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Patton v. Glover

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division

March 8, 2019

RICHARD PATTON PLAINTIFF
v.
PHILLIP GLOVER, WALTER WHITE and ARKANSAS COMMUNITY CORRECTION DEFENDANTS

          MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          HON. BARRY A. BRYANT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff proceeds in this matter pro se and in forma pauperis pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and (3)(2011), the Honorable Robert T. Dawson, United States District Judge, referred this case to the undersigned for the purpose of making a Report and Recommendation.

         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. § 1915A(a).

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed his Complaint on December 3, 2018. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff alleges his constitutional rights were violated while he was serving a one hundred and eighty (180) day sanction sentence in the Arkansas Community Correction (ACC) Omega Supervision Sanction Center. (Id. at 4). He alleges Defendant Glover and Defendant White intentionally submitted false documentation and statements to the Arkansas Parole Board recommending his parole be revoked. Based on these false representations, Plaintiff was arrested and imprisoned. (Id. at 5-7). Plaintiff alleges he was denied the right to be represented by counsel[1] at the parole revocation hearing, and therefore his evidence was disregarded. (Id. at 5-6). Instead, the Parole Board relied upon the false evidence and statements. As a result, Plaintiff's parole was revoked. (Id. at 5-7). He is currently incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of Correction North Central Unit. (Id. at 2). Plaintiff further alleges “the Arkansas Parole Board was used as a weapon in a hate crime committed against me for filing a complaint about a threat made to me from members of the Aryan Brotherhood.” (Id. at 6). Plaintiff provided copies of ACC Complaint and Grievance Forms concerning the Aryan Brotherhood threat and his concerns with his parole revocation hearing. (Id. at 21-42).

         Plaintiff proceeds against all Defendants in their official and personal capacity. (Id. 5-7). He seeks punitive damages, to have his parole revocation overturned, and to resume parole supervision. (Id. at 17).

         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, 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. § 1915A(b).

         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 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).

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. Arkansas Community Correction

         Plaintiff's claims against the ACC are 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).

         B. Official Capacity Claims

         Plaintiff's official capacity claims against Defendants Glover and White are subject to dismissal. An official capacity claim against an ACC employee is essentially a claim against the State of Arkansas. “The Eleventh Amendment bars suits against a State by citizens of that same State in federal court.” Williams v. Missouri,973 F.2d 599, 599-600 (8th Cir. 1992) (citing Papasan v. Allain,478 U.S. 265, 276 (1986)). “This bar exists whether the relief sought is legal or equitable.” Id. (quoting Papasan, 478 U.S. at 276). “Congress did not abrogate constitutional sovereign immunity when enacting the law that was to become section 1983.” Burk v. ...


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