United States District Court, D. Montana, Great Falls Division
Johnston United States Magistrate Judge.
Brian Azure filed a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 alleging violations of his constitutional rights during
the course of his arrest on January 24, 2018. (Doc. 2.) Mr.
Azure failed to name a proper defendant and his claims may be
barred by the doctrines set forth in Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994) and Younger v.
Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971). He will be given an
opportunity to file an amended complaint.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
Azure is a former prisoner proceeding without counsel and in
forma pauperis. He was incarcerated at the Cascade County
Detention Facility in Great Falls, Montana at the time he
filed his Complaint but his April 19, 2018 Notice of Change
of Address indicates that he has been released from custody.
(Doc. 8.) He names the Great Falls Police Department as the
only Defendant. (Complaint, Doc. 2 at 1.)
Azure alleges that on January 24, 2018, he was approached by
Great Falls Police Officer Kevin Supalla at his brother's
residence. He was searched, handcuffed, placed in a police
cruiser, and taken to the Loaf N' Jug Convenience Store.
He claims he was not read his Miranda rights. Officer Supalla
left Mr. Azure in the police car but then returned and tried
to get Mr. Azure to admit that he threatened the clerk at the
convenience store. He continued to attempt to coerce Mr.
Azure to make this admission on the ride to the jail. Mr.
Azure was charged with robbing the store. (Complaint, Doc. 2
Azure was a prisoner at the time he filed his Complaint and
he is proceeding in forma pauperis so the Court must review
his Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 and § 1915A.
Sections 1915A(b) and 1915(e)(2)(B) require the Court to
dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis and/or by a
prisoner against a governmental defendant before it is served
if it is frivolous or malicious, 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 case is malicious if it was filed
with the intention or desire to harm another.”
Andrews v. King, 398 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir.
2005). 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).
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a
complaint “that states a claim for relief must contain
. . . a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the [plaintiff] is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2). That is, 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 (2009) (quotations omitted). A
complaint's allegations must cross “the line from
conceivable to plausible.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
is a two-step procedure to determine whether a
complaint's allegations cross that line. See
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556; Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662.
First, the Court must identify “the allegations in the
complaint that are not entitled to the assumption of
truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679, 680. Factual
allegations are not entitled to the assumption of truth if
they are “merely consistent with liability, ” or
“amount to nothing more than a ‘formulaic
recitation of the elements' of a constitutional”
claim. Id. at 679, 681. A complaint stops short of
the line between probability and the possibility of relief
where the facts pled are merely consistent with a
defendant's liability. Id. at 678.
the Court must determine whether the complaint states a
“plausible” claim for relief. Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 679. A claim is “plausible” if the
factual allegations, which are accepted as true,
“allow[ ] the court to draw the reasonable inference
that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Id. at 678. This inquiry is “a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to
draw on its judicial experience and common sense.”
Id. at 679 (citation omitted). If the factual
allegations, which are accepted as true, “do not permit
the court to infer more than the mere possibility of
misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not
“show[n]”-“that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Id. (citing Fed.R.Civ.P.
document filed pro se is ‘to be liberally
construed,' and ‘a pro se complaint,
however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.'” Erickson v. Pardu, 551 U.S. 89,
94 (2007); cf. Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 8(e)
(“Pleadings must be construed so as to do