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Armstrong v. Bexar County

United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division

April 12, 2018

TRISTAN OMARR ARMSTRONG, Plaintiff,
v.
BEXAR COUNTY, TEXAS; UNIVERSAL CITY, TEXAS; and UNIVERSAL CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND RECOMMENDATION

          FRANCES H. STACY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Pending and referred is Defendants Universal City and Universal City Police Department's Motion to Dismiss (Document No. 10), Defendant Bexar County's Motion to Quash Service and Motion to Dismiss (Document No. 15), and Plaintiffs responses to both, which have been filed as Motions to Deny Defendants' Motions (Document Nos. 12 & 16). Having considered Defendants' motions, Plaintiff s responses, the claims and allegations in Plaintiff s Complaint, and the applicable law, the Magistrate Judge RECOMMENDS, for the reasons set forth below, that Defendants' Motions to Dismiss (Document Nos. 10 & 15) be GRANTED, that Plaintiffs Motions to Deny Defendant's Motions (Document Nos. 12 & 16) be DENIED, and that Plaintiffs claims against Defendants all be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

         Background

         This case was filed by Plaintiff Tristan Omarr Armstrong ("Armstrong") pro se, as a pro se plaintiff. His pleadings will be liberally construed. Aldersonv. Concordia Par. Corr. Facility, 848 F.3d 415, 419 (5th Cir. 2017). In his Complaint, filed on October 19, 2017, against Bexar County, Texas, Universal City, Texas, and Universal City Police Department, Armstrong complains about events that occurred in May 2014, which led to charges of evading arrest, and defamation of his character thereafter. Armstrong purports to assert a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The allegations in his Complaint in support of that claim, sparse at best, are as follows:

The facts underlying my claim(s) are, Universal City Police Department attempted to make contact with plaintiff at place of his mother's previous residence. Universal City Police Officer, David Gray accompanied by an additional patrolman claimed petitioner had active traffic violations administered by Universal City Municipal Court Judge, Charles Stubblefield and Universal City Police Warrant Officer, Jeremy Bellamy.
Bexar County District Attorney's Office took the initiative to repetitively accuse litigant of Evading Arrest/Detention based on Universal City traffic violations. The culprits stigmatized complainant as a fugitive and issued an arrest warrant. However, litigant was enrolled at The University of Houston and previously sentenced under the same pretenses.
Ironically, The Bexar County District Attorney's Office and Universal City Police Officers David Gray, Jorge Carmona and Jeremy Bellamy utilized the same infractions as trial court evidence in Bexar County's 226th District Court May 29, 2014. Unfortunately, all citations remain in warrant status and include an excessive fine after time was served.
* * *
In all petitioner has been inconvenienced through all educational endeavors and still under doctor's care. Thus, I, Tristan Omarr Armstrong request to have all outstanding infractions and conviction quashed, all personal and educational ambitions funded by defendants, my original military medical documents from trial May 29, 2014, monetary relief, exemplary relief, actual relief, punitive relief, and any relief the courts adjudge necessary. In addition to a jury trial if the courts deem necessary.

Complaint (Document No. 1) at 4, 5.

         Defendants Universal City, Texas and Universal City Police Department seek dismissal of Armstrong's claims, arguing that res judicata bars his claims given his two previous lawsuits alleging essentially the same claims against the same defendants, that the Universal City Police Department is not subject to suit because it has no separate legal existence, and that Armstrong's claims are barred by the applicable statute of limitations. Defendant Bexar County also seeks dismissal of Plaintiffs claims on the basis of res judicata and as foreclosed by the applicable statute of limitations. Nicholas Lahood, the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney, who Armstrong attempted to serve as agent of Bexar County in this case, also seeks to quash that service attempt, arguing that he is not the proper agent for service for Bexar County.

         Armstrong has ostensibly responded to both motions, arguing that the statute of limitations does not bar his claims because his criminal case was closed on October 1, 2016, and the limitations period should commence on that date, and that, with regard to the Motion to Quash Service,

Bexar County Criminal District Attorney, Nicholas LaHood is oblivious to the fact he's held liable for all erroneous torts within Bexar County, Texas. Particularly, those utilized during criminal prosecution. The Bexar County District Attorney's Office is a prime suspect in this personal injury suit. ...

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