Tarnecy v. Baughman

Filing 10

OPINION AND ORDER re 1 PRO SE COMPLAINT filed by Plaintiff Michael Tarnecy. This case is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. Signed by Judge Rudy Lozano on 11/21/16. (cc: Michael Tarnecy). (cer)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA FORT WAYNE DIVISION MICHAEL TARNECY, ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Plaintiff, vs. JAMIE BAUGHMAN, Defendant. CAUSE NO. 1:16-CV-121 OPINION AND ORDER This matter is before the Court on the Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, filed by Michael Tarnecy, a pro se prisoner, on April 7, 2016. (DE #1.) For the reasons set forth below, the court DISMISSES the action WITHOUT PREJUDICE. BACKGROUND Tarnecy is an inmate at the Jay County Security Center (“Jay County”). On October 3, 2015, he was arrested by Jamie Baughman, a detective with the Jay County Drug Task Force. Upon searching Tarnecy, Officer Baughman found and confiscated drugs and drugrelated paraphernalia. Officer Baughman also took $750 that Tarnecy earned working at Sawyer Drywall. Tarnecy brings a claim against Officer Baughman for the return of his $750. DISCUSSION The court must review the complaint and dismiss it if the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. To survive dismissal, the complaint must state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. Bissessur v. Indiana Univ. Bd. of Trs., 581 F.3d 599, 602-03 (7th Cir. 2009). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference misconduct alleged.” that the defendant Id. at 603. is liable for the Thus, the plaintiff “must do better than putting a few words on paper that, in the hands of an imaginative reader, might suggest that something has happened to her that might be redressed by the law.” N.A., 614 F.3d 400, 403 (7th Cir. 2010). Swanson v. Citibank, Nevertheless, the court must bear in mind that “a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quotation marks and citations omitted). Tarnecy has no constitutional claim for having his money taken by Officer Baughman.1 To the extent he claims the defendant took his money and never returned it, he would have to pursue state remedies. Though the Fourteenth Amendment provides that state officials shall not “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” a state tort claims act that 1 Notably, Tarnecy does not suggest that the search of his vehicle was unconstitutional. 2 provides a method by which a person can seek reimbursement for the negligent loss or intentional deprivation of property meets the requirements of the due process clause by providing due process of law. Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 533 (1984) (“For intentional, as for negligent deprivations of property by state employees, the state’s action is not complete until and unless it provides or refuses to provide a suitable post deprivation remedy.”). Indiana’s tort claims act (INDIANA CODE § 34-13-3-1 et seq.) and other laws provide for state judicial review of property losses caused by government employees, and provide an adequate postdeprivation remedy to redress state officials’ intentional deprivation of a person’s property. accidental or See Wynn v. Southward, 251 F.3d 588, 593 (7th Cir. 2001) (“Wynn has an adequate post-deprivation remedy in the Indiana Tort Claims Act, and no more process was due.”). Thus, the property loss claim will be dismissed without prejudice so that he can pursue it in state court. CONCLUSION For the reasons set forth above, the court DISMISSES the action WITHOUT PREJUDICE. DATED: November 21, 2016 /s/ RUDY LOZANO, Judge United States District Court 3

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