Black v. Pinkston
ORDER dismissing Black's complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; pltf's claim for damages against deft Jana Pinkston is dismissed with prejudice and all other claims are dismissed without prejudice; this dismissal counts as a "strike"; judgment will be entered accordingly. Signed by Chief Judge J. Leon Holmes on 11/9/11. (vjt)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
TYLOR SHANE BLACK
NO. 1:11CV00081 JLH
Plaintiff Tylor Shane Black, currently held at the Van Buren County Jail, filed a pro se
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (docket entry #1), on September 26, 2011.
Before docketing the complaint, or as soon thereafter as practicable, the Court must review
the complaint to identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint if it: (1) is frivolous or
malicious; (2) fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (3) seeks monetary relief
against a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A (2006). Fed. R. Civ.
P. 8(a)(2) requires only “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” In Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (overruling Conley v.
Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 (1967), and setting new standard for failure to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted), the court stated, “a plaintiff’s obligation to provide the ‘grounds’ of his
‘entitle[ment] to relief’ requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do . . . . Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level,” citing 5 C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure
§ 1216, pp. 235-36 (3d ed. 2004). A complaint must contain enough facts to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face, not merely conceivable. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. However, a pro se
plaintiff’s allegations must be construed liberally. Burke v. N.D. Dept. of Corr. & Rehab., 294 F.3d
1043, 1043-44 (8th Cir. 2002) (citations omitted).
According to Black’s complaint, his probation was revoked when he was arrested on fleeing,
disorderly conduct, and public intoxication charges. Black’s claims that defendant Jana Pinkston,
a Mountain View parole officer, offered false testimony in court, which resulted in him being
required to serve a 60-month sentence at the Arkansas Department of Correction instead of 24
months in another facility.1 Black was later found not guilty of the fleeing, disorderly conduct, and
public intoxication charges, but still served almost a year in prison. Black seeks damages for the
time he spent in prison, and to “drop his parole.”
Black’s only allegation against Pinkston is that she lied in court. Even if true, Black has
failed to state a claim for relief. Witnesses, including government officials, are absolutely immune
from damages liability based on their testimony. Briscoe v. LaHue, 460 U.S. 325 (1983). To the
extent that Black is seeking to challenge the terms of his parole, he has made no allegation that
Pinkston is responsible for the imposition of such terms, or that she has the authority to change them.
Accordingly, Black’s complaint must be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT:
Black’s complaint is DISMISSED for failure to state a claim upon which relief may
Plaintiff identifies the other facility only as “R.P.F.”
Black’s complaint is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE with respect to his claim for
damages against defendant Jana Pinkston.
Black’s complaint is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE in all other respects.
This dismissal counts as a “strike” for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
The Court certifies that an in forma pauperis appeal taken from the order and
judgment dismissing this action is considered frivolous and not in good faith.
DATED this 9th day of November, 2011.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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