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Hagood v. Morgan County Alabama

United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Northeastern Division

November 10, 2014

RODNEY HAGOOD, Plaintiff,
v.
MORGAN COUNTY ALABAMA, Defendant

Rodney Hagood, Plaintiff, Pro se, Decatur, AL.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

JOHN E. OTT, Chief United States Magistrate Judge.

Rodney Hagood, hereinafter referred to as the plaintiff, has filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that rights, privileges, or immunities afforded him under the Constitution or laws of the United States have been abridged during his incarceration at Morgan County Jail in Decatur, Alabama. The plaintiff names Morgan County, Alabama, as the sole defendant and seeks monetary damages. In accordance with the usual practices of this court and 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), the complaint was referred to the undersigned magistrate judge for a preliminary report and recommendation. See McCarthy v. Bronson, 500 U.S. 136, 111 S.Ct. 1737, 114 L.Ed.2d 194 (1991).

I. Standard of Review

The Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Pub. L. No. 104-134, § 804, 110 Stat. 1321, 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, requires the court to screen complaints filed by prisoners against officers or employees of governmental entities and to dismiss the complaint or any portion of the complaint it determines is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant immune from such relief. Where practicable, the court may sua sponte dismiss a prisoner's complaint prior to service. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).

A dismissal pursuant to § 1915A(b)(1) for failure to state a claim is governed by the same standards as dismissals for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). See Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 215, 127 S.Ct. 910, 166 L.Ed.2d 798 (2007). To survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, " a 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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (internal quotation omitted). A plaintiff must assert " more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not" suffice. Bell A. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). Because " [p]ro se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than pleadings drafted by attorneys[, ]" they are liberally construed. Boxer X v. Harris, 437 F.3d 1107, 1110 (11th Cir. 2006).

II. Factual Allegations

The plaintiff had " someone bring" him to the Morgan County Sheriff's Department on February 14, 2013, when a warrant was issued for his arrest. (Doc. 1 at 3).[1] After turning himself in, the Sheriff's Department " impounded [his] truck from [a] friend's house[] for evidence for the Morgan County District Attorney." (Id.). Three months later, the plaintiff was " asked [if he] could . . . have someone pick up [the] truck." (Id.).

The plaintiff secured someone to pick up his truck from an investigator " at Morgan County's shop on Highway 67, " but " she was told [the truck had been] moved to an impound lot." (Id.). The impound lot " demanded $1400" to retrieve the vehicle. (Id.). The plaintiff did not have the money and " lost [his] truck and work tools." (Id.).

He alleges " [t]here was no need" for Morgan County to confiscate his Atruck in [the] first place[.]" (Id. at 4). Moreover, " [i]nstead of releasing [the] truck immediately after searching [it, the County] waited months" and then " want[ed] to charge" him for " impounding it." (Id.).

The plaintiff demands Morgan County be " held responsible, " and seeks reimbursement for his truck and work tools. (Id.).

III. Constitutional Analysis

The plaintiff does not set out any readily discernible legal basis -- state or federal - for the monetary relief he seeks for his lost property. He filed his complaint, however, on a form designated for claims brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This statute provides the mechanism through which causes of action may be brought for the " deprivation of any rights, privileges or immunities secured by" the United States Constitution. 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Therefore, this court ...


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