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Stevens v. Paxton

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

September 25, 2019

GREG STEVENS
v.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY JAMES E. PAXTON

         SECTION P

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY JUDGE

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          KAREN L. HAYES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Greg Stevens, a prisoner at Franklin Parish Detention Center proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed the instant proceeding on September 4, 201');">19, under 42 U.S.C. § 1');">1983. He names District Attorney James E. Paxton as Defendant.[1');">1" name="FN1');">1" id= "FN1');">1">1');">1] For the following reasons, the Court should dismiss Plaintiff9;s claims.

         Background

         Plaintiff maintains that, on March 23, 1');">1999, his “constitutional right to a speedy trial was violated[, ]” and that, on November 1');">19, 1');">1999, “the Louisiana Supreme Court confirmed the violation.” [doc. # 1');">1, p. 5]. Plaintiff claims that the district attorney continued to prosecute him even after his right to a speedy trial was violated. Id. According to Plaintiff, “when the prosecutor continued to prosecute me, he was acting outside of his discretionary functions and prosecutorial duties, this constitutes no immunity.” Id.

         Plaintiff alleges further: “In sum and to clarify, I am not disputing the prosecutions [sic] immunity for violating my speedy trial right, even though it is not fair.” Id. at 6. Rather, Plaintiff seeks relief because the prosecutor continued to prosecute him after the alleged speedy- trial violation. Id. He maintains that “the only duty the prosecution had was to dismiss the charges . . . .” Id. The prosecutor, Plaintiff claims, “is without doubt responsible for depriving [Plaintiff] of [his] constitutional right to liberty.” Id. at 7. Plaintiff adds, “When the speedy trial right violation was confirmed everything that occurred ‘after9; the speedy trial violation was illegal, this is the sole argument of this complaint.” Id.

         Plaintiff seeks $7, 500, 000.00, and he asks the Court to dismiss his charge with prejudice, to expunge the charge from his record, and to declare the charge invalid. Id. at 8.

         Law and Analysis

         1');">1. Preliminary Screening

         Plaintiff 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, his complaint is subject to preliminary screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1');">191');">15A.[2] See Martin v. Scott, 1');">156 F.3d 578, 579-80 (5th Cir. 1');">1998) (per curiam). Because he is proceeding in forma pauperis, his Complaint is also subject to screening under § 1');">191');">15(e)(2). Both § 1');">191');">15(e)(2)(B) and § 1');">191');">15A(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 on which relief may be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.

         A complaint is frivolous when it “lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 90 U.S. 31');">19');">490 U.S. 31');">19, 325 (1');">1989). A claim lacks an arguable basis in law when it is “based on an indisputably meritless legal theory.” Id. at 327. Courts are also afforded the unusual power to pierce the veil of the factual allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are clearly baseless. Id.

         A complaint fails to state a claim on 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); accord Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). A claim is facially plausible when it contains sufficient factual content for the court “to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). Plausibility does not equate to possibility or probability; it lies somewhere in between. Id. Plausibility simply calls for enough factual allegations to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence to support the elements of the claim. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556.

         Assessing whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief is a “context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Iqbal, supra. A well-pled complaint may proceed even if it strikes the court that actual proof ...


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