Hughes v. Connell et al
ORDER dismissing 2 complaint without prejudice for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Dismissal of this action counts as a strike within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). The Court certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that an in forma pauperis appeal from this Order or the accompanying Judgment would not be taken in good faith. Signed by Judge J. Leon Holmes on 10/6/2015. (ks)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
PINE BLUFF DIVISION
OTIS HUGHES, ADC # 100835
KEITH CONNELL, Police Chief,
Stuttgart Police Department; et al.
Otis Hughes (“Plaintiff”) filed this section 1983 action alleging Defendants violated his
rights. Document #2. After carefully screening the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a),
the Court finds Plaintiff has failed to state any claim upon which relief may be granted.
Plaintiff alleges Defendant Doe, a patrol officer, pulled him over on August 14, 2015.
Document #2 at 4. He was arrested and his property (a cell phone, keys, and wallet) were
confiscated. Id. Plaintiff says these items have not been returned to him because Defendants have
misplaced them. Id. Plaintiff also alleges that, on the day of his arrest, Defendant Doe “assumed
that [he] ate something.” Id. He was taken to the hospital and given tests which ultimately revealed
that he had not ingested anything, but Plaintiff contends the Stuttgart City Police Department has
unlawfully deemed him responsible for the costs of those tests. Id.
Plaintiff’s property claim must be dismissed because the State of Arkansas provides him with
adequate state remedies for this alleged injury. See Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 533, 104 S.
Ct. 3194, 3204, 82 L. Ed. 2d 393 (1984) (holding that a negligent or intentional deprivation of
property is not actionable under section 1983 if an adequate state remedy exists); see also McQuillan
v. Mercedes-Benz Credit Corp., 961 S.W.2d 729, 732 (Ark. 1998) (state law conversion claim is the
appropriate remedy for the wrongful possession or disposition of another’s property). And
Plaintiff’s claims regarding his medical bills do not implicate any constitutional or federal statutory
right. He does not allege these acts injured his health or otherwise violated his constitutional rights.
Rather Plaintiff challenges the fact he may be required to pay for the medical tests. Document #2
at 4. As with his property claim, Plaintiff has an adequate state court remedy to seek resolution of
From a commonsense standpoint, it is understandable that Plaintiff feels wronged by these
events. However, they simply fail to amount to actionable constitutional claims.
IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED THAT:
Plaintiff’s Complaint is DISMISSED without prejudice for failure to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted. Document #2.
Dismissal of this action counts as a “strike” within the meaning of 28 U.S.C.
The Court certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that an in forma pauperis
appeal from this Order or the accompanying Judgment would not be taken in good faith.
Dated this 6th day of October, 2015.
J. LEON HOLMES
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Title 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g) provides that: “In no event shall a prisoner bring a civil action or
appeal a judgment in a civil action or proceeding under this section if the prisoner has, on 3 or more
prior occasions, while incarcerated or detained in any facility, brought an action or appeal in a court
of the United States that was dismissed on the grounds that it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state
a claim upon which relief may be granted . . . .”
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?