Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Dillard v. Tallant

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division

September 4, 2019

ROBERT JASON DILLARD PLAINTIFF
v.
JAIL ADMINISTRATOR JANA TALLANT; DEPUTY JOHN ERIC GLIDEWELL; SHERIFF BRIAN MCJUNKINS; THE NASHVILLE LEADER/NASHVILLE NEWS; DEPUTY DUSTIN WAKEFIELD; and LOUIS GRAVES DEFENDANTS

          ORDER

          SUSAN O. HICKEY CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This is a civil rights action filed by Robert Jason Dillard 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”). 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.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed this action pro se and in forma pauperis on August 21, 2019. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff is currently incarcerated in the Howard County Detention Center (“HCDC”) in Nashville, Arkansas.

         Plaintiff alleges Defendants Tallant and Wakefield provided false information about him to the Nashville Leader/Nashville News, a newspaper that is owned by Defendant Graves. He claims the newspaper then published an article which falsely accused him of “having something to do with some narcotics that were found in the county jail.” Id. at p. 3. Plaintiff also asserts that Defendants McJunkins and Glidewell, the Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff of Howard County, had to know that their employees provided false information to the newspaper and, therefore, they should be responsible for the information being published. Id. at pp. 10-11.

         Plaintiff asserts a claim of “defamation of character” against each Defendant. Id. at p. 8. Plaintiff proceeds against Defendants in their individual and official capacities and seeks compensatory and punitive damages. Id. at p. 15. Plaintiff also requests the termination of all Defendants' employment and that “all pending charges against [him are] dropped or NOL processed.” Id.

         II. STANDARD

         Under 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. § 1915A(b).

         A claim 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).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Title 42 of the United States Code provides a federal cause of action for the deprivation, under color of law, of a citizen's “rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws” of the United States. 42 U.S.C. § 1983. “As a general rule, the federal civil-rights remedies available to a person under section 1983 are not so broad as those available under state law, common or statutory.” Burton v. Livingston, 791 F.2d 97, 99 (8th Cir. 1986).

         “[A] defamed person has not been deprived of any right, privilege or immunity secured to him by the Federal Constitution or laws of the United States.” Ellinburg v. Lucas, 518 F.2d 1196, 1197 (8th Cir. 1975); see also Underwood v. Pritchard, 638 F.2d 60, 62 (8th Cir. 1981) (“[D]efamation, per se, is not actionable under section 1983.”). Thus, “[c]laims for defamation and slander are not cognizable under [section] 1983.” Miner v. Brackney, 719 F.2d 954, 955 (8th Cir. 1983) (per curium).

         The Court finds that Plaintiff's claims of defamation fail because defamation is a state law claim that is not cognizable under section 1983. Accordingly, Plaintiff's claims should all be dismissed pursuant to the PLRA for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

         IV. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.