United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado 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. § 1983. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1) and (3)(2011), the Honorable Susan O.
Hickey, Chief United States District Judge, referred this
case to the undersigned for the purpose of making a Report
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 14, 2019. (ECF No. 1). On March
25, 2019, he submitted a completed in forma pauperis
(“IFP”) application and was granted IFP status
the same day. (ECF Nos. 5, 6). On May 14, 2019, Plaintiff
submitted a Supplement to his Complaint. (ECF No. 9).
Plaintiff is currently incarcerated in the Arkansas
Department of Correction Varner Unit, but his Complaint
centers on his interactions with the Magnolia Police
Department in Columbia County, Arkansas. Plaintiff alleges
that he was racially profiled by the Magnolia police on
February 22, 2019 and was then assessed excessive bail after
arrest. He further alleges that criminal charges he was not
convicted of were still listed on his court records and mixed
with the charges for which he had been convicted. (ECF No. 1
at 2-17). He also appears to state that there are false
charges linked with his name for crimes with which he was
never actually charged, such as rape and robbery.
Id. Plaintiff alleges he received a settlement offer
in April 2017 from the Magnolia Police Department for a prior
excessive force claim. (ECF No. 1 at 17).
Supplement he alleges that he was tricked on his plea
agreement because he “agreed to take 2 years” but
has not been home for three years now. (ECF No. 9).
brings these claims against all Defendants. (Id. at
4-7). Plaintiff proceeds against all Defendants in their
official and personal capacity. (ECF No. 1 at 4-9). 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).
does not allege that his state criminal conviction was
reversed, expunged, declared invalid, or questioned though a
writ of habeas corpus. His claims concerning his
state conviction, including his bail and sentence, are
therefore barred by the Heck doctrine. In Heck
v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), the Supreme Court held
that a claim for damages for "allegedly unconstitutional
conviction or imprisonment, or for other harm caused by
actions whose unlawfulness would render a conviction or
sentence invalid" is not cognizable until "the
conviction or sentence has been reversed on direct appeal,
expunged by executive order, declared invalid by a state
tribunal authorized to make such a determination, or called
into question by a federal court's issuance of a writ of
habeas corpus." Heck, 512 U.S. 486-87. The
Court noted that if a successful claim would not demonstrate
the invalidity of an outstanding criminal judgment, it should
be allowed to proceed. Here, an award of damages for his
state criminal conviction would implicitly question the
validity of his sentence and conviction; these claims are
therefore barred by the Heck doctrine.
I recommend that Plaintiff's claims concerning his state
conviction, his bail, and that he was “tricked”
concerning his guilty plea and the length of his sentence be
DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. I further recommend that
Plaintiff's Equal Protection claims regarding racial