United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
O. Hickey Chief United States District Judge.
Shawn Murchison filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 on July 31, 2019, in the Eastern District
of Arkansas. (ECF No. 2). On August 2, 2019, the case was
transferred to the Western District of Arkansas, Texarkana
Division. (ECF No. 4). In response to this Court's order,
Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on August 15, 2019, on
the Court's approved form, to clarify his claims against
the Defendants. (ECF No. 7). Plaintiff proceeds pro
se and in forma pauperis. (ECF No. 9). The case
is currently before the Court for preservice screening under
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.
is currently incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of
Correction-Delta Regional Unit. His claims in the instant
lawsuit arise out of his arrest, bail, prosecution, and
subsequent conviction in Little River County, Arkansas.
Plaintiff names the following individuals as Defendants in
this action: (1) Lynne Bocume, a police officer in Ashdown,
Arkansas; (2) Antonio May, a police officer or state trooper
in Ashdown or Hope, Arkansas; (3) Gina Butler, the Jail
Administrator at the Little River County Jail; (4) Janet
Fondrone, a Bondsman in Ashdown, Arkansas; (5) Mickey
Buccanon, Plaintiff's defense attorney; and (6) Judge Tom
Cooper, a state court judge in Ashdown, Arkansas.
was arrested on October 31, 2017, after he was pulled over
for what he claims was a misdemeanor. (ECF No. 7, p. 3).
Plaintiff alleges that in October 2017, Defendant Bocume
“for no reason stalked me and my family for 3 nights at
or campground . . . the day before I was charged with a meth
pipe . . . found under the rear seat, Mr Mays I beleave
planted it his self[.]” (Id. at p. 2).
Plaintiff goes on to state, [Bocume] had no right to be
around my family . . . or to have me followed in two
different counties, and Mays shouldn't go around
threating folks as there being booked into Jail.”
(Id. at p. 4).
Plaintiff claims Defendants Butler and Foundron “told
my friend's wife they would not allow her to bond me out
And her husband couldn't bond me out, they wouldn't
allow it . . . And I had a bond set by a Judge. Why they said
I couldn't be bonded out.” (Id. at p. 4).
addition, Plaintiff claims his defense attorney Defendant
Buccanon “did nothing but threating me to take a plea
for a pipe I didn't posseses in my vehicle or on my body.
Mickey said take this 6 yr pleas or you will have two 15 year
sentences stacked to run consecutively.” (Id.
at p. 5). Plaintiff also lists Judge Tom Cooper as a
Defendant but does not make any specific allegations against
him in the Amended Complaint. (Id.).
proceeds against all Defendants in their official and
personal capacities. He seeks compensatory and punitive
damages. (Id. at p. 6).
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)).
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).
Defense Attorney Defendant Buccanon
Buccanon-Plaintiff's public defender during his criminal
proceedings-is not subject to suit under section 1983. 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). Defendant Buccanon was not acting under
color of state law while representing Plaintiff in his
criminal proceedings. See Polk County v. Dodson, 454
U.S. 312, 324 (1981) (“a public defender does not act
under color of state law when performing a lawyer's