Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Graves v. Harris County Jail

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

May 9, 2019

ROBERT ALLEN GRAVES, SPN (#01954106) Plaintiff,
v.
HARRIS COUNTY JAIL, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND OPINION

          VANESSA D. GILMORE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Robert Allen Graves, an inmate of the Hairis County Jail, sued in April 2019, alleging civil rights violations resulting from a denial of due process. Graves, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, sues the Harris County Jail ("HCJ") and the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

         The threshold issue is whether Graves's claims should be dismissed as frivolous.

         I. Graves's Allegations

         Graves asserts that on October 11, 2017, Assistant District Attorney Catherine Johnson dismissed assault charges pending against him in Cause Number 156722201010. Graves asserts that he was never taken before a magistrate within forty-eight hours of his arrest in Cause Number 156722201010.

         Graves states that on March 19, 2019, he was charged with assault on a peace officer in Cause Number 162510701010. Graves states that his trial in Cause Number 162510701010 is scheduled for June 24, 2019. Graves asserts that the HCJ does not have his fingerprints or signature on file. Graves seeks punitive damages of $1, 500, 000.00.

         Online research reveals that in addition to the charges mentioned by Graves, he is charged with three additional offenses:

(1) violation of a protective order in Cause N umber 217263 801010;
(2) criminal mischief greater that $100.00 and less than $750.00 in Cause Number 217197501010;and
(3) assault of a family member in Cause Number 217197401010. Graves's next court date for all three of these offenses is June 26, 2019.

         II. Standard of Review

         A federal court has the authority to dismiss an action in which the plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis before service if the court determines that the action is frivolous or malicious. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i). A complaint is frivolous if it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact. See Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992); Richardson v. Spurlock, 260 F.3d 495, 498 (5th Cir. 2001) (citing Siglar v. Hightower, 112 F.3d 19'., 193 (5th Cir. 1997)). "A complaint lacks an arguable basis in law if it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory, such as if the complaint alleges the violation of a legal interest which clearly does not exist." Davis v. Scott, 157 F.3d 1003, 1005 (5th Cir. 1998) (quoting McCormick v. Stalier, 105 F.3d 1059, 1061 (5th Cir. 1997)).

         III. The Claim Based on Prosecutorial Misconduct

         Graves seeks damages against the Harris County Attorney's Office for conduct in the prosecution of the criminal case. Absolute immunity precludes his claim. Prosecutors have absolute immunity from such damages claims. Beck v. Tex. State Bd. of Dental Exam 'rs,204 F.3d 629, 637 (5th Cir. 2000)(citing Burns v. Reed,500 U.S. 478, 491 (1991)). Prosecutorial immunity applies to a prosecutor's actions in initiating a prosecution and in handling the case through the judicial process. Id. Prosecutorial immunity extends to activities "intimately associated with the judicial phase of the criminal process." Kerr v. Lyford,171 F.3d 330, 336 (5th Cir. 1999)(quoting Imbler v. Pachtman,424 U.S. 409, 430 (1976)). Graves complains that the Harris County District Attorneys' Office failed to take him before a magistrate within forty-eight hours of his arrest. The actions Graves complains of are related to the judicial process and were undertaken in furtherance of the attorneys' advocacy ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.