Marvin Hall v. William Ramsey, et al
UNPUBLISHED OPINION FILED. [11-40856 Affirmed ] Judge: FPB , Judge: CES , Judge: SAH Mandate pull date is 05/21/2012 [11-40856]
Date Filed: 04/30/2012
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
United States Court of Appeals
FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
April 30, 2012
Lyle W. Cayce
MARVIN FRANK HALL,
WILLIAM RAMSEY, City Attorney of Mount Vernon Texas; MOUNT VERNON
POLICE DEPARTMENT; BRIAN ALCORN, Police Officer for City of Mount
Vernon Texas; BRIAN WILLIAMSON, Police Officer in Mount Vernon Texas;
CITY OF MOUNT VERNON TEXAS,
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Texas
USDC No. 5:11-CV-95
Before BENAVIDES, STEWART, and HIGGINSON, Circuit Judges
Plaintiff-Appellant Marvin Frank Hall, Texas prisoner # 1259577, appeals
the district court’s dismissal of this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action as barred by Heck
v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). Hall argues that the defendants’ actions in
arresting him and allegedly seeking a more severe penalty than was warranted
violated his constitutional rights. He contends that pursuant to Wallace v. Kato,
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 R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not
be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH CIR.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: 04/30/2012
549 U.S. 384 (2007), his § 1983 claim accrued when he was arrested, not when
he was convicted or sentenced. Thus, he asserts that at the time of the wrongful
arrest there was no criminal conviction that a civil rights action could call into
question, and the district court erred by applying Heck.
Generally, the dismissal of a complaint as frivolous is reviewed for an
abuse of discretion, and dismissals for failure to state a claim are reviewed de
novo. Praylor v. Tex. Dep’t of Criminal Justice, 430 F.3d 1208, 1209 (5th Cir.
2005); Geiger v. Jowers, 404 F.3d 371, 373 (5th Cir. 2005). The district court did
not specify the standard under which it dismissed Hall’s complaint. However,
even applying the higher de novo standard, we find no error.
mistakenly equated the accrual of his cause of action with the merits of his
Although “a claim of unlawful arrest, standing alone, does not
necessarily implicate the validity of a criminal prosecution following the arrest,”
Mackey v. Dickson, 47 F.3d 744, 746 (5th Cir. 1995) (emphasis in original), when
the proof required to establish the unlawful arrest claim necessarily implicates
the underlying conviction, the claim is barred by Heck. Wells v. Bonner, 45 F.3d
90, 95 (5th Cir. 1995).
Both false arrest and malicious prosecution causes of action require a
showing of no probable cause. See Haggerty v. Tex. Southern Univ., 391 F.3d
653, 655 (5th Cir. 2004) (false arrest); Izen v. Catalina, 256 F.3d 324, 328 (5th
Cir. 2001) (malicious prosecution). Hall concedes that he was convicted of
misdemeanor assault causing bodily injury as a result of the incident for which
he was arrested and originally charged with a felony. Because a showing that
there was no probable cause would call into question the validity of his
misdemeanor conviction, the district court did not err in dismissing this action
with prejudice until the conditions in Heck are met. See Wells, 45 F.3d at 95.
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