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Moore v. Peters

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Aberdeen Division

August 30, 2017



          Louis Guirola, Jr., Chief U.S. District Judge.

         Before the Court is the [31] Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendant Valrie Peters, a government official sued in her individual capacity. Having considered the pleadings, Plaintiff Richard Moore's testimony at the screening hearing held in this matter, the Motion, and the relevant law, the Court is of the opinion that the Motion should be granted and all claims against Peters should be dismissed. The Court will also order Plaintiff Moore to show cause why his remaining claims should not also be dismissed.


         Moore, while a federal prisoner, filed a “Complaint for Violation of Civil Rights Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983” against multiple defendants and later amended the Complaint to add more defendants. Moore was granted permission to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915.

         After a screening hearing, the Court dismissed all Defendants but Peters, who was Moore's federal probation officer, and Defendant Deputy Patterson, who Moore alleges is a deputy with the Pontotoc County Sheriff's Office.[1] Moore states that he “was released to the custody of the United States Probation Department in August 2013 to serve 3 years of supervised release.” (Compl. 1, ECF No. 1). He further states that Defendant Peters told him

that it was unlikely he would succeed on supervised release. Ms. Peters stated that due to the fact that the Plaintiff not admitting [sic] to the crime to which he was accused and taking [the case] to trial, that the judge . . . and U.S. Probation office had rather Plaintiff spend the rest of his life in prison.

(See Id. at 1-2).

         Moore claims that “[o]ver the course of 2 ½ years, . . . Peters made several sexual advances toward” Moore, made sexual comments, and asked him sexually personal questions. (See Id. at 2-3). He contends that “[o]n 3 different occasions, ” Peters demanded that he take a “urine test where she entered a restroom alone with” Moore and watched Moore's “exposed penis and made profane conversation and statements.” (See Id. at 2). He also alleges that Peters told him that if he reported “the sexual advances, she would have [the judge] violate his probation and would make sure plaintiff went to a prison where his life would be a living hell.” (See Id. at 2-3). The Complaint contains other allegations about comments Peters allegedly made to Moore or things she allegedly told him. (See Id. at 3-4).

         Additionally, Moore states that Peters worked with Moore's roommate, Tanner Vaughan, “to attempt to ‘set-up' [Moore] in order to violate his probation. (See id.). He states that Peters then “coordinated a full blown ‘RAID' with over two dozen law enforcement officers at Plaintiff's residence.” (See Id. at 4). Moore alleges that “Peters located 3 ‘sex toys' shaped like a penis in Vaughan's bedroom [and she] cut open each ‘toy' and sadistically laid them out . . . in open view to send a ‘message' to” Moore. (See Id. at 4-5).

         Moore claims that Vaughan told Peters that Moore was going to file “an official complaint on Peters outlining the sexual harassment[, ]” and that thereafter U.S. Marshals came to his home “and arrested him for a so-called probation violation” based on false accusations by Peters. (See Id. at 5-6). At the screening hearing, Moore elaborated that he believed Peters was retaliating against him for not having sex with her by making “ridiculous claims of a probation violation in order to control and, ultimately, shut me down.” (See Hearing Tr. 13:11-20).

         Moore was found guilty of multiple probation violations, but contends that Peters “made up stories and made sure [he] lost his home, auto, and all vested interest in a large real estate purchase and causing the property to go in to default. Peters conducted several interviews with community members ranting about who he was having sex with and what he had ‘against her.'” (See Compl. 6, ECF No. 1).

         At the screening hearing, Moore again stated that Peters made “bogus assertions” at the probation revocation hearing “and the Court went along with that.” (See Hearing Tr. 13:21-14:2). He testified: “Which, nothing could be further from the truth. It had everything to do with what the underlying deal was, which was she was divorced. And she spent a great deal of time - it became some type of obsessed fatal attraction.” (Id. at 14:3-6); (see also Id. at 13:16-17). Moore alleges that he has suffered permanent damages “by being harassed sexually, mental torture of 2 ½ years of being told that no one will believe a ‘pervert' over a federal office. Plaintiff was and is being treated like an animal and thrown in prison because he refused to have sex with . . . Peters on several occasions.” (See Compl. 6-7, ECF No. 1).

         With respect to Defendant Patterson, Moore states that Patterson colluded with Peters “in order to set a false and manufactured ‘trap' to violate [Moore]'s supervised release.” (Mot. To Amend 1, ECF No. 6). Moore claims that he was sent to “federal prison on false claims made by” Peters and Patterson. (See Id. at 3).

         Peters has filed a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The Court advised Plaintiff Moore at the screening hearing that if he continued to represent himself, he would be expected to respond to motions. However, instead of filing a substantive response to the Motion, Moore filed a two-page “Answer” to the Court's July 17, 2017 [33] Order to Show Cause, stating in pertinent part that he “affirms his ...

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