a federal right. In Polk
County v. Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 325 (1981), the Supreme
Court held that a public defender does not act under color of
state law when performing a lawyer's traditional
functions as counsel to indigent defendants in state criminal
proceedings. Thus, when the claim is merely that the public
defender failed to adequately represent the client in his
criminal proceedings, it does not state a cognizable claim