United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION JUDGE.
H.L. Perez-Montes United States Magistrate Judge.
the Court is a civil rights complaint (42 U.S.C. § 1983)
filed by pro se Plaintiff Stephen Allen Lukens
(“Lukens”). Lukens was granted leave to proceed
in forma pauperis. (Doc. 4). Lukens is a pretrial
detainee housed at the Rapides Parish Detention Center.
Lukens complains that he was not timely charged by indictment
or bill of information.
matter has been referred to the undersigned for review,
report, and recommendation in accordance with the provisions
of 28 U.S.C. § 636 and the standing orders of the Court.
was arrested and incarcerated on July 26, 2017. (Doc. 8).
Lukens was not arraigned until December 11, 2017. (Doc. 8).
Lukens alleges that he should have been charged by indictment
or information within 120 days of his detention. (Docs. 1,
Law and Analysis
Lukens's complaint is subject to screening under
§§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.
is a prisoner who has been permitted to proceed in forma
pauperis. As a prisoner seeking redress from an officer
or employee of a governmental entity, Lukens's complaint
is subject to preliminary screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A. See Martin v. Scott, 156 F.3d 578,
579-80 (5th Cir. 1998) (per curiam). Because he is proceeding
in forma pauperis, Lukens's complaint is also
subject to screening under § 1915(e)(2). Both
§§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b) provide for sua
sponte dismissal of the complaint, or any portion
thereof, if the Court finds it is frivolous or malicious, if
it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted,
or if it seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.
complaint is frivolous when it “lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A claim lacks an
arguable basis in law when it is “based on an
indisputably meritless legal theory.” Id. at
327. A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted when it fails to plead “enough facts to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009).
Lukens cannot obtain a release from custody through a
§ 1983 suit.
asks that he be released from custody and that all charges
against him be dismissed. (Doc. 1). A release from custody is
not available through a civil rights action, and must be
requested through a petition for writ of habeas corpus.
See Carson v. Johnson, 112 F.3d 818, 820 (5th Cir.
1997); Cook v. Texas Dep't of Criminal
Justice Transitional Planning Dep't, 37 F.3d
166, 168 (5th Cir. 1994); Pugh v. Parish of St.
Tammany, 875 F.2d 436, 439 (5th Cir. 1989). A civil
rights suit is the proper procedure for attacking
unconstitutional conditions of confinement and prison
procedures. See Carson, 112 F.3d at 820;
Cook, 37 F.3d at 168 (§ 1983 action is
appropriate for recovering damages resulting from illegal
administrative procedures, but habeas corpus is the
appropriate federal remedy for a state prisoner challenging
the fact of his confinement). “Challenges to the
validity of any confinement or to particulars affecting its
duration are the province of habeas corpus.”
Muhammad v. Close, 540 U.S. 749, 750 (2004).
Therefore, Lukens's § 1983 complaint should be
The defendants are immune from suit.
names as defendants the Rapides Parish District
Attorney's Office and District Attorney Phillip Terrell.
To the extent that Lukens seeks monetary damages from