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McPeek v. Bon Homme County Sheriff Kelsey

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division

March 2, 2017

TRAVIS RAY MCPEEK, Plaintiff,
v.
BON HOMME COUNTY SHERIFF KELSEY; PENNINGTON COUNTY STEPHANIE BORN; NORTHWEST SHUTTLE, UNKNOWN AGENT; MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF, FABIO MORAN, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER SCREENING CASE AND GRANTING LEAVE TO AMEND

          ROBERTO A. LANGE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Travis R. McPeek ("McPeek"), an inmate at the Yankton County Jail in Yankton, South Dakota, filed this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Doc. 1. This Court has screened his complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the following reasons, the Court grants McPeek leave to amend his complaint.

         I. FACTS ALLEGED IN THE COMPLAINT[1]

         On January 4, 2017, McPeek signed an extradition agreement that he alleges allowed Bon Homme County, South Dakota to transport him. Doc. 1 at 4. On January 12, 2017, McPeek was placed on a Northwest Shuttle and transferred. Id. He alleges that he was mistreated during the transport. Id. at 5-6. He appears to allege that he was denied the use of a bathroom, he was shackled, he was stripped searched, and he was booked into county jails without charges pending in those counties. Id. at 5. McPeek also alleges that his medical needs were ignored, that he was denied medication, that he has myofascial muscle and tissue damage, fibromyalgia, and that he was recently shot five times. Id. at 6.

         On February 13, 2017, McPeek filed a complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1983. He raises three claims and names as defendants those who he alleges were involved in the arrangements for the transport. Id. at 4. As relief, McPeek requests monetary damages of $12 million. Id. at 7. McPeek also requests that he be appointed counsel to aid him with his lawsuit. Id.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         At this stage of the case, this Court must accept the well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Schriener v. Quicken Loans, Inc., 774 F.3d 442, 444 (8th Cir. 2014). Civil rights and pro se complaints must be liberally construed. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citation omitted); Bediako v. Stein Mart, Inc., 354 F.3d 835, 839 (8th Cir. 2004). Even with this construction, "a pro se complaint must contain specific facts supporting its conclusions." Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985); Ellis v. City of Minneapolis, 518 F.App'x 502, 504 (8th Cir. 2013). Civil rights complaints cannot be merely conclusory. Davis v. Hall, 992 F.2d 151, 152 (8th Cir. 1993); Parker v. Porter, 221 F.App'x 481, 482 (8th Cir. 2007).

         A complaint "does not need detailed factual allegations . . . [but] requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). "If a plaintiff cannot make the requisite showing, dismissal is appropriate." Beavers v. Lockhart, 755 F.2d 657, 663 (8th Cir. 1985).

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, this Court must screen prisoner claims filed in forma pauperis and determine whether they are (1) "frivolous, malicious, or fail[ ] to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (2) seek[ ] monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief." See also Onstad v. Wilkinson, 534 F.App'x 581, 582 (8th Cir. 2013).

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Screening Under § 1915A

         McPeek's complaint raises three claims. He claims that defendants violated his rights under the Fourteenth Amendment by illegally transferring him, by mistreating him during the transfer, and by denying him medical treatment during the transfer. McPeek does not allege which defendants committed which acts.

         1. Count I - Illegal Transfer

         McPeek claims that defendants violated his Fourteenth Amendment rights by illegally transferring him. According to the complaint, McPeek signed a document agreeing to be transferred, but he claims that he only agreed to be transferred by Bon Homme County. Doc. 1 at 4. McPeek, however, does not have a constitutional right to be transferred by a certain entity. Therefore, he fails to state a claim upon ...


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