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Hildebrand v. Kugler

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division

March 21, 2019

THEOTIS HILDEBRAND PLAINTIFF
v.
LT. PAUL KUGLER, Jail Administrator; CORPORAL MARLOE; LT. STEVEN GREEN; CAPTAIN MITCHAM; RICKY ROBERTS, Sheriff, Union County; MIKE LOFTIN, County Judge; FRANK HASH, Mayor, El Dorado, AR; and CHARLIE PHILLIPS, Chief Deputy DEFENDANTS

          ORDER

          SUSAN O. HICKEY CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This is a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis. 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.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action pro se on February 13, 2019. (ECF No. 1). He submitted an in forma pauperis (“IFP”) application with his Complaint. (ECF No. 2). However, the application was incomplete. In addition, a review of Plaintiff's Complaint revealed that he failed to specify what each named defendant did or failed to do that violated his constitutional rights. As a result, on February 13, 2019, the Court entered an order directing Plaintiff to submit a completed IFP application and file an Amended Complaint by March 4, 2019. (ECF No. 3).

         Plaintiff filed his Amended Complaint and submitted an IFP application on March 19, 2019. (ECF Nos. 5, 6). The following day, Plaintiff's IFP application was granted. (ECF No. 7). Plaintiff is currently incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of Correction - Tucker Unit. The incidents on which Plaintiff bases his claims occurred while he was detained in the Union County Detention Center (“UCDC”) in El Dorado, Arkansas.

         Plaintiff has named Jail Administrator Paul Kugler, Corporal Marloe, Lieutenant Steven Green, Captain Mitcham, Sheriff Ricky Roberts, County Judge Mike Loftin, Mayor Frank Hash, and Chief Deputy Charlie Phillips as Defendants. Plaintiff claims his legal mail was either lost or thrown away on October 14, 2018. Specifically, he states, “I [slid] my Amended 1983 form under the door of H-pod to Co Marloe on October 14, 2018 to be mailed back to the Clerk of Court. The deadline was October 19, 2018. I made sure he got it. That was the last time I seen my Amended 1983 form.” (ECF No. 5, p. 4).

         Plaintiff sues Defendants in their individual and official capacities. He seeks compensatory and punitive damages. (ECF No. 1, p. 14). Plaintiff also seeks to “[g]et [his] mail log to find out where the 1983 form is[.]” (ECF No. 5, p. 7).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Under the PLRA, the Court is obligated to screen this 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)). However, 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. DISCUSSION

         A. Defendants Kugler, Green, Mitcham, Roberts, Loftin, Hash, and Phillips

         Plaintiff has named Kugler, Green, Mitcham, Roberts, Loftin, Hash, and Phillips as Defendants but has not made any specific allegations against them in his Amended Complaint. “Liability under section 1983 requires a causal link to, and direct responsibility for, the deprivation of rights. To establish personal liability on the part of a defendant, [the plaintiff] must allege specific facts of personal involvement in, or direct responsibility for, a deprivation of [his] constitutional rights.” Clemmons v. Armontrout, 477 F.3d 962, 967 (8th Cir. 2007) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).

         Plaintiff has failed to allege that Defendants Kugler, Green, Mitcham, Roberts, Loftin, Hash, or Phillips had any personal involvement in the violation of his constitutional rights. Accordingly, Plaintiff's claims against ...


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