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Walton v. McBride

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

September 12, 2019

EDWARD JOE WALTON, Plaintiff,
v.
KARRI JEAN McBRIDE, et al., Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          SUZANNE MITCHELL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff, an Oklahoma inmate appearing pro se, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Doc. 1.[1] Plaintiff names as defendants Karri Jean McBride and Kay McBride of McBride Bail Bonds, Judge Susan Worthington, Judge Louis Duel, and the Guthrie Police Department.[2] Id. at 4, 5, 7. United States District Judge Joe Heaton has referred the matter to the undersigned Magistrate Judge for proceedings consistent with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), (C). Doc. 19. Because Plaintiff fails to state any cognizable claims under § 1983, the undersigned recommends dismissal of the complaint.

         I. 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), 1915(e)(2)(B).

         “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). The 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); see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972) (per curiam). 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).

         II. Plaintiff's claims.

         In his first claim, Plaintiff alleges “McBride Bail Bonds” stole his home using the court system. Doc. 1, at 5. He explains he let “her” hold the deed to his home in good faith, but “she” put it in her name using “her Mothers Notory stamp.” Id. He asserts he did not jump bond or miss court but “the Judge gave her [his] home.” Id. He names Karri McBride, Kay McBride, Judge Susan Worthington, and Judge Louis Duel as the Defendants responsible under this claim and adds that “the Bondsmans and Judges, Court Clerk D.A Office all have a working relationship.” Id. at 5, 7. He asks this court to “over turn” the judgments against his home and him. Id. at 7.

         In his second claim, Plaintiff alleges the Guthrie Police Department failed to “protect-serve” because “the police would not file a report on the Bondsman McBride and give it to the D.A to be charged because they don't like [him].” Id. He asks this court to give him back his home and award him damages for his “suffering” in the amount of one hundred million dollars. Id. at 8.

         III. State court proceedings.

         The undersigned takes judicial notice of the electronic records of the District Court in and for Logan County, Oklahoma.[3] Those records reflect that Plaintiff is a criminal defendant in at least two cases, CF-2017-215 and CF-2017-298.[4] As part of the criminal proceedings, where Judge Worthington presided, a separate surety bond was posted in each case, one for $20, 000 and another for $50, 000, by Karri Jean McBride on Plaintiff's behalf and he was released on bond. See Sept. 11, 2017 docket entries, Nos. CF-2017-215 and CF-2017-298. When Plaintiff was arrested on new charges and he was returned to custody, Ms. McBride filed a “motion to exonerate bond” in each matter which Judge Worthington granted. See April 26, 2018 docket entries, Nos. CF-2017-215 and CF-2017-298.

         IV. Discussion.

         A. Plaintiff's claims against private citizens.

         “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); see Gallagher v. Neil Young Freedom Concert, 49 F.3d 1442, 1447 (10th Cir. 1995) (“[T]he only proper defendants in a [§] 1983 claim are those who represent the state in some capacity . . . .” (citation and internal brackets omitted)). “‘[T]he under-color-of-state-law element of § 1983 excludes from its reach merely private conduct, no matter how discriminatory or ...


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