United States District Court, D. Kansas
BRICE D. CHAPMAN, SR., Plaintiff,
MONTGOMERY COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER AND ORDER TO SHOW
CROW U.S. Senior District Judge
Brice D. Chapman, Sr., an inmate at the Montgomery County
Jail in Independence, Kansas, brings this pro se
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He
proceeds in forma pauperis. For the reasons
discussed below, Plaintiff is ordered to show cause why his
complaint should not be dismissed.
Nature of the Matter before the Court
Chapman's complaint (Doc. 1) alleges his constitutional
rights were violated when he was strapped into a restraint
chair for hours for no reason upon being booked into the
jail. The complaint further alleges he is being held without
indictment and without evidence being sent to be tested at
the Kansas Bureau of Investigation's (KBI) crime lab on
an excessive and unreasonable bond. Plaintiff names as
defendants the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office; the
Montgomery County District Attorney's Office; Larry
Markle, Montgomery County District of Attorney; the
Montgomery County Jail; the officers who arrested him;
Officer Hankins; and Officer Louis.
Count I of his complaint, Plaintiff alleges that upon being
booked into the Montgomery County Jail, Officers Hankins and
Louis strapped him into a restraint chair and left him there
for hours. He claims he did nothing to warrant being
restrained, and the officers failed to follow protocol.
Count II, Plaintiff claims he was held on a felony charge
without an indictment or just cause. He complains that
certain evidence has not been sent to the KBI crime lab for
testing. He also complains that his bond is excessive due to
his prior criminal history of which the judge has personal
knowledge because he was formerly the district attorney who
prosecuted Plaintiff on the prior charges.
alleges Defendants have violated his rights under the Eighth,
First, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments. He seeks to have the
criminal charges against him dismissed and to receive
financial compensation for his mental anguish.
Statutory Screening of Prisoner Complaints
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or
an employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion
thereof if a plaintiff has raised claims that are legally
frivolous or malicious, that fail to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege the
violation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of
the United States, and must show that the alleged deprivation
was committed by a person acting under color of state
law.” West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988)
(citations omitted); Northington v. Jackson, 973
F.2d 1518, 1523 (10th Cir. 1992). A court liberally construes
a pro se complaint and applies “less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). In
addition, the court accepts all well-pleaded allegations in
the complaint as true. Anderson v. Blake, 469 F.3d
910, 913 (10th Cir. 2006). On the other hand, “when the
allegations in a complaint, however true, could not raise a
claim of entitlement to relief, ” dismissal is
appropriate. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 558 (2007).
pro se litigant's “conclusory allegations
without supporting factual averments are insufficient to
state a claim upon which relief can be based.” Hall
v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991).
“[A] plaintiff's obligation to provide the
‘grounds' of his ‘entitlement to relief'
requires “more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citations
omitted). The complaint's “factual allegations must
be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level” and “to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Id. at 555, 570.
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has explained “that, to
state a claim in federal court, a complaint must explain what
each defendant did to [the pro se plaintiff]; when
the defendant did it; how the defendant's action harmed
[the plaintiff]; and, what specific legal right the plaintiff
believes the defendant violated.” Nasious v. Two
Unknown B.I.C.E. Agents, 492 F.3d 1158, 1163
(10th Cir. 2007). The court “will not supply
additional factual allegations to round out a plaintiff's
complaint or construct a legal theory on a plaintiff's
behalf.” Whitney v. New Mexico, 113 F.3d 1170,
1173-74 (10th Cir. 1997) (citation omitted).
Tenth Circuit has pointed out that the Supreme Court's
decisions in Twombly and Erickson gave rise
to a new standard of review for § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)
dismissals. See Kay v. Bemis, 500 F.3d 1214, 1218
(10th Cir. 2007) (citations omitted); see also
Smith v. United States, 561 F.3d 1090, 1098
(10th Cir. 2009). As a result, courts “look
to the specific allegations in the complaint to determine
whether they plausibly support a legal claim for
relief.” Kay, 500 F.3d at 1218 (citation
omitted). Under this new standard, “a plaintiff must
‘nudge his claims across the line from conceivable to
plausible.'” Smith, 561 F.3d at 1098
(citation omitted). “Plausible” in this context
does not mean “likely to be true, ” but rather
refers “to the scope of the allegations in a complaint:
if they are so general that they encompass a wide swath of
conduct, much of it innocent, ” then the plaintiff has
not “nudged [his] claims across the line from
conceivable to plausible.” Robbins v.
Oklahoma, 519 F.3d 1242, 1247 (10th Cir.
2008) (citing Twombly, 127 S.Ct. at 1974).