United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge.
filed his Complaint on March 28, 2017. (Filing No.
1.) He has been given leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. (Filing No. 5.) The court now conducts an
initial review of Plaintiff's Complaint to determine
whether summary dismissal is appropriate under 28 U.S.C.
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
sues the Lancaster County Sheriff's Department.
(Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 2.) Liberally construed,
he also sues Deputy Tyler Loos (“Loos”) of the
Lancaster County Sheriff's Department. (See id.
at CM/ECF pp. 5, 10-11.) Plaintiff seeks $10, 000 in damages.
alleges that on March 29, 2017, Loos conducted a traffic stop
of Plaintiff's vehicle because a light was out.
(Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 10.) Plaintiff maintains,
however, that the stop was without probable cause.
(Id. at CM/ECF pp. 8, 5-11.) He also alleges that
Loos made the stop on account of his race, stating,
“Loos rode parallel to his vehicle [with direct] and
prolonged extensive observation” prior to the stop so
that Loos “knew the vehicle was driven by a black
man.” (Id. at CM/ECF p. 8, 10.)
alleges that Loos cited Plaintiff for driving under
suspension even though Plaintiff informed Loos during the
stop that he had a temporary driver's license.
(Id. at CM/ECF pp. 4, 8, 10.)  Plaintiff asserts
that Loos made reference to prior stops as the basis for the
citation, so Plaintiff believes that Loos cited him for a
previous violation. (Id. at CM/ECF p. 8.) Plaintiff
also claims that his vehicle was illegally searched and
seized when it was searched prior to being impounded for
“driving under suspended driving privileges as
such.” (Id. at CM/ECF pp. 8, 10.) He then,
“under duress, ” had to pay for reinstatement of
his Nebraska identification card before the towing company
would release his vehicle to him. (Id. at CM/ECF p.
trial, the Lancaster County Court found Plaintiff guilty of
driving under suspension, a Class III misdemeanor, finding
that Plaintiffs privileges to operate a motor vehicle in
Nebraska were suspended as a result of his December 2015
conviction in Lancaster County Court for no proof of
insurance. Plaintiff did not reinstate his privileges in the
State of Nebraska until April 2, 2016, and the fact that the
State of California reinstated his driving privileges in
California on January 19, 2016, did not reinstate his driving
privileges in the State of Nebraska.
alleges that the “[un]lawful traffic stop” was
the result of “[UnConstitutional Policies, Procedures,
Ordinances, and Laws [of] the County of Lancaster and the
City of Lincoln . . . .” (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p.
8.) Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that the citation
process used by the Lancaster County Sheriffs Department and
the traffic/municipal courts is unconstitutional, because an
issued citation is not signed by a “judicial officer,
” in violation of the “Separation of
Powers.” (Id. at CM/ECF pp. 8, 11-12.)
APPLICABLE STANDARDS OF REVIEW
court is required to review in forma pauperis complaints to
determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). 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.
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 here 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 ...