Pouncey v. Phares (INMATE2)
ORDER denying 9 Motion to Amend Complaint, as further set out. Signed by Honorable Judge Wallace Capel, Jr on 7/28/11. (scn, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
CITY OF DOTHAN, et al.,
ORDER ON MOTION
Before the court is Plaintiff’s motion to amend complaint wherein he seeks to assert
claims against the City of Dothan with regard to matters associated with his conviction for
domestic violence. Plaintiff’s motion is due to be denied.
In Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), the Supreme Court held that claims for
damages arising from challenges to the legality of a prisoner’s confinement are not
cognizable in a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action “unless and until the conviction or sentence is
reversed, expunged, invalidated, or impugned by the grant of a writ of habeas corpus” and
complaints containing such claims must therefore be dismissed. Id. at 483-489. In Edwards
v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641 (1997), the Court extended the reasoning of Heck by holding that
a prisoner's “claim for [either] declaratory relief” or monetary damages based on an alleged
denial of due process that necessarily implies the invalidity of the action taken against the
prisoner “is not cognizable under § 1983” unless such action has previously been overturned.
Id. at 648. Moreover, the Court determined that this is true not only when a prisoner
challenges the judgment as a substantive matter but also when “the nature of the challenge
to the procedures could be such as necessarily to imply the invalidity of the judgment.” Id.
at 645. The Court “reemphasize[d] . . . that a claim either is cognizable under § 1983 and
should immediately go forward, or is not cognizable and should be dismissed.” Id. at 649.
Plaintiff has not shown that challenged conviction has been invalidated in an
appropriate civil action. Consequently, the instant collateral attack on the adverse actions
taken against him is prohibited by Heck and Balisok.
Thus, any claims relating to the
challenged conviction and attendant sentence are not properly before the court at this time
because habeas corpus is the exclusive remedy in which to present such claims. Balisok, 520
U.S. at 646; Heck, 512 U.S. at 483-89; Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 500 (1973).
Accordingly, it is ORDERED that the motion to amend (Doc. No. 9) be and is hereby
Done, this 28th day of July 2011.
/s/ Wallace Capel, Jr.
WALLACE CAPEL, JR.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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