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Maxwell v. State

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

January 26, 2018

JASON E. MAXWELL Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF OKLAHOMA, et al, Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          SUZANNE MITCHELL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Jason E. Maxwell (Plaintiff), appearing pro se, initiated this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 through a single-page complaint alleging “constitutional/civil rights violations” by “Defendants” in “Muskogee, OK.” Doc. 1.[1] United States District Judge David L. Russell has referred this matter to the undersigned Magistrate Judge for initial proceedings consistent with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), (C). Doc. 3.

         I. Plaintiff's complaint.

         Plaintiff alleges

that the Defendants, acting under color of law, did willfully, maliciously, unjustly violate Plaintiff's 6th constitutional rights. That on the 1st day of Feb 2016 . . . Plaintiff was incarcerated in the Muskogee, OK. To this 12th day of January 2018 . . . Plaintiff has yet to be tried/or convicted.

Doc. 1.[2] As relief, Plaintiff “ask[s] this honorable court to hear said writ to witt: U.S.C. 42 § 1983 constitutional/civil rights violations” and “prays that this honorable court grant said action.” Id.

         II. Screening.

         Federal law requires the court to screen complaints filed by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must dismiss any frivolous or malicious claim, any claim asking for monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief, or any claim on which the court cannot grant relief. Id. § 1915A(b).

         Generally, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556); see also Gee v. Pacheco, 627 F.3d 1178, 1184 (10th Cir. 2010). “[T]he tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

         “A pro se litigant's pleadings are to be construed liberally and held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). The court, however, may not serve as Plaintiff's advocate, creating arguments on his behalf. See Yang v. Archuleta, 525 F.3d 925, 927 n.1 (10th Cir. 2008).

         Consistent with this screening mandate, the undersigned has reviewed Plaintiff's complaint and, for the following reasons, recommends summary dismissal.

         III. Analysis.

         Plaintiff invokes 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in seeking relief from this Court. Doc. 1. “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). Likewise, “a complaint must explain what each defendant did to [Plaintiff]; when the defendant did it; how the defendant's action harmed [Plaintiff]; and, what specific legal right [Plaintiff] believes the defendant violated.” Nasious v. Two Unknown B.I.C.E. Agents, 492 F.3d 1158, 1163 (10th Cir. 2007).

         Plaintiff, however, alleges only that “the Defendants” have “violate[d]” his “6th constitutional rights” because he has been “incarcerated in . . . Muskogee, O[klahoma]” from February 1, 2016 until January 12, 2018, the date he signed his complaint, [3] and he “has yet to be tried/or convicted.” Doc. 1. He simply concludes that multiple Defendants have violated his Sixth Amendment rights without describing, as he must, what any particular Defendant-including the only Defendant he identifies, the “State of Oklahoma”-did to him and how that Defendant's actions harmed him.[4]Id. And, although he expressly asks for relief under ...


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