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VanBuren v. Spoon

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division

May 2, 2019

JOSHUA JAMICHAEL VANBUREN
v.
RAYMOND M. SPOON, ET AL.

         SECTION P

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY, JUDGE.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          KAREN L. HAYES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Joshua Jamichael VanBuren, who proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis, filed the instant proceeding on April 9, 201');">1');">1');">19, under 42 U.S.C. § 1');">1');">1');">1983. He names Officer Raymond M. Spoon and Officer Paul Blunschi as Defendants.[1');">1');">1');">1" name="FN1');">1');">1');">1" id="FN1');">1');">1');">1">1');">1');">1');">1] For the following reasons, Plaintiff's claims should be dismissed.

         Background

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Spoon arrested him without probable cause and that, a few years later, Defendant Blunschi arrested him without probable cause. Plaintiff allegedly “spent years behind bars for crimes [he] didn't commit.” [doc. # 1');">1');">1');">1, p. 4].

         Plaintiff claims that Spoon arrested him, under an arrest warrant dated August 1');">1');">1');">12, 201');">1');">1');">14, for attempted second degree murder in connection with a shooting. Id. at 6. He suggests that there was no probable cause for his arrest because: (1');">1');">1');">1) neither he nor the alleged victim were ever questioned before Spoon submitted his application for an arrest warrant; (2) the “original report” revealed that a “caller” and another witness stated that a different person was the shooter; and (3) he was “never indicated as the shooter” in “the original report[.]” Id. at 8.

         Plaintiff was arrested, under the arrest warrant, in Texas “on or about” August 1');">1');">1');">19, 201');">1');">1');">14, he was “extradited” to Louisiana on September 2, 201');">1');">1');">14, and he was “booked into the Ouachita Parish Correctional Center” on September 4, 201');">1');">1');">14. Id. He “had a 72 hour bond hearing” on September 5, 201');">1');">1');">14. Id. at 9. On September 1');">1');">1');">19, 201');">1');">1');">14, an assistant district attorney filed a bill of information against Plaintiff, charging him with attempted second degree murder and intimidating a witness. Id. On September 25, 201');">1');">1');">14, Plaintiff was arraigned before the Fourth Judicial District Court, Ouachita Parish. Id. Plaintiff “had a preliminary examination” on May 4, 201');">1');">1');">15. Id.

         On February 1');">1');">1');">11');">1');">1');">1, 201');">1');">1');">16, finding no probable cause to prosecute Plaintiff, the District Attorney dismissed the charges, and Plaintiff was released from custody. Id. at 1');">1');">1');">10.

         Next, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Blunschi falsely arrested him, without a warrant, on January 26, 201');">1');">1');">17, for attempted second degree murder stemming from another shooting. Id. at 1');">1');">1');">12-1');">1');">1');">13. Blunschi submitted an affidavit of probable cause for arrest without a warrant on January 27, 201');">1');">1');">17. Id. Plaintiff claims, however, that there was no probable cause for his arrest because he was only standing his ground and defending himself from an individual who shot at him first. Id. at 1');">1');">1');">15.

         Plaintiff “had a 72 hour bond hearing” on January 27, 201');">1');">1');">17. Id. On March 1');">1');">1');">15, 201');">1');">1');">17, the District Attorney declined to prosecute Plaintiff for attempted second degree murder and instead charged Plaintiff with aggravated assault with a firearm and illegal use of a dangerous weapon. Id. at 1');">1');">1');">16. Plaintiff was arraigned on March 23, 201');">1');">1');">17. Id. The state trial court never conducted a preliminary examination with respect to the attempted second degree murder charge. Id.

         On March 1');">1');">1');">19, 201');">1');">1');">19, Plaintiff pled guilty to illegal carrying of a weapon, and the trial court sentenced him to “time served.” Id. at 1');">1');">1');">17. He was released from jail the same day. Id.

         Plaintiff claims that, because of Defendants' actions, he received unwanted media attention, he was incarcerated without probable cause for years, he was deprived of meaningful relationships with his friends and family, he was and is deprived of gainful employment, and he endured public humiliation, torment, mental and emotional stress, and social and economic ruin.

         Id. at 1');">1');">1');">11');">1');">1');">1, 1');">1');">1');">18. He seeks $500, 000.00 in punitive damages, $500, 000.00 in nominal damages, and $500, 000.00 for his pain, suffering, emotional distress, defamed character, and lost wages. Id. at 4.

         Law ...


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