United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MICHAEL J. LONGS II, Plaintiff,
LINCOLN POLICE OFFICER GROVES, and LAURA LOWE, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge.
filed a Complaint on January 9, 2019, when he was
incarcerated at the Lancaster County Department of
Corrections. (Filing No. 1.) He has been given leave
to proceed in forma pauperis. (Filing No. 8.) The
court now conducts an initial review of Plaintiff's
Complaint to determine whether summary dismissal is
appropriate under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e) and 1915A.
For purposes of this initial review, the Complaint includes
Plaintiff's supplemental filing (filing no. 9)
and his Motion to Amend and Add Defendant and Supplemental
Filing (filing no. 10).
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
Officer Groves of the Lincoln Police Department
(“Groves”) and Laura Lowe (“Lowe”).
Plaintiff also filed a motion to add Investigator Steven
Wherry (“Wherry”) as a defendant, which the court
will grant. (Filing No. 10.) Plaintiff alleges
Groves arrested Plaintiff on December 19, 2018, for
“the alleged crime of violation of protection
order” based on a false probable cause affidavit and in
violation of Plaintiffs First Amendment right of freedom of
speech “for speaking to Vida Sanchez, Suzann Shull, and
Deputy Sheriff Hopper about filing lawsuits on Mallory A.
[unintelligible] and Laura Lowe.” (Filing No.
1 (capitalization corrected); Filing No. 9.)
Plaintiff further alleges that Lowe conspired with Groves to
have Plaintiff arrested so that Lowe's client could win a
custody battle. (Filing No. 9.)
alleges no police investigation was conducted prior to his
arrest and that “ video footage of the alleged crime
that transpired in the police station/court house” was
not preserved and was recorded over in bad faith and in
concert by Lowe, Groves, and Wherry. (Filing No. 9 at CM/ECF
p. 1.) Plaintiff believes Wherry “is behind Officer
Groves and is retaliating upon [Plaintiff] for filing civil
suits against him.” (Id. at CM/ECF p. 2.)
result of his arrest and ensuing incarceration, Plaintiff
claims “[a] $25, 000.00 bail has been set and [his]
$500, 000.00 bail has been revoked” and he has suffered
“irreparable harm, mental anxiety, monetary damages,
[and] loss of liberty.” (Filing No. 1; Filing No. 9.)
For relief, Plaintiff seeks $5, 000, 000.00 in damages and
injunctive relief. (Filing No. 1; Filing No. 9.)
APPLICABLE LEGAL 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 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 law. West
v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Buckley v.
Barlow, 997 F.2d 494, 495 (8th Cir. 1993).
alleges Lowe conspired with Groves and Wherry to have
Plaintiff arrested in order for Lowe's client to win a
custody battle. From these allegations, the court can
reasonably infer that Lowe is an attorney ...