United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
JAMES R. MARSCHEWSKI UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a civil rights action provisionally filed pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1) and (3)(2011), the Honorable Susan O.
Hickey, 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 March 6, 2019, in the Eastern District
of Arkansas. (ECF No. 2). The case was transferred to this
District on March 7, 2019. (EC No. 3). On March 8, 2019, the
Court entered an Order directing Plaintiff to file an Amended
Complaint. (ECF No. 7). Plaintiff did so on March 14, 2019.
(ECF No. 9).
alleges his constitutional rights were violated by an
unlawful property forfeiture on May 11, 2016. (Id.
at 4). At that time, Plaintiff was a free-world citizen with
charges pending. (Id. at 3). Plaintiff alleges
Defendant Hurst was hired to represent him in his criminal
case 14CR-16-35. (Id. at 6).
proceeds against both Defendants in their personal and
official capacities. (Id. at 4). He seeks
compensatory damages, punitive damages, and the return of the
seized property. (.i at 9).
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).
claims against Defendant Gilreath, a deputy prosecutor, are
subject to dismissal. A prosecutor is absolutely immune from
suit for any conduct undertaken in his or her role as
advocate for the state. Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S.
409 (1976). Absolute prosecutorial immunity protects the
prosecutor as a key participant in the criminal justice
process, such that the prosecutor need not be inhibited from
performing his or her functions by a constant fear of
retaliation. Id. at 428. This is true no matter the
underlying motive of the prosecutor or the propriety of the
actions taken. Myers v. Morris, 810 F.2d. 1437, 1446
(8th Cir. 1987) (finding that allegations that a prosecutor
proceeded with a prosecution based on an improper motive did
not defeat absolute prosecutorial immunity); Schenk v.
Chavis, 461 F.3d 1043, 1046 (8th Cir. 2006)
(“Actions connected with initiation of prosecution,
even if those actions are patently improper are
immunized.”) (internal quotation omitted).