United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
OPINION AND ORDER
TIMOTHY L. BROOKS, UNITED STATES 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. §
filed his Complaint on February 13, 2019. At the time, he was
incarcerated in the Benton County Jail and Sheriff's
Office awaiting trial on pending criminal charges. He is
currently committed to the custody of the Arkansas Department
of Human Services ("DHS"). Plaintiff was directed to
file a completed in forma pauperis application,
which he did on March 4, 2019. In his Complaint, Plaintiff
alleges several violations of his constitutional rights.
According to Plaintiff, Judge Green, Public Defender Saxton,
Captain Guyll, and Lieutenant Holt violated his First
Amendment rights from March 26, 2018, through the time he
filed his Complaint. He claims that Public Defender Saxton
and Judge Green denied his request for a second opinion on
January 2, 2019 and defamed his character. (Doc. 1 at 5).
Plaintiff further alleges that Captain Guyll and Lieutenant
Holt deprived him of his right to practice a religious diet.
Id. at 8. He does not identify either the religion
or the diet at issue in his Complaint.
also alleges that Detective Wallace violated his Fourth
Amendment rights on March 26, 2018, by providing "a
false material statement" in an affidavit to a judge,
which resulted in a warrant executed by the Centerton SWAT
team that defamed his character. Id. at 6. He
contends his Fifth Amendment rights were violated from March
26, 2018, through the time he filed his Complaint by
Detective Wallace, Sergeant Brockmeyer, and Public Defender
Saxton. Detective Wallace supposedly conspired with Sergeant
Brockmeyer by "providing false material statements on
their police reports which led to [Plaintiff's]
indictment." Id. at 7. And Saxton, Plaintiffs
lawyer, supposedly accepted those statements as fact.
Plaintiff alleges that his Sixth Amendment rights were
violated from March 26, 2018, through the time he filed his
Complaint by Judge Green, Public Defender Saxton, and
psychologist Blair Houston. He maintains that Saxton refused
to provide him with effective assistance of counsel, withheld
evidence, and tried to coerce him to plead guilty. Saxton
also "hushed" him in court proceedings, tried to
make him appear incompetent, and ordered a psychological
evaluation for him. Id. at 11. Dr. Houston allegedly
conspired with Saxton. Judge Green allegedly conspired with
both Houston and Saxton and refused to suppress the
psychological evaluation results and permit Plaintiff to seek
a second opinion.
Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights, he claims Judge
Green denied him a bond reduction; and Sheriff Holloway and
Captain Guyll made him drink water daily from a drinking
fountain located in a public restroom and placed him in a
cell of approximately 78 square feet with two other inmates,
where he had to stay for 24-48 hours at a time and sleep 8-12
inches from the toilet.
Plaintiff contends that his Ninth Amendment rights were
violated in the jail when Sheriff Holloway, Captain Guyll,
and Lieutenant Holt denied him an initial phone call on March
26, 2018, and refused to issue him an inmate ID number for a
week. The lack of ID prevented him from utilizing the inmate
kiosk grievance system. He also complains that the jail
washes and reuses single-use eating utensils and does not
serve hot meals sufficiently hot and cold meals sufficiently
cold. Plaintiff also accuses staff of not being familiar with
jail policies and of using profane language.
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 Atl. 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).
Claims Against Circuit Judge Robin Green
Green, a Benton County Circuit Judge, is immune from suit.
Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11 (1991)
("Judicial immunity is an immunity from suit, not just
from ultimate assessment of damages."). See also
Duty v. City of Springdale, 42 F.3d 460, 462 (8th Cir.
1994). "Judges performing judicial functions enjoy
absolute immunity from § 1983 liability."
Robinson v. Freeze, 15 F.3d 107, 108 (8th Cir.
1994). "A judge will not be deprived of immunity because
the action [s]he took was in error, was done maliciously, or
was in excess of [her] authority." Stump v.
Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 356-57 (1978). Judicial immunity
is overcome in two situations: (1) if the challenged act is
nonjudicial; and, (2) if the action, although judicial in
nature, was taken in the complete absence of all
jurisdiction. Mireles, 502 U.S. at 11. It is clear
from the allegations of the Complaint that neither situation
applies here. Plaintiffs claims against Judge Green are
subject to dismissal.
Claims Against Public ...