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Lightsey v. Meigs

United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division

June 10, 2015

EMMA LIGHTSEY, #238811, Plaintiff,
v.
JACK MEIGS, et al., Defendants.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

BERT W. MILLING, Jr., Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff, an Alabama prison inmate proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed a Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action has been referred to the undersigned for appropriate action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 72.2(c)(4). After careful consideration, it is recommended that this action be dismissed with prejudice, prior to service of process, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and (ii) because the claims either fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted or are frivolous.

I. Complaint. (Doc. 1).

Plaintiff indicates in her Complaint that she was convicted of murder in 2004 and received a sentence of life imprisonment, and does not have a future sentence to serve with respect to another conviction. (Doc. 1 at 3). The Court's docket reflects that she previously challenged her murder conviction in two habeas petitions, which were denied. Lightsey v. King, CA No. 2:07-0481-CG-C (S.D. Ala. Jan. 9, 2008), and Lightsey v. Albright, CA No. 2:12-0042-KD-M (S.D. Ala. May 10, 2012).

In the present action, Plaintiff appears to be challenging this conviction again even though she did not identify the conviction in her allegations. That is, in CA No. 07-2:07-0481-CG-C, the record shows that Plaintiff was convicted of murder on November 23, 2004 and sentenced to life imprisonment on December 20, 2004 (Doc. 11 at 1), with agents Guthrie and Bailey being involved in criminal process ( id. at 4, 7), and with Circuit Court Judge Jack Meigs (Doc. 6-2 at 4) trying the case. See generally Doc. 1 at 12-14 (habeas petition). These individuals are also named as Defendants in the present action.

The present allegations identify as Defendants Jack Meigs, Perry County Judge; Donald McMillian, prosecutor; John Bailey and John Guthry, agents with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation; and Ann Armstrong, court reporter. (Doc. 1 at 6-7). The allegations against each Defendant are brief, consisting of two pages. ( Id. ). Due to this brevity, the allegations are being set out in their entirety.

In Sept., 2002, John Bailey and John Guthry, agents for the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, removed, then failed to log in, exculpatory evidence from Plaintiff's home.
Jack Meigs, Perry County judge, failed to recuse himself, allowed hearsay testimony, made unsolicited comments, about Lightsey's testimony, to the jury. Increased Lightsey's sentence after she made a statement at her sentencing hearing. Ordered, allowed, encouraged or ignored changes to trial transcripts. Donald McMillian, Prosecutor, tainted the jury pool[.]
Ann Armstrong, court reporter, deleted or allowed to be deleted; change or allowed to be changed portions of the trial and sentencing transcripts.

( Id. at 6-7).

For relief, Plaintiff requests her release or a re-trial; damages for her lost income since her arrest; $12 million for her twelve years of pain and suffering; reimbursement for her legal fees, court costs, and expenses; an order requiring Defendants to give Plaintiff a written apology for their wrongdoings; and any additional relief the Court deems just, proper, and equitable. ( Id. at 7).

II. Standards of Review Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

Because Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court is reviewing the Complaint (Doc. 1) under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Under § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i), a claim may be dismissed as "frivolous where it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989).[1] A claim is frivolous as a matter of law where, inter alia, the defendants are immune from suit, id. at 327, or the claim seeks to enforce a right that clearly does not exist. Id.

Moreover, a complaint may be dismissed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Mitchell v. Farcass, 112 F.3d 1483, 1490 (11th Cir. 1997). To avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the allegations must show plausibility. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 557, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1966, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). "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." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). That is, "[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level" and must be a "plain statement' possess[ing] enough heft to sho[w] that the pleader is entitled to relief.'" Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557, 127 S.Ct. at 1965, 1966(second brackets in original). However, "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do ...


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