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Mangold v. Stone

United States District Court, D. Kansas

June 15, 2018

JONATHAN LEVI MANGOLD, Plaintiff,
v.
MIKE STONE, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

          SAM A. CROW U.S. SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Jonathan Levi Mangold is hereby required to show good cause, in writing, to the Honorable Sam A. Crow, United States District Judge, why this action should not be dismissed due to the deficiencies in Plaintiff's Complaint that are discussed herein.

         I. Nature of the Matter before the Court

         Plaintiff brings this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is incarcerated at the Norton Correctional Facility in Norton, Kansas. The Court granted Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis.

         Plaintiff's allegations in his Complaint involve his state criminal proceedings. See Case Nos. 17-cr-124 and 17-cr-133 in Marion County District Court. Plaintiff sues the state court judge, the prosecuting attorney, Marion Police Department Officer Mike Stone, and the Marion Police Department Chief of Police. Plaintiff alleges that around June 3, 2017, he was illegally searched when he was a passenger in a truck involved in an auto accident. He alleges that Officer Stone used excessive force, resulting in physical injuries. Plaintiff alleges that Officer Stone threatened Plaintiff and his family, rendering his guilty plea involuntary. Plaintiff alleges that the Chief of Police failed to do a proper background check on Officer White. Plaintiff alleges that county prosecutor Courtney Boehm, and District Court Judge Michael Powers, denied his appeal bond and his motions to withdraw pleas. Plaintiff also asks this Court to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over his state law claims.

         Plaintiff seeks $7.5 million in damages for “mental distress, emotional distress, physical distress and scarring, lack of employment due to false search, nightmares.” (Doc. 1, at 8.) In an attachment to his Complaint, Plaintiff seeks $10 million in compensatory damages, as well as declaratory relief, an injunction ordering Defendant Boehm to set an appeal bond or to overturn Plaintiff's sentence, $5 million in punitive damages; and nominal damages.

         An online Kansas District Court Records Search indicates that in both of his state criminal cases, Plaintiff pleaded guilty, was sentenced, unsuccessfully sought to withdraw his pleas, and appealed. The appeals in both cases were consolidated on March 22, 2018. See State of Kansas v. Mangold, Case No. 118996 (Kansas Ct. App.). The consolidated appeal is currently pending and Appellant's brief is due June 22, 2018.

         II. Statutory Screening of Prisoner Complaints

         The 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. § 1915A(b)(1)-(2).

         “To 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).

         A 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.

         The 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).

         The 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).

         III. ...


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