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Arias v. U.S. Government

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

May 7, 2018

Robert Arias
v.
U.S. Government et al.[1]

          Robert Arias, pro se

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          ANDREA K. JOHNSTONE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Robert Arias has filed a complaint (Doc. No. 1), asserting that his federal constitutional rights were violated during his September 8, 2016 arrest by United States Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) agents. The matter is here for preliminary review to determine, among other things, whether the complaint asserts any claim upon which relief might be granted. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A(a); LR 4.3(d)(1).

         Preliminary Review Standard The court conducts a preliminary review of prisoner complaints filed in forma pauperis. See LR 4.3(d)(1); see also 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A. In conducting its preliminary review, the court construes pro se complaints liberally. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam). The court then determines whether, so construed, stripped of legal conclusions, and with all reasonable inferences construed in plaintiff's favor, the complaint contains “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief.'” See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citation omitted). Claims may be dismissed, sua sponte, if, among other things, the court lacks jurisdiction, a defendant is immune from the relief sought, or the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A(b)(1); LR 4.3(d)(1)(A).

         Background

         On September 8, 2016, Robert Arias was arrested by DEA agents. Arias alleges that, in the process of placing him under arrest, the agents forcefully removed him from the car in which he was sitting, and proceeded to assault him by kicking and punching him, while restraining him on the ground. Arias alleges that he did not resist the agents' instructions or his arrest, and that the assault was without justification. Arias states that as a result, he has suffered physical and emotional injuries.

         Discussion

         I. Claims Asserted Against Individual DEA Agents

         Arias has stated sufficient facts to warrant service of this action upon the individual DEA agent defendants, as to the following claims, under Bivens v. Six Unknown Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971):

1. The individual DEA agents involved in plaintiff's September 8, 2016 arrest exerted excessive force against plaintiff during the arrest, in violation of plaintiff's Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.
2. The individual DEA agents involved in plaintiff's September 8, 2016 arrested failed to protect plaintiff from harm arising from the excessive force exerted upon plaintiff by the other DEA agents present, in violation of plaintiff's Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.

         In an Order issued simultaneously with this Report and Recommendation, the court directs service of these claims upon the individual DEA agent defendants in this action.

         II. Other Constitutional Claims

         A. ...


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