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Boyd v. Culpepper

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

October 16, 2019

JUDGE DUNCAN CULPEPPER; PHILLIP HARRIS, Prosecuting Attorney; DANNY ROGERS, Public Defender; TIM MCBRAYER, Officer; SEAN CLARK, Officer; JUSTIN HURST, Attorney; JAMES SINGLETON, Sheriff; JUDGE RANDAL WRIGHT; KOLBY HARPER, Prosecuting Attorney; MATTHEW FORD, Prosecuting Attorney; JOE T. TYLER, Public Defender; BO MORRIS, Officer/Deputy; OFFICER BROWN, Officer/Deputy; SGT. HUGHES, Officer/ Deputy; EVANS, Parole; DEPUTY SIMMONS, Parole; PROSECUTOR TRACI GRAHAM, Prosecuting Attorney; and BILLY MORITZ, Attorney DEFENDANTS


          Susan O. Hickey Chief United States District Judge

         This is a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff Thomas Waylon Boyd pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds 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”), which provides that the Court must screen any complaint in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity, officer, or employee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff, currently an inmate in the Bowie County Correctional Center in Texarkana, Texas, filed this action in the Eastern District of Arkansas on July 1, 2019. (ECF No. 2). The case was transferred to the Western District of Arkansas, Texarkana Division, on July 9, 2019. (ECF No. 5). Although Plaintiff did not specifically state under what federal statute he was seeking relief, the Court interpreted his Complaint as an attempt to file a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         In his Complaint, Plaintiff named the following individuals as Defendants: Judge Duncan Culpepper, Prosecuting Attorney Phillip Harris, Public Defender Danny Rogers, Officer Tim McBrayer, Officer Sean Clark, Attorney Justin Hurst, Sheriff Singleton, Judge Randal Wright, Prosecuting Attorney Kolby Harper, Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Ford, Public Defender Joe T. Tyler, Officer/Deputy Bo Morris, Officer/Deputy Brown, Officer/Deputy Sergeant Hughes, Evans “Parole, ” Deputy Simmons “Parole, ” Prosecutor Traci Graham, and Attorney Billy Moritz. (ECF No. 2).[1]

         Plaintiff's Complaint was not submitted on the section 1983 form approved for the Western District of Arkansas and many of his claims appeared to be frivolous or were asserted against individuals who are immune from suit. Consequently, the Court directed Plaintiff to file an amended complaint. (ECF No. 9). On July 25, 2019, Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 10). However, Plaintiff did not use the Court-approved section 1983 form provided to him. Rather, Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint was a confusing, eighty-four-page handwritten narrative that did not clearly identify the named Defendants or Plaintiff's claims against them.[2]

         The Court then ordered Plaintiff to submit a second amended complaint on or before August 19, 2019. (ECF No. 11). This order specifically directed Plaintiff to submit no more than a total of twenty pages identifying the named Defendants and stating his claims against them. On August 23, 2019, Plaintiff submitted a Second Amended Complaint consisting of fifty-eight pages. (ECF No. 12). Because Plaintiff failed to comply with this Court's order to submit a total of twenty pages to state his claims, the Court struck Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 13). However, the Court gave Plaintiff another opportunity to submit a Second Amended Complaint that complied with the Court's orders.

         To that end, Plaintiff was again directed to submit a second amended complaint on the Court's approved section 1983 form, limited to twenty pages. (ECF No. 13). Plaintiff was also given the following directives: (1) fill out the entire form referring only to No. 4:19-cv-04077 in the case caption and do not attempt to file additional lawsuits in this case; (2) identify each named Defendant, indicating his or her name, position, relationship to Plaintiff, place of employment and address on consecutive pages; (3) write short, plain statements telling the Court the constitutional right Plaintiff believes was violated by each named Defendant, exactly what the Defendant did or failed to do, how the action or inaction of that Defendant is connected to the violation of Plaintiff's constitutional rights and what specific injury Plaintiff suffered because of that individual Defendant's conduct; (4) do not include any motions with the Second Amended Complaint; and (5) do not include a request for habeas relief. (Id. at pp. 2-4). The Court also informed Plaintiff that this case would be subject to dismissal if he failed to submit a Second Amended Complaint which complied with those instructions. (Id. at p. 4).

         Plaintiff filed his Second Amended Complaint on September 11, 2019. (ECF No. 14). Plaintiff's thirty-four-page Second Amended Complaint is difficult to decipher because he attempts to assert unrelated claims arising over a period of eleven years against twenty-one defendants who were involved in some fashion with his various criminal charges, convictions, and parole. The pleading specifically identifies the following individuals as Defendants as ordered: (1) Justin Hurst, Plaintiff's private defense attorney; (2) Billy Morritz, Plaintiff's private defense attorney;[3] (3) Joe T. Tyler, Plaintiff's public defender; and (4) Danny Rogers, Plaintiff's public defender.[4] (ECF No. 14).

