Charles Land v. Gina Stone, et al
UNPUBLISHED OPINION ORDER FILED. [11-10147 Dismissed as Frivolous] Judge: CDK , Judge: JES , Judge: JEG. Mandate pull date is 10/18/2011; denying motion to certify question filed by Appellant Mr. Charles Winton Land [6808877-2]; denying motion to proceed IFP filed by Appellant Mr. Charles Winton Land [6808868-2] [11-10147]
Date Filed: 09/27/2011
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
United States Court of Appeals
FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
September 27, 2011
Lyle W. Cayce
CHARLES WINTON LAND,
GINA STONE; JOSE RODRIGUEZ; GEORGE GREENWAY; KEVIN RHODES;
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY; TEXAS HIGHWAY PATROL,
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Texas
USDC No. 3:10-CV-981
Before KING, SMITH, and GRAVES, Circuit Judges.
Charles Winton Land seeks leave to proceed to proceed in forma pauperis
(IFP) in his appeal challenging the dismissal of a civil rights lawsuit against
various Texas state troopers and agencies. The district court dismissed Land’s
complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure after
determining that he had failed to state a claim upon which relief could be
granted. In order to proceed IFP, Land must show that he is a pauper and that
Pursuant to 5TH CIR. R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not
be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH CIR.
Date Filed: 09/27/2011
his appeal is taken in good faith, involving nonfrivolous issues. See Carson v.
Polley, 689 F.2d 562, 586 (5th Cir. 1982) 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3).
To the extent that Land is challenging the defendants’ actions relating to
the validity of the original traffic stop, the district court properly determined
that these claims were untimely. See Piotrowski v. City of Houston, 51 F.3d 512,
516 (5th Cir. 1995). To the extent that Land’s challenges to his arrest and
prosecution would call into question the validity of his convictions for resisting
arrest and interference with public duties, such claims are premature because
he has not obtained reversal or vacation of those convictions. See Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994). Land’s contention that the individual
defendants were aware of the illegality of their actions does not overcome the
district court’s findings that his claims against these defendants in their official
capacities were barred by the Eleventh Amendment. See Edelman v. Jordan,
415 U.S. 651, 663 (1974). Because Land sought injunctive relief in the form of
clearing his criminal record, the district court properly concluded that he was
required to seek such relief in habeas rather than civil rights. See Wilkinson v.
Dotson, 544 U.S. 74, 81-82 (2005); Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 499-500
(1973). The district court properly held that Land had failed to allege sufficient
facts from which it could conclude that the individual defendants were
responsible for any excessive force violation Land suffered with respect to the
actions taken against him by inmates or other officers while he was in jail. See
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009); Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89,
Although Land asserts that the district court made two factual errors in
its analysis of his case, these had no bearing on the court’s legal analysis and do
not affect the validity of the ultimate rulings. He has not shown that he was
entitled to an evidentiary hearing so that he could amend his original complaint,
given that he was able to file a written amendment. See Adams v. Hansen, 906
F.2d 192, 194 (5th Cir. 1985). To the extent that Land is arguing that the
Date Filed: 09/27/2011
district court should have granted him leave to file a second amendment to his
case before dismissing it, he had already been given an opportunity to plead his
best case, and thus the district court did not commit reversible error in denying
the motion. See Jacquez v. Procunier, 801 F.2d 789, 793 (5th Cir. 1986).
In addition, Land contends that his claims were properly presented under
Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S.
388 (1971), because the defendants could have alleged that they were enforcing
federal regulations at the time of their wrongful acts. Bivens permits a civil
rights plaintiff to bring suit against a federal authority; it has no bearing on the
nature of the claims or defenses raised. See Stephenson v. Reno, 28 F.3d 26, 26
& n.1 (5th Cir. 1994).
The attempt by Land to extend Bivens to impose
additional liability on civil rights defendants is conclusional and unavailing.
Land’s appeal is without arguable merit and is thus frivolous. See 5th Cir.
Accordingly, Land’s request for IFP status is DENIED, and his
APPEAL IS DISMISSED. Land’s motion to certify a question to the United
States Supreme Court and the United States Attorney General is DENIED.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?