United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
JACKIE D. HOWARD PLAINTIFF
WHATABURGER; DETECTIVE BRIAN TRIBBLE; SERGEANT ZACHERY WHITE; and LISA GOODWIN, Manager Whataburger DEFENDANTS
O. Hickey Chief United States District Judge
a civil rights action filed by Jackie D. Howard 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”), 28 U.S.C. §
1915A. Pursuant to the PLRA, the Court has the obligation to
screen any complaint in which a prisoner seeks redress from a
governmental entity, officer, or employee.
filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action pro se on
April 3, 2019. (ECF No. 1). His application to proceed in
forma pauperis was granted the following day. (ECF No.
4). Plaintiff is currently incarcerated in the Arkansas
Department of Correction, Ouachita River Unit, in Malvern,
has named Whataburger, Detective Brian Tribble, Sergeant
Zachery White, and Lisa Goodwin as Defendants. Plaintiff
alleges Defendants Whataburger and Lisa Goodwin falsely
accused him of stealing a laptop from the Whataburger
restaurant. Specifically, Plaintiff states:
I was accused of stealing out of a business by and employee,
which had resulted me being incarcerated based on charges
that were eventually nolle prossed; Im mentally &
physicaly injury from this I take med as of now; the footage
alone will show that its not me or that I never was at the
place of business…The 14 Amendment was violated, false
accusations of accusing me of stealing out of a business
‘Equal Protection' Life, Liberty.
(ECF No. 1, pp. 4-5).
is suing Defendants in their personal and official
capacities. He is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
(ECF No. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff also requests, “Free
Whataburger for life, stock options, Trust fund awareness to
fight Against Human Right's and Action's Taken upon
them for my Incarceration, one million dollars…for
acknowledges in his Complaint that he previously filed
another lawsuit in 2018, dealing with the same facts involved
in the instant action. Civil No. 4:18-cv-04131 (ECF No. 1).
In the 2018 lawsuit, Plaintiff named Lisa Goodwin, Detective
Tribble and Sergeant White as defendants but did not
specifically name Goodwin's employer, Whataburger, as a
defendant.On December 17, 2018 Plaintiff's claims
against Lisa Goodwin, the manager of Whataburger, were
dismissed with prejudice. Civil No. 4:18-cv-04131 (ECF No.
23). The Court found that Defendant Goodwin was not a state
actor and, that even if she had been, Plaintiff had failed to
state a claim against her for slander or defamation because
these are not cognizable claims under section 1983.
Id. at p. 5. Plaintiff's claims against
Detective Tribble and Sergeant White in the 2018 lawsuit are
currently pending before this Court.
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.
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).