United States District Court, D. Nebraska
LAWRENCE E. JONES, Plaintiff,
THE CITY OF LINCOLN, in the State of Nebraska, and STEGMAN, Detective, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge.
filed his Complaint on April 21, 2016. (Filing No.
1.) Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on May 9,
2016. (Filing No. 9.) On July 15, 2016, Plaintiff
filed a Motion for Leave to File a Second Amended Complaint,
as well as a proposed second amended complaint (“Second
Amended Complaint”). (Filing No. 14.)
was previously given leave to proceed in forma pauperis in
this case. (Filing No. 7.) Therefore, at this time,
the court will conduct an initial review of Plaintiff’s
claims to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). For purposes of conducting
this review, the court will consider Plaintiff’s Second
Amended Complaint as the operative pleading in this action.
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
Second Amended Complaint (Filing No. 14) names
“The City of Lincoln, in the State of Nebraska”
and “Detective Stegman” as defendants. (Filing
No. 14 at CM/ECF p. 2.) Stegman is named in his
official and individual capacities. Plaintiff claims that at
all times relevant to this suit, Stegman was a police
detective with the Lincoln Police Department in Lincoln,
who is incarcerated in the Omaha Correctional Center, alleges
that Stegman violated his constitutional rights by slandering
Plaintiff. Plaintiff maintains that Stegman falsely reported
that Plaintiff made certain statements to Stegman during an
interview. Plaintiff claims that as a result of
Stegman’s false report, Plaintiff was transferred to a
“more secure prison, ” and was subsequently found
guilty of misconduct. Plaintiff claims that the misconduct
finding caused him to be denied parole and to suffer
emotional and physical distress. Plaintiff also suggests that
Stegman is prejudiced against inmates, which is why Stegman
lied about Plaintiff’s interview responses.
seeks to recover monetary damages.
STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW
court is required to review prisoner and in forma pauperis
complaints seeking relief against a governmental entity or an
officer or employee of a governmental entity to determine
whether summary dismissal is appropriate. See 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e) and 1915A. The court must dismiss a
complaint or any portion of it that states a frivolous or
malicious claim, that fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
plaintiffs must set forth enough factual allegations to
“nudge their claims across the line from conceivable
to plausible, ” or “their complaint must be
dismissed.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 569-70 (2007); see also Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (“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.”).
essential function of a complaint under the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure is to give the opposing party ‘fair
notice of the nature and basis or grounds for a claim, and a
general indication of the type of litigation
involved.’” Topchian v. JPMorgan
Chase Bank, N.A., 760 F.3d 843, 848 (8th Cir. 2014)
(quoting Hopkins v. Saunders, 199 F.3d 968, 973 (8th
Cir. 1999)). However, “[a] pro se complaint must be
liberally construed, and pro se litigants are held to a
lesser pleading standard than other parties.”
Topchian, 760 F.3d at 849 (internal quotation marks
and citations omitted).
construed, Plaintiff alleges federal constitutional claims.
To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff
must allege a violation of rights protected by the United
States Constitution or created by federal statute and also
must show that the alleged deprivation was caused by conduct
of a person acting under color of state law. West v.
Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Buckley v.
Barlow, 997 F.2d 494, 495 (8th Cir. 1993).
Against the ...