United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division
MICHAEL P. MILLS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the court on the pro se prisoner
complaint of Dan Dewayne Newcomb, who challenges the
conditions of his confinement under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
For the purposes of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the
court notes that the plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed
this suit. The plaintiff has brought the instant case under
42 U.S.C. § 1983, which provides a federal cause of
action against “[e]very person” who under color
of state authority causes the “deprivation of any
rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution
and laws.” 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiff alleges
that the defendants violated his constitutional rights by
arresting him without probable cause, falsely imprisoning
him, failing to take him promptly before a judge after
arrest, and failing to ensure that he was promptly appointed
an attorney. For the reasons set forth below, the instant
case will be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon
which relief could be granted.
the court adopted the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation, the following claims remained for the
(1) That Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, failed to implement a
policy to ensure that criminal defendants are presented
expeditiously to a judge after arrest;
(2) That Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, failed to implement a
policy to ensure that criminal defendants are promptly
appointed counsel once they are found to be paupers; and
(3) That Detective Stephanie Perkins failed to bring the
plaintiff before a neutral and detached magistrate in a
timely fashion after he was arrested.
court also permitted the plaintiff to amend his complaint to
include the claims that Starkville Police Captain John Doe
and the City of Starkville caused his false arrest, false
imprisonment, and delay in appointment of defense counsel
through “negligence and failure to supervise and
control” subordinate police officers.
plaintiff's complaint involves three related incidents:
(1) his arrest on charges for which the statute of
limitations had expired; (2) his (mistaken) belief that he
was not promptly taken before a judge after his arrest; and
(3) the delay between the court's determination that he
was a pauper and his contact with appointed counsel. None of
these claims has merit.
on Charges for Which the Statute of Limitations Had
arrived in Starkville, Mississippi, on November 17, 2015, to
turn himself in, Mr. Newcomb was arrested on the charge of
incest, or “Adultery and Fornication Between Persons
Forbidden to Intermarry.” Miss. Code Ann. §
97-29-5. Those charges arose on August 10, 2013; as such, he
was arrested on those charges some three months after the
two-year limitations period under Miss. Code Ann. §
99-1-5 for that crime had expired. Mr. Newcomb argues that
the arresting officers and others knew, or should have known,
that he could not be charged with that crime after the
limitations period had expired. Thus, he argues that the
defendants arrested him without probable cause. As discussed
below, he is mistaken.
cause to arrest exists when, at the time of arrest, the facts
and circumstances within the knowledge of the arresting
officer are sufficient to cause a police officer of
reasonable caution to believe an offense has been or is being
committed. See Duckett v. Cedar Park, 950
F.2d 272, 278 (5th Cir.1992) (citing Eugene v.
Alief Indep. Sch. Dist., 65 F.3d 1299, 1305
(5th Cir. 1995)). The probable cause requirement
does not mandate any showing that such a belief is correct or
more likely true than false. Baker v. McCollan, 443
U.S. 137, 144, 99 S.Ct. 2689, 61 L.Ed.2d 433 (1979).
sheriff executing an arrest warrant is not required by the
Constitution to independently investigate every claim of
innocence. Id. “The Constitution does not
guarantee that only the guilty will be arrested. If it did,
§ 1983 would provide a cause of action for every
defendant acquitted - indeed, for every suspect
released.” Baker, 443 U.S. at 145. A person
arrested pursuant to a warrant issued by a magistrate on a
showing of probable ...