Frazier v. Carter et al
ORDER: All claims against Carter and Wolverton in their official capacities are dismissed. Frazier may proceed on his excessive force claims against Carter and Wolverton in their individual capacities. The clerk is directed to prepare a summons for Carter and Wolverton, and the U.S. Marshal is directed to serve the summons, 2 complaint and this order on them without prepayment of fees and costs or security. Signed by Chief Judge Brian S. Miller on 10/5/2016. (jak)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
MICHAEL DOUGLAS FRAZIER
CASE NO. 3:16-CV-00224 BSM
DAVID CARTER, et al.
Plaintiff Michael Frazier, an inmate at the Arkansas Department of Correction’s
Tucker Unit, filed a pro se complaint [Doc. No. 2] under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to the
Prison Litigation Reform Act, his claims must be screened and dismissed if they are (1)
frivolous or malicious; (2) fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (3) seek
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
Although construed liberally, the complaint must still contain sufficient facts to state a claim
that is plausible on its face. Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985).
Frazier’s allegations stem from a traffic stop conducted by Greene County sheriff’s
deputies. He alleges he stopped his vehicle and placed his hands in the air, and defendant
David Carter pulled him from the vehicle and slammed him to the ground. See Doc. No. 2
at 5. Other officers were present as Frazier was pounced and kicked in his ribs. Id.
Although Frazier could not identify every officer involved, he alleges defendant Zach
Wolverton was present because Wolverton transported Frazier to the sheriff’s office. While
there, Frazier was given a holding cell without a mattress for over 24 hours. He is suing
Carter and Frazier, both county sheriff’s deputies, in their individual and official capacities.
For screening purposes only, Frazier will be permitted to proceed on his excessive
force claim against Carter and Wolverton in their individual capacities, but all other claims
are dismissed. To the extent Frazier challenges the conditions of confinement because he did
not receive a mattress, he has not stated a viable claim. See Williams v. Delo, 49 F.3d 442,
444–46 (8th Cir. 1995) (placement in a cell without water or mattress for four days did not
violate Eighth Amendment). Additionally, the official capacity claims are dismissed because
Frazier has not alleged a valid claim against Greene County. See Johnson v. Blaukat, 453
F.3d 1108, 1114 (8th Cir. 2006) (claim against county must allege a violation resulting from
an official custom, policy, or practice); Liebe v. Norton, 157 F.3d 574, 578 (8th Cir. 1998)
(official capacity claims against county employees are actions against county itself).
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that:
1. All claims against Carter and Wolverton in their official capacities are dismissed.
Frazier may proceed on his excessive force claims against Carter and Wolverton
in their individual capacities. The clerk is directed to prepare a summons for Carter and
Wolverton, and the U.S. Marshal is directed to serve the summons, complaint [Doc. No. 2],
and this order on them without prepayment of fees and costs or security.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 5th day of October 2016.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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