         In Claim One, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Hurst, Morritz, and Tyler were “deputies of the Court and/or Attorney's and/or under color of law failed to establish reasonable liability or to investigate legal obligation in light of Due process. . . . [I] have suffered the unlawful actions of false arrest, use of force . . . prosecution . . . without remedy . . . due process.” (ECF No. 14, p. 4). In Claim Two, Plaintiff asserts that Defendants Hurst, Morritz, and Tyler were negligent and ineffective as his counsel during his criminal proceedings. (Id. at p. 5). In Claim Three, Plaintiff alleges Defendants Hurst, Morritz, and Tyler are responsible for his “unlawful detention, wrongful institution of legal process & malicious prosecution and a wrongful use of judicial process or negligence of due process.” (Id. at p. 6). Plaintiff does not specifically name Defendant Rogers in any of these claims. Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages and asks he be awarded “custody/visitation . . . of my children, should be granted an unmarked car, gov. phone, and a loan of $3000.00 a month until case is ended. I should be acquitted of any and all offenses, completely exonerated . . . releasing me on own recognizance, retainment of counsel . . . because I am the victim.” (Id. at p. 7).

         In the narrative portion of his Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiff also mentions the following individuals who were initially named as Defendants in his first Complaint, but does not provide any information regarding their current addresses or places of employment: Judge Duncan Culpepper, Phillip Harris, Tim McBrayer, Sean Clark, Sheriff James Singleton, Judge Randal Wright, Matthew Ford, Bo Morris, Officer Brown, Sergeant Hughes, Evans, Simmons, and Traci Graham. Plaintiff also seeks to add the following individuals as new Defendants: Bubba Shewbirt, Catherine E. Lee, and Magistrate Judge Barry A. Bryant. For efficiency's sake, the Court will separately recount the allegations Plaintiff makes as to each of these Defendants.

         Plaintiff claims Defendant Judge Duncan Culpepper presided over “the proceedings of conviction and sentence” in Nevada County, Arkansas in 2010, in which the “prosecution was not asserted by diligent means after a third party confessed and indicated he acted alone. . . . [I] was only given two choices by the judge to plea.” (ECF No. 14, p. 8). Plaintiff also references sentences imposed against him in 2009 and 2015 and claims these sentences were invalid or incorrect. (Id. at pp. 8-9).

         Plaintiff states Defendant Phillip Harris “was the prosecuting attorney in 2010 [and] entered a prosecution against me in the [state court] . . . without diligent prosecution. . . . [I]n 2012 he entered a prosecution against me in [state court] . . . without diligent prosecution.” (Id.).

         Plaintiff states Defendant Danny Rogers was his public defender in 2010 and “did not protect my inviolate criminal status, record and citizenship . . . negligently allowed prosecution and conviction to occur.” (Id.).

         Plaintiff claims Defendant Tim McBrayer was an officer who, in 2009, “unlawfully arrested me, by not showing warrant when requested and then assaulted and imprisoned me against my will by cuffs, transportation and jail. . . . [I]n 2014 he unlawfully arrested me . . . did not provide warrant when requested.” Plaintiff goes on to claim Defendant McBrayer pepper sprayed him in 2014 and then arrested him again in 2015 and threatened him with pepper spray. (ECF No. 14, p. 10).

         Plaintiff alleges that, in 2009, Defendant Sean Clark “[came] to my residence without civil notice . . . and harassed me and my guest” during an arrest. (Id.).

         Plaintiff claims that, in 2012, Defendant James Singleton “arrived on the scene where his fellow officers had harassed me while holding my son” and then directed officers to strike Plaintiff and utilize a taser on him. Plaintiff states Defendant Singleton “caused this tasing act and his fellow deputy placed me into a choke hold.” Plaintiff claims his son was also injured during this incident. (ECF No. 14, p. 11).

         Plaintiff claims Defendant Judge Randal Wright presided over his criminal proceedings in 2012. Plaintiff alleges Defendant Wright ignored his request to have the case dropped and “deprived me of my privileges to family and home . . . by ordering no contact order.” (ECF No. 14, p. 12). Plaintiff goes on to claim that, in 2018, “[Defendant Wright] wanted the case over with [and] said he would drop the battery charge if I plead to the fleeing charge. He then gave me a choice to plea. I did not sign the plea/waiver and was convicted and sentenced without sufficient evidence.” (Id.).

