United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
O. HICKEY CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff Jedediah Trogstad
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds in this
matter pro se and in forma pauperis. The
case is currently before the Court for preservice screening
under the provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”), under which 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. § 1915.
filed his Complaint on August 21, 2019. (ECF No. 1). On
September 9, 2019, the Court granted Plaintiff's motion
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF No. 7).
That same day, the Court directed Plaintiff to file an
amended complaint by September 30, 2019. (ECF No. 9). The
Court's order stated that Plaintiff's amended
complaint should include:
[S]hort, plain statements telling the Court: (1) the
constitutional right Plaintiff believes was violated; (2) the
name of the Defendant who violated the right; (3) exactly
what the Defendant did or failed to do; (4) how the action or
inaction of that Defendant is connected to the violation of
Plaintiff's constitutional rights; and (5) what specific
injury Plaintiff suffered because of that Defendant's
conduct. Plaintiff must repeat this process for each person
he has named as a Defendant.
Id. (internal citation omitted).
filed his Amended Complaint on September 25, 2019. (ECF No.
10). According to Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, he is
currently incarcerated in the Miller County Detention Center
(“MCDC”), serving a sentence as a result of a
judgment of conviction. Plaintiff's Amended Complaint
alleges that the following Defendants violated his
constitutional rights while he was incarcerated in the MCDC:
Warden Walker, Miller County Sheriff Runyon, Sergeant
Griffie, Sergeant Guthrie, Corporal T. Webb, Corporal Smith,
Corporal Henderson, and Jason Mitchell, Public Defender.
Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
asserts three claims. Plaintiff's first claim is for
“cruel and unusual punishment” alleged to have
occurred from June 8, 2019 to July 3, 2019. Plaintiff alleges
that he was “housed” on a concrete floor for four
weeks, which caused injuries to his hip and shoulder.
Plaintiff further states that “when [he] addressed this
issue, [he] received no reply.” Plaintiff names Warden
Walker, Sheriff Runyon, Sergeant Griffie, Sergeant Guthrie,
Corporal T. Webb, Corporal Henderson, Corporal Smith, and
MCDC Staff as the Defendants involved. Plaintiff asserts this
claim against those Defendants in both their official and
individual capacities and states “U.S. Constitutional
Amendment 8 Cruel and Unusual Punishment inflicted”
when asked to describe the custom or policy that caused the
violation of his constitutional rights. Id.
second claim is for “theft of funds, ” which
Plaintiff alleges occurred between June 25, 2019 and July 9,
2019. Plaintiff names Warden Walker, Sergeant Guthrie, and
Sergeant Griffie, in both their official and individual
capacities, as those involved. When asked to describe the
acts or omissions that form the basis for this claim,
Plaintiff states “I was told this issue would be
remedied. It never occurred. Warden Walker was address [sic],
never replied. Sgt. Griffie never returned my funds. I was
not afforded simple comforts.” With respect to the
custom or policy that caused the alleged violation of his
constitutional rights, Plaintiff states “[m]y funds
were taken (Amend #4) and not returned. U.S. Constitutional
Rights 4-8.” Id.
third claim is for “ineffective assistance of counsel,
” with the stated dates as “June 7, 2019 - still
unresolved.” Plaintiff names Jason Mitchell of the
Miller County Public Defender's Office and “MCDC
(Sheriff Runyon and staff)” as Defendants, naming them
in both official and individual capacities. Plaintiff states
“MCDC (staff) made every attempt to not help me with my
issue. Jason Mitchell took 45 days to contact me even after
several letter [sic], phone calls from me and wife. Harmed my
job, family freedom.” With respect to the custom or
policy Plaintiff asserts caused the alleged violation of his
constitutional right, Plaintiff states “U.S.
Constitutional Amendment #6, lack of Due Diligence, Due
Process, Bonding Codes, Executive output.”
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 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).