Marshall v. Brown
ORDER directing the Clerk to prepare a summons for Defendant Jonathan Brown. The U.S. Marshal is directed to serve Defendant Brown with a summons and a copy of the 2 complaint and 6 supplement to the complaint (with any attachments) without requiring prepayment of fees and costs or security. 5 Motion for appointment of counsel is denied, without prejudice. Signed by Magistrate Judge Edie R. Ervin on 11/17/2022. (jak)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
LARRY MARSHALL, JR.
JONATHAN BROWN, et al.
Plaintiff Larry Marshall, Jr., a pre-trial detainee at the Mississippi County
Detention Center (“Detention Center”), filed this federal civil rights lawsuit pro se
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Doc. 2. In his original complaint, Mr. Marshall alleged that,
on April 30, 2022, Officer Jonathan Brown used excessive force against him by
throwing him into a wall and punching him twice in the face. As a result of the
incident, Mr. Marshall was charged and convicted of state law criminal battery.
For screening purposes, the Court previously determined that Mr. Marshall
stated an excessive force claim against Defendant Brown. However, because the
Court could not provide the relief that he sought in his original complaint, the Court
provided Mr. Marshall an opportunity to file a supplement to his original complaint
to clarify his claim for relief.1 Doc. 4. Mr. Marshall has now filed: (1) a supplement
In his complaint, Mr. Marshall requested that “the courts  prevent future police attacks
on inmates, and have my battery charge expunged.” Doc. 2 at 5. However, “an injunction which
does little or nothing more than order the defendants to obey the law is not specific enough.”
Bennie v. Munn, 822 F.3d 392, 397 (8th Cir. 2016) (internal quotation omitted). In addition, Mr.
Marshall did not claim that the state proceedings that resulted in his battery conviction were illegal
to his original complaint (Doc. 6); and (2) a motion for the appointment of counsel
In Mr. Marshall’s supplement to his complaint, he: (1) requests “financial
relief that is appropriate for a case such as this” (Doc. 6 at 1); (2) seeks to also sue
both the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Department and the Mississippi County
Detention Center; and (3) requests information regarding how to file a habeas corpus
Because Mr. Marshall has now requested monetary damages, service for his
excessive force claim against Defendant Jonathan Brown is now proper. However,
the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Department and the Mississippi County Detention
Center are not parties that may be sued under 42 U.S.C. §1983. The Court will
address Mr. Marshall’s claims against those Defendants in a separate
Recommendation. Finally, the Court cannot provide Mr. Marshall legal advice
or constitutionally invalid, and a federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to expunge a
criminal conviction “based solely on equitable grounds.” United States v. Meyer, 439 F.3d 855
(8th Cir. 2006).
The Prison Litigation Reform Act requires federal courts to screen prisoner complaints
seeking relief against a governmental entity, officer, or employee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The
Court must dismiss a complaint or a portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that: (a) are
legally frivolous or malicious; (b) fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (c)
seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
When making this determination, the Court must accept the truth of the factual allegations
contained in the complaint, and it may consider the documents attached to the complaint.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Reynolds v. Dormire, 636 F.3d 976, 979 (8th Cir.
regarding how to invalidate his state court conviction or pursue a habeas corpus
Motion for the Appointment of Counsel
A pro se litigant in a civil case does not have a statutory or constitutional right
to appointed counsel. Patterson v. Kelley, 902 F.3d 845, 850 (8th Cir. 2018); Phillips
v. Jasper County Jail, 437 F.3d 791, 794 (8th Cir. 2006). However, the Court may,
in its discretion, appoint counsel if the pro se prisoner has stated a non-frivolous
claim and “the nature of the litigation is such that plaintiff as well as the court will
benefit from the assistance of counsel.” Patterson, 902 F.3d at 850 (quoting Johnson
v. Williams, 788 F.2d 1319, 1322 (8th Cir. 1986)). In making this determination, the
Court must weigh and consider the following factors: (1) the factual and legal
complexity of the case; (2) the plaintiff’s ability to investigate the facts; (3) the
existence of conflicting testimony; and (4) the plaintiff’s ability to present his claims.
Id.; Phillips, 437 F.3d at 794.
The decision to appoint counsel is based on the circumstances of each case.
After considering all of the relevant factors, in particular, the factual and legal
complexity of this case and Mr. Marshall’s ability to present his own claims, the
Court declines to appoint counsel at this time.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT:
The Clerk is instructed to prepare a summons for Defendant Jonathan
The United States Marshal is directed to serve Defendant Brown with
a summons and a copy of the complaint and the supplement to the complaint (with
any attachments) (Docs. 2, 6), without requiring prepayment of fees and costs or
security. Service for Defendant Brown should be attempted through the Mississippi
County Detention Facility, 685 NCR 599, Luxora, Arkansas 72358.
Mr. Marshall’s motion for the appointment of counsel (Doc. 5) is
DENIED, without prejudice.3
Dated this 17th day of November, 2022.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
If this case is scheduled for trial, the Court will consider, on its own, whether counsel
should be appointed to assist Mr. Marshall at trial.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?