         Plaintiff states Defendant Matthew Ford was a prosecuting attorney who “was present when I requested dismissal 2 times. He participated in the discovery process and imposed a sentence . . . made allegations . . . that do not appear by material fact and prosecuted claims without diligent prosecution . . . I was convicted and sentenced . . . did not prove any offense had occurred.” (ECF No. 14, p. 13).

         Plaintiff claims that, in 2018, Defendant Bo Morris walked up to him “with his gun in his hand pointing said gun hollering roll over . . . holstered his gun and followed Defendant Officer Brown.” (ECF No. 14, pp. 13-14). Plaintiff says Defendant Morris did not produce any warrant and “handcuffed me to a fence walked away and threatened to charge me with resisting . . . he left me cuffed to the fence for about 30 mins . . . he provided me with a bottle of water to drink.” (Id. at p. 14). Plaintiff goes on to state Defendant Morris “did not shake my hand in court, he left the courtroom before conviction & sentence. He did not state claims concisely did not establish jurisdiction . . . stated false claims . . . did not call ambulance to the scene.” (Id.).

         Plaintiff claims that, in 2018, Defendant Brown “grabbed me and pulled me to my feet . . . did not introduce nor advise arrest. He witnessed me being . . . cuffed to fence . . . he trespassed property and did not prevent unlawful arrest and false imprisonment.” (ECF No. 14, pp. 14-15). Plaintiff also claims that, in June 2017, Defendant Brown “verified me to be out of state for a job pass but when a new officer was assigned to me and he left the parole office a warrant was placed for my arrest and I was arrested in Louisiana. I was fired from my job.” (Id. at p. 15).

         Plaintiff states Defendant Hughes “trespassed property. He approached me with his gun drawn . . . witnessed Officer Bo Morris make his false allegation and handcuff me to a fence.” (ECF No. 14, p. 15). “Because of this [failure to] prevent his fellow official from mistake I have been convicted sentenced and incarcerated.” (Id.).

         Plaintiff claims Defendant Evans “witnessed me handcuffed to a fence and me being transported. She did not provide warrant and did not enforce arrest pursuant to warrant. Because of this I was charged outside of warrant and prosecuted twice for the same events. . . . She did not assure the protection of my person nor of my freedom. And did not prevent prosecution.” (Id.).

         Plaintiff claims Defendant Simmons caused multiple warrants to issue for Plaintiff's arrest “by construing and advising me of different times to appear at parole [appointment] rather than had been scheduled, did not provide documentation for [parole revocation] . . . did not prevent arrest or false arrest . . . did not prevent prosecution.” (ECF No. 14, p. 15). Plaintiff goes on to claim he informed her he was innocent and she “would ignore it especially from the Administrative reaction which got me fired, arrested and reinstated on parole.” (Id.).

         Plaintiff identifies Defendant Traci Graham as a prosecuting attorney who “prosecuted me . . . without sufficient evidence she did not prevent unnecessary conviction & sentence and did not challenge the fact that I did not enter nor request to enter nolo contendere plea. Because of this I was convicted and sentenced.” (ECF No. 14, p. 16).

         Plaintiff also states he was denied “adequate medical, having been subjected to incarceration I have been [scarred], broken, hazed, and disciplined because of my medical conditions. And my foot is still wounded has [healed] out of place, my penis has deformed due to medical negligence, my chest neck back head arm subsequently hurt.” (ECF No. 14, p. 18). He also claims he has been subjected to forced labor, racial discrimination among inmates, housed with alleged criminals, and subjected to living conditions which are inhumane. (Id.). Plaintiff does not identify any specific Defendants as being responsible for these claims.

         Plaintiff also appears to add three new Defendants, Bubba Shewbirt, Catherine Lee, and Magistrate Judge Barry A. Bryant. With respect to Shewbirt and Lee, Plaintiff states, “I am adding the callers of each known incident which is for the arrest in 2009 as one, Bubba Shewbirt. And the arrest in 2012 as one Catherine E. Lee. . . . Shewbirt failed to prosecute his claims . . . did not assure that law was appropriately applied. Having failed to appear and participate.” (ECF No. 14, p. 19). Plaintiff goes on to say Catherine Lee also failed to “prosecute her claims diligently and did not assure that law was appropriately applied. She has not attempted to obtain nor maintain contact with me in light of our children and has denied me . . . corresponding rights she ignores me and does not include me in the children's life.” (Id.).

         As for Judge Bryant, Plaintiff seeks to add him as a defendant because he ordered Plaintiff to file a Second Amended Complaint. Plaintiff states that Judge Bryant's “denial or disagreement and/or outcome other than those which are not in my interest and achievement will be considered violate of the due process clause . . . for ignoring legal doctrine in light of my right to counsel and to peacefully assemble.” (ECF No. 14, p. 21).

         II. ...

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