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Wells v. County of Gallatin

United States District Court, D. Montana, Butte Division

February 7, 2014

GLORIA WELLS, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTY OF GALLATIN, SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT, SHERIFF, DETENTION FACILITY, COUNTY ATTORNEY, MISSOURI RIVER DRUG TASK FORCE, JANE AND JOHN DOES et al, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN THEIR OWN CAPACITY, Defendants.

ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

JEREMIAH C. LYNCH, Magistrate Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Gloria Wells' Complaint and Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis. (Docs. 1, 4.)

I. Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis

Wells submitted the form Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis wherein she indicates she is currently unemployed and has $15.00 in her bank accounts. (Doc. 4 at 2.) This application is sufficient to make the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). It appears Wells lacks sufficient funds to prosecute this action. The Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis will be granted.

II. Statement of Case

A. Parties

Wells is proceeding without counsel. The named Defendants are: the County of Gallatin, Sheriff's Department, Sheriff, Detention Facility, County Attorney, Missouri River Drug Task Force, and Jane and John Does. (Doc. 1 at 1.)

B. Allegations

Wells alleges she was incarcerated in the Gallatin County jail for 393 days without legal authority per Judge John Brown. She lists general allegations of illegal search and seizure, illegal recording devices, no access to law books while incarcerated, total abuse of discretion by law enforcement, abuse of power by law enforcement, outrageous conduct by law enforcement, violation of oath of office by Gallatin County Attorney for failure to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the State of Montana Constitution. (Complaint, Doc. 1 at 1.)[1] Wells alleges that eight illegal felony charges against her were dismissed after she had been held in the Gallatin County Jail for 393 days. (Complaint, Doc. 1 at 2.) She also complains that her personal property was lost after law enforcement officers left her property unsecured. (Complaint, Doc. 1 at 3.) Wells alleges she is filing this case based upon Judge John Brown's conclusion and dismissal of felony charges due to lack of speedy trial. (Complaint, Doc. 1 at 4.)

Wells does not set forth the dates of her incarceration in her Complaint. But the claims raised in Wells' Complaint were previously brought before this Court in 2011. See Civil Action No. 11-cv-00069-BU-RFC. In that case, Wells alleged false arrest, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution regarding her arrest in May 2008 and detention until March 2010. According to the Complaint filed in that earlier case, Wells was held for thirteen months in the Gallatin County Jail until the charges against her were dismissed on March 20, 2010 for lack of speedy trial. Civil Action No. 11-cv-00069-BU-RFC, Doc. 2 at 6.

III. Prescreening

A. Standard

Wells is proceeding in forma pauperis so her Complaint is reviewed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Section 1915(e)(2)(B) allows for the dismissal of a complaint filed in forma pauperis complaint before it is served upon the defendants if it is frivolous, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

A complaint is frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if a plaintiff fails to allege the "grounds" of his "entitlement to relief." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, (2007) (quotation omitted). Rule 8(a)(2) requires a complaint to "contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to ...


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