United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
BARRY A. BRYANT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a civil rights action provisionally filed pursuant to 42
U.S.C. Â§ 1983. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. Â§
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
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 23, 2019. (ECF No. 1). He
filed a Supplement on January 31, 2019. (ECF No. 6). He was
granted in forma pauperis (IFP) status on February
6, 2019. (ECF No. 9). Plaintiff alleges that, while
handcuffed, he was brutally assaulted by Defendant Jamerson
and “fellow officers” on September 1, 2016, and
October 19, 2016. (ECF No. 1 at 4-7; 6). Plaintiff does not
allege any physical injuries from the alleged assault.
Instead he states he suffers from bipolar disorder and he was
“mentally affected” by the incident. (ECF No. 1 at
5). Plaintiff proceeds against Defendant Jamerson in his
personal and official capacities. (Id. at 4-6). He
seeks compensatory and punitive damages. (Id. at 7).
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).
Official Capacity Claims
failed to state any cognizable official capacity claims
against Garland County. Under § 1983, a defendant may be
sued in either his individual capacity, or in his official
capacity, or in both. In Gorman v. Bartch, 152 F.3d
907 (8th Cir. 1998), the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
discussed the distinction between individual and official
capacity suits. As explained by the Court in Gorman:
Claims against government actors in their individual
capacities differ from those in their official capacities as
to the type of conduct that is actionable and as to the type
of defense that is available. See Hafer v. Melo, 502
U.S. 21, 112 S.Ct. 358, 116 L.Ed.2d 301 (1991). Claims
against individuals in their official capacities are
equivalent to claims against the entity for which they work;
they require proof that a policy or custom of the entity
violated the plaintiff's rights, and the only type of
immunity available is one belonging to the entity itself.
Id. 502 U.S. at 24-27, 112 S.Ct. at 361-62 (1991).
Personal capacity claims, on the other hand, are those which
allege personal liability for individual actions by officials
in the course of their duties; these claims do not require
proof of any policy and qualified immunity may be raised as a
defense. Id. 502 U.S. at 25-27, 112 S.Ct. at 362.
Gorman, 152 F.3d at 914.
Plaintiff failed to identify any custom or policy of Garland
County which violated his constitutional rights. He therefore
failed to state any cognizable ...