Thomas v. Chandler et al
ORDER ADOPTING PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS except as to Defendant James Spaul. The Clerk of the Court is directed to prepare a summons for Defendant James Spaul and the U S Marshal is directed to serve a copy of 5 Amended Complaint and summons on Defendant without prepayment or security of fees and costs. Signed by Judge Billy Roy Wilson on 01/28/2014. (rhm)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
KATAKA NIGEL THOMAS,
JESSICA CHANDLER, et al.
On January 6, 2014, United States Magistrate Judge Jerome T. Kearney submitted
proposed findings and recommendations and the parties were given 14 days to object.1 Pro Se
Plaintiff timely objected,2 and I have conducted a de novo review of the record. For the reasons
set out below, I adopt the proposed findings and recommendations except as to Defendant James
To the extent Plaintiff’s Objection (Doc. No. 8) is also a Motion to Reconsider his
Motion to Appoint Counsel,3 it is DENIED without prejudice.
Count III Conversion Claim Against Defendant David Stone
In Count III of the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff seeks compensation for $80 of property
(food) that he alleges went missing while he was in the “hole.”4 Plaintiff alleges that he
surrendered the property to Defendant David Stone, who assured Plaintiff the property would be
Doc. No. 6.
Doc. No. 8.
See Doc. No. 4.
Doc. No. 5.
kept under lock and key and would be returned once Plaintiff returned from the hole.5 When
Plaintiff returned, his property was missing and never returned.6
Plaintiff objects to dismissal of his property claim because, he “filed all necessary
paperwork and worked through various channels to remedy situation, but to no avail.”7
Plaintiff’s objection is misplaced -- it’s not that Plaintiff missed some technical hurdle, but, as
more fully set out below, it’s that Federal Courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and this Court
lacks jurisdiction over the state-law conversion claim.
In order to support his claim against Defendant David Stone under Section 1983, Plaintiff
must allege that while acting under the color of state law, Stone deprived Plaintiff of some right
guaranteed by the Federal Constitution.8 Plaintiff alleges Defendant Stone deprived him of about
$80 of property.9 “Property interests do not arise from the [Federal] Constitution, but ‘are
created and their dimensions are defined by existing rules or understandings that stem from an
independent source such as state law.’”10 Thus, Section 1983 does not confer jurisdiction over
the state-law conversion claim.
The conversion claim is also beyond the Court’s supplemental-jurisdiction reach because
supplemental jurisdiction exists only over those claims that arise from a common nucleus of
Doc. No. 8.
See e.g., Griffin-El v. MCI Telecommunications Corp., et al., 835 F.Supp. 1114, 1118
Doc. No. 5.
Roy v. City of Little Rock, 902 F. Supp. 871, 875 (E.D. Ark. 1995) (quoting Board of
Regents of State Colleges v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 577 (1972)).
operative facts as Plaintiff’s Section 1983 claims.11 Plaintiff’s conversion claim involves a party,
Defendant Stone, who is not implicated by Plaintiff’s Section 1983 claims. Moreover, the
conversion claim shares few, if any, facts in common with Plaintiff’s Section 1983 claim.
Accordingly, the Court is without jurisdiction to hear the claim. If Plaintiff wishes to pursue the
claim, he must do so elsewhere (e.g., state court), because Count III and Defendant David Stone
Plaintiff may proceed in the prosecution of his Section 1983 claims against Defendants
Chandler, Pruett, and Spaul.
The Clerk of the Court is directed to prepare a summons for Defendant James Spaul and
the United States Marshal is directed to serve a copy of the Amended Complaint (Doc. No. 5)
and summons on Defendant in care of the Faulkner County Detention Center, 500 South German
Lane, Conway, Arkansas, 72034-7014, without prepayment or security of fees and costs.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 28th day of January, 2014.
/s/Billy Roy Wilson
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
See e.g., Ammerman v. Sween, 54 F.3d 423, 424 (7th Cir.1995).
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?