United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
HOSEA L. KENDRICK PLAINTIFF
ROBERT MISSY, Jail Administrator; KAREN GHORMLEY, Acting Jail Administrator; and ANTHONY S. BIDDLE, Managing Public Defender, Eighth Judicial District DEFENDANTS
O. HICKEY, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
by Plaintiff Hosea L. Kendrick. 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 must screen any
complaint in which a prisoner seeks redress from a
governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental
filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action pro se on
April 11, 2019. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff's in forma
pauperis application was granted on April 26, 2019. (ECF
No. 6). In response to this Court's order, Plaintiff
filed an Amended Complaint on June 10, 2019. (ECF No. 15).
is currently incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of
Correction - East Arkansas Regional Unit. The events at issue
allegedly occurred while he was incarcerated in the Nevada
County Detention Center (“NCDC”) in 2019.
Plaintiff has named the following individuals as Defendants
in his Amended Complaint: Robert Missy, the Jail
Administrator for the NCDC; Karen Ghormley, the acting Jail
Administrator for the NCDC; and Anthony S. Biddle,
Plaintiff's public defender.
alleges that in February 2019, “while in the Nevada
County Jail, the Jail staff informed the inmates that we were
not allowed to make lawyer call. So I filed a 1983 form
because I felt like our rights was being violated.”
(ECF No. 15, p. 4). Plaintiff alleges further that his
Fourth, Eighth, and due process rights were violated.
Plaintiff proceeds against Defendants in their individual and
official capacities, seeking compensatory and punitive
damages, along with the termination of Defendants'
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 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)).
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).
Court will separately address Plaintiff's individual
capacity claims against Defendant Biddle and Defendants Missy
and Ghormley. The Court will then address Plaintiff's
official capacity claims.
Defendant Anthony Biddle
Biddle served as Plaintiff's public defender during his
criminal proceedings. A section 1983 complaint must allege
that each defendant, acting under color of state law,
deprived plaintiff of “rights, privileges or immunities
secured by the Constitution and laws” of the United
States. 42 U.S.C. § 1983; see also DuBose v.
Kelly, 187 F.3d 999, 1002 (8th Cir. 1999). A public
defender does not act under color of state law when
performing a lawyer's traditional functions as counsel to
a defendant in criminal proceedings.” Polk Cnty. v.
Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 324 (1981).
has not alleged that Defendant Biddle acted outside a
lawyer's traditional functions as defense counsel at any
time. Thus, under Plaintiff's alleged facts,
Defendant Biddle was not acting under color of state law
while representing Plaintiff. Accordingly, Defendant Biddle
is not subject to suit under section 1983. For this reason,
the Court finds Plaintiff has ...