Crowley v. Does
ORDER dismissing without prejudice Crowley's claims against the North Little Rock Chief of Police and all supervisors of the North Little Rock Police Department; dismissing without prejudice Crowley's official capacity claims; and certifying that an in forma pauperis appeal would not be taken in good faith. Signed by Judge J. Leon Holmes on 8/22/2017. (ljb)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
MARK DANIEL CROWLEY, ADC #133058
NO: 4:17CV00531 JLH
Plaintiff Mark Daniel Crowley, currently in custody at the Cummins Unit of the Arkansas
Department of Correction, filed a pro se complaint, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, on August 21,
2017. Document #2.
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; 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). Although a complaint requires only a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, the factual allegations set forth therein must be
sufficient to raise the right to relief above the speculative level. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2); Bell
Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1964-65, 167 L. Ed. 2d 929
(2007) (“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....”). While construed liberally, a pro se complaint must contain enough facts to state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face, not merely conceivable. Martin v. Sargent, 780 F .2d
1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985).
According to Crowley, two unidentified officers of the North Little Rock Police
Department used excessive for against him during an arrest. Document #2. Crowley sued the two
unidentified officers, as well as the North Little Rock Chief of Police and all North Little Rock
Police Department supervisors. Crowley sued all Defendants in their official and individual
To support a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that a person
acting under the color of state law deprived him of some constitutional right. See 42 U.S.C. §
1983; Carlson v. Roetzel & Andress, 552 F.3d 648, 650 (8th Cir. 2008). Bare allegations void of
factual enhancement are insufficient to state a claim for relief under § 1983. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1939, 137 L. Ed. 2d 868 (2009). While Crowley named as
Defendants the North Little Rock Chief of Police and all North Little Rock Police Department
supervisors, he makes no allegations against these Defendants in the body of his complaint.
Document #2. A supervisor cannot be held liable under § 1983 for his or her employee’s allegedly
unconstitutional acts. See White v. Holmes, 21 F.3d 277, 280 (8th Cir. 1994). Because he has
made no specific allegations against the North Little Rock Chief of Police or any North Little Rock
Police Department supervisor, Crowley has failed to state a claim against those Defendants.
Further, “[a] suit against a government officer in his official capacity is functionally
equivalent to a suit against the employing governmental entity.” Veatch v. Bartels Lutheran Home,
627 F.3d 1254, 1257 (8th Cir. 2010). To establish municipal liability, a plaintiff must prove that
a policy, practice, or custom attributable to the municipality caused the constitutional injury. See
id. Because Crowley has not alleged that any policy, practice, or custom was the moving force
behind the alleged violation of his protected rights (document #2), he has failed to state a claim for
relief as to his official capacity claims.
For screening purposes only, the Court concludes that Crowley has stated a claim upon
which relief could be granted against to the two unidentified officers of the North Little Rock
Police Department in their individual capacities. The Court cannot order service until Crowley
has identified the officers by name and address. Any Defendant who is not served within 90 days
will be dismissed, without prejudice, from the lawsuit. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(m); Lee v. Armontrout,
991 F.2d 487, 489 (8th Cir. 1993).
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT:
Crowley’s claims against the North Little Rock Chief of Police and all supervisors
of the North Little Rock Police Department are DISMISSED without prejudice.
Crowley’s official capacity claims are DISMISSED without prejudice.
The Court certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that an in forma pauperis
appeal would not be taken in good faith.
DATED this 22nd day of August, 2017.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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