United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
CROW SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Timothy Leonard Lee Medel 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. Plaintiff is also given
the opportunity to file a complete and proper amended
complaint to cure the deficiencies.
Nature of the Matter before the Court
brings this pro se civil rights action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court granted Plaintiff leave to
proceed in forma pauperis. Plaintiff alleges that he
was arrested in Thomas County, Kansas, on May 14, 2018, and
was transferred to the Finney County Jail on May 18, 2018,
“for no reason.” Plaintiff alleges there were no
charges in Finney County and an arrest warrant was not issued
until July 24, 2018. Plaintiff was served the next day-July
25, 2018-and was not taken to a first appearance until August
10, 2018. Plaintiff alleges violations of his due process
rights and K.S.A. § 22-2401. Plaintiff also claims
wrongful imprisonment and malicious prosecution. Plaintiff
alleges that he filed motions to dismiss his state criminal
names as defendants: James R. Schroeder, Thomas County
District Court Judge; Rachel Lamm, Thomas County District
Attorney; and Tom Nickols, Jr., Thomas County Sheriff.
Plaintiff seeks to have all charges associated with the case
dismissed and “appropriate compensation.”
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).
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).
DISCUSSION 1. Immunity
Eleventh Amendment Immunity
it is unclear whether Plaintiff sues any of the defendants in
their official capacity, a claim against state officials for
monetary damages is barred by sovereign immunity. An
official-capacity suit is another way of pleading an action
against the governmental entity itself. Kentucky v.
Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 165 (1985). “When a suit
alleges a claim against a state official in his official
capacity, the real party in interest in the case is the
state, and the state may raise the defense of sovereign
immunity under the Eleventh Amendment.” Callahan v.
Poppell, 471 F.3d 1155, 1158 (10th Cir. 2006) (quotation
omitted). Sovereign immunity generally bars actions in
federal court for damages against state officials acting in
their official capacities. Harris v. Owens, 264 F.3d
1282, 1289 (10th Cir. 2001). It ...