United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
SHAWN T. PURSLEY Plaintiff
LAWRENCE D. ORAZIO, et al., Defendants
Rebecca Grady Jennings, United States District Court District
Shawn T. Pursley, a prisoner, filed this pro se 42
U.S.C. § 1983 action against various government
officials. This case is before the Court for screening
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and McGore v.
Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601 (6th Cir. 1997),
overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549
U.S. 199 (2007). For the following reasons, this case will be
STATEMENT OF CLAIMS
names as Defendants Lawrence D. Orazio, Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA) Senior Staff Attorney; DEA agents
William Waters, Mike Waters, and Michael Cats; Louisville
Metro Police Department (LMPD) employees Desiree Richmond,
Brian Reccius, and Frank Lucchese; the DEA; and the LMPD. He
states that money in the amount of $20, 568 was seized due to
his arrest on February 8, 2011. According to Plaintiff, the
$20, 568 was an insurance settlement for an injury accident.
He alleges that on March 4, 2011, Defendant Reccius released
$20, 568 to the DEA. Plaintiff states that he was found not
guilty of the charges against him and that the court ordered
those charges dismissed. He further alleges that a July 30,
2015, state-court order provided that the $20, 586 shall be
returned to Plaintiff. He alleges that the seizure of his
property for forfeiture without notice and hearing violated
the Due Process Clause.
prisoner initiates a civil action seeking redress from a
governmental entity, officer, or employee, the trial court
must review the complaint and dismiss the action, if the
Court determines that 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. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1) and (2). A
claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490
U.S. 319, 325 (1989). The Court may, therefore, dismiss a
claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are
clearly baseless. Id. at 327. When determining
whether Plaintiff has stated a claim upon which relief can be
granted, the Court must construe the complaint in a light
most favorable to Plaintiff and accept all factual
allegations as true. Prater v. City of Burnside,
Ky., 289 F.3d 417, 424 (6th Cir. 2002). While a
reviewing court must liberally construe pro se pleadings,
Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per
curiam), to avoid dismissal, a complaint must include
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
alleges that his right to procedural due process under the
Fourteenth Amendment was violated. However, “[i]f
satisfactory state procedures are provided in a procedural
due process case, then no constitutional deprivation has
occurred despite the injury.” Jefferson v.
Jefferson Cty. Pub. Sch. Sys., 360 F.3d 583, 587-88 (6th
Cir. 2004) (citing Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517,
533 (1984)). “Plaintiff may not seek relief under
Section 1983 without first pleading and proving the
inadequacy of state or administrative processes and remedies
to redress [his] due process violations.” Id.
at 588. In other words, proving the inadequacy of state
remedies is an element of the constitutional tort.
Id. (citing Marino v. Ameruso, 837 F.2d 45,
47 (2d Cir. 1988) (“Although one need not exhaust state
remedies before bringing a Section 1983 action claiming a
violation of procedural due process, one must nevertheless
prove as an element of that claim that state
procedural remedies are inadequate.” (emphasis in
Jefferson)). Therefore, in order to state a
procedural due process claim under § 1983,
“‘the plaintiff must attack the state's
corrective procedure as well as the substantive
wrong.'” Meyers v. City of Cincinnati, 934
F.2d 726, 731 (6th Cir. 1991) (quoting Vicory v.
Walton, 721 F.2d 1062, 1066 (6th Cir. 1983)).
Plaintiff does not allege the inadequacy of state procedures.
In fact, Plaintiff alleges that the state court correctly
found that the money in question lawfully belonged to him and
must be returned or held until such time as Plaintiff
designates an agent authorized to accept the return of the
Plaintiff's claim amounts to nothing more than an
allegation that Defendants “failed to comply with a
state judgment. This claim alleges random, unauthorized acts
by [D]efendants, not inadequate state remedies.”
Boles v. Saginaw Police Dep't, No. 85-1086, 1986
WL 16844, at *1 (6th Cir. Apr. 23, 1986). Where other
state-court procedures are available such as a mandamus
action or a petition for a writ of enforcement of the state
judgment, Plaintiff has not shown deprivation of due process
under state law. Id.; see also Kennedy v.
Bonevelle, 413 Fed.Appx. 836, 840-41 (6th Cir. 2011)
(explaining that where a plaintiff has “other state
avenues to appeal . . . any of which may lead to return of or
compensation” for his loss, he has not “pled a
denial of due process in accordance with established state
procedures [and] therefore fails to state a procedural due
process claim.”). Consequently, Plaintiff has not
stated a § 1983 claim.