Lloyd et al v. Allen et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER the claims against Detective Allen, Detective Maccey,Officer Anderson, Detective Malichi Samuels, and Judge Lindsey will be dismissed; see order for specifics. Signed by Honorable Timothy L. Brooks on February 16, 2016. (rg)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
REBECCA LEE LLOYD
CASE NO. 5:15-CV-05252
DETECTIVE SHAWN ALLEN,
Fayetteville Police Department (FPO);
DETECTIVE MACCEY, FPO; OFFICER
ANDERSON, FPO; DETECTIVE
MALICHI SAMUELS, FPO; JUDGE
LINDSEY, Washington County; OFFICER
MRS. CHAVEZ, Washington County
Detention Center (WCDC); GUARD MS.
HUWBER, WCDC; GUARD MS. GASTEN ,
WCDC; GUARD MRS. JAMES, WCDC;
GUARD MRS. DONNAHUE, WCDC; and
JOHN AND JANE DOE, Doctors and
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This is a civil rights action filed by the Plaintiff pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis.
Plaintiff filed this action on October 8, 2015 , on behalf of herself and her fiance ,
Mark Chumley. Plaintiff was advised she could represent herself but could not represent
other individuals. Chumley was terminated as a Defendant. An Order (Doc. 3) was
entered on October 8, 2015, directing the Plaintiff to file an amended complaint asserting
only her own claims.
Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on October 20 , 2015 (Doc. 6). The matter is
presently before the Court for initial screening of Plaintiff's pleading pursuant to 28 U.S .C.
§ 1915A. For the reasons discussed below, this Court recommends that certain claims be
summarily dismissed pursuant to Section 1915A and Section 1915( e )(2)(8).
According to the allegations of the Amended Complaint (Doc. 6), Plaintiff was
arrested on August 20 , 2015 , on charges of capital murder, tampering with evidence, and
gang violence. She is incarcerated in the Washington County Detention Center (WCDC)
awaiting trial. Plaintiff alleges that Judge Lindsey put her on a "no bond " restriction prior
to her being formally charged with any crime.
Chumley was also arrested and is
incarcerated awaiting trial.
Plaintiff maintains she was arrested for no reason , has been slandered , framed ,
forced to make false statements and harassed . She alleges Detective Allen, Detective
Maccey, Officer Anderson , and Detective Malichi Samuels were all involved. Further she
alleges that Detective Anderson tried to get her to "set up" Chumley and others for various
During her incarceration at the WCDC, Plaintiff alleges she has been: falsely
accused of harassing other inmates ; her requests to be separated from inmates who were
harassing her have been refused; she has been denied medical care; and her mail has
been held for weeks.
Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), the Court is obligated to screen the
case prior to service of process being issued. The Court must dismiss a complaint, or any
portion of it, if it contains claims that: (a) are 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).
A claim is frivolous if "it lacks an arguable basis either in law or fact. " Neitzke v.
Williams , 490 U.S . 319 , 325 (1989). A claim fails to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted if it does not allege "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face. " Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). "In evaluating whether
a pro se plaintiff has asserted sufficient facts to state a cla im, we hold 'a prose complaint,
however inartfully pleaded , ... to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted
by lawyers."' Jackson v. Nixon, 747 F.3d 537 , 541 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting Erickson v.
Pardus , 551 U.S . 89 , 94 (2007)).
Applying these standards , it is clear that several of Plaintiff's claims are subject to
dismissal. First, the claims against Judge Lindsey are subject to dismissal. Judge Lindsey
is immune from suit. Mireles v. Waco , 502 U.S. 9, 11 (1991) ("Judicial immunity is an
immunity from suit, not just from ultimate assessment of damages"); see also Duty v. City
of Springdale , 42 F.3d 460 , 462 (8th Cir. 1994). "Judges performing judicial functions
enjoy absolute immunity from§ 1983 liability. " Robinson v. Freeze, 15 F.3d 107, 108 (8th
Cir. 1994). "A judge will not be deprived of immunity because the action he took was in
error, was done maliciously, or was in excess of his authority." Stump v. Sparkman , 435
U.S. 349 , 356-57 (1978).
Judicial immunity is overcome in two situations: (1) if the challenged act is nonjudicial ; and , (2) if the action , although judicial in nature, was taken in the complete
absence of all jurisdiction. Mireles , 502 U.S. at 11 . It is clear from the allegations of the
Amended Complaint that neither situation applies here.
Second , Plaintiff's cla ims that she was falsely arrested and has committed no crime
are subject to dismissal. In Baker v. McCol/an"" 443 U.S. 137 (1979), the Supreme Court
The Constitution does not guarantee that only the guilty will be arrested . If
it did , § 1983 would provide a cause of action for every defendant acquittedindeed , for every suspect released . Nor are the manifold procedural
protections afforded criminal defendants under the Bill of Rights "without
limits." Patterson v. New York , 432 U.S. 197, 208 , 97 S.Ct. 2319 , 2326 , 53
L.Ed .2d 281 (1977). "Due process does not require that every conceivable
step be taken , at whatever cost, to eliminate the possibility of convicting an
innocent person. " Ibid.
The Fourteenth Amendment does not protect against all deprivations of
liberty. It protects only against deprivations of liberty accomplished "without
due process of law." A reasonable division of functions between law
enforcement officers, committing magistrates, and judicial officers-all of
whom may be potential defendants in a § 1983 action-is entirely consistent
with "due process of law." Given the requirements that arrest be made only
on probable cause and that one detained be accorded a speedy trial, we do
not think a sheriff executing an arrest warrant is required by the Constitution
to investigate independently every claim of innocence , whether the claim is
based on mistaken identity or a defense such as lack of requisite intent. Nor
is the official charged with maintaining custody of the accused named in the
warrant required by the Constitution to perform an error-free investigation of
such a claim. The ultimate determination of such claims of innocence is
placed in the hands of the judge and the jury
Baker, 443 U.S. at 145-46.
Here, Plaintiff does not deny that proper procedures are being utilized in bringing
her to trial in Washington County on the criminal charges. Rather, she merely claims she
is innocent of the charges. Plaintiff has stated no claim that her rights under the Due
Process Clause have been violated.
Third , the "Constitution does not mention malicious prosecution nor do[es Plaintiff]
cite a basis for a federal action for malicious prosecution." Kurtz v. City of Shrewsbury, 245
F.3d 753 , 758 (8th Cir. 2001 ). The Eighth Circuit has "uniformly held that malicious
prosecution by itself is not punishable under § 1983 because it does not allege a
constitutional injury." Id.
Finally,"[v]erbal threats do not constitute a constitutional violation. "
Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1339 (8th Cir. 1985). Similarly, taunts , name calling , and the use
of offensive language do not state claims of constitutional dimension. McDowell v. Jones ,
990 F.2d 433, 434 (8th Cir. 1993) (inmate's claims of general harassment and of verbal
harassment were not actionable under§ 1983); O'Donnell v. Thomas , 826 F.2d 788 , 790
(8th Cir. 1987) (verbal threats and abuse by jail officials did not rise to the level of a
constitutional violation) ; Martin, 780 F.2d at 1338-1339 (being called an obscene name and
threatened with adverse consequences unless he cut his hair and shaved , did not state a
claim of constitutional dimension); Black Spotted Horse v. Else , 767 F.2d 516 , 517 (8th Cir.
1985) (use of racially offensive language in dealing with a prisoner does not, by itself, state
For the reasons stated, the claims against Detective Allen, Detective Maccey,
Officer Anderson , Detective Malichi Samuels , and Judge Lindsey will be dismissed
because Plaintiff's claims are frivolous and/or fail to state claims upon which relief may be
granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii) (in forma pauperis action may be dismissed
on such grounds at any time). For the same reason , Plaintiff's verbal harassment claims
are also dismissed.
The failure to protect and denial of medical care claims against Deputy Chavez,
Guard Huwber, Guard Gasten ; Guard James, Guard Donnahue; and John and Jane Doe,
Doctors and Nurses remain for later
IT IS SO ORDERED on this
day of February, 2
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