Joiner v. Montgomery Police Department et al (INMATE2)

Filing 4

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS re 1 Inmate 1983 Complaint filed by Henry Joiner that Plaintiff's 1983 claims against the Montgomery City Jail and the Montgomery Police Department be dismissed with prejudice pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B)(i). To the extent Plaintiff's complaint challenges the constitutionality of a conviction and/or sentence imposed upon him by a state and/or city court located in Montgomery, AL in February 2005, these claims be dismissed without p rejudice pursuant to the directives of 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii); and this case be dismissed prior to service of process pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and (ii). Objections to R&R due by 8/1/2005. Signed by Judge Delores R. Boyd on 7/20/2005. (dmn)

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Joiner v. Montgomery Police Department et al (INMATE2) Doc. 4 Case 2:05-cv-00661-ID-DRB Document 4 Filed 07/20/2005 Page 1 of 5 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA NORTHERN DIVISION ______________________________ H E N R Y JOINER Plaintiff, v. M O N T G O M E R Y POLICE DEPT. , e t al. , D efendants. * * * CIVIL AC T I O N NO. 2:05-CV-661-D (WO) * * ______________________________ RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE In this 42 U.S.C. 1983 action, Henry Joiner, an inmate incarcerated in the Hale Co unty Jail in Greensboro, Alabama, complains that he is unlawfully imprisoned because he c o m p l e t e d service of the sentence on which he is currently incarcerated in 2002. Plaintiff, t h e r e fo r e , complains that his "re-incarceration" in 2005 on a sentence he completed in 2002 is in violation of his right not to be placed in double jeopardy. Seeking injunctive relief and mon etary damages, Plaintiff sues the Montgomery Police Department, the Montgomery City Jail, the City of Montgomery, and Montgomery County, Alabama. Upon review of the com plaint, the court concludes that dismissal of this case prior to service of process is a p pr op ri at e under 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B).1 1 A prisoner who is allowed to proceed in forma pa u p e r i s in this court will have his complaint s c r e e n e d in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B). T h i s screening procedure requires t h e court to dismiss a prisoner's civil action prior to service of process if it determines that the com p l a i n t is Dockets.Justia.com Case 2:05-cv-00661-ID-DRB Document 4 Filed 07/20/2005 Page 2 of 5 I. DISCUSSION A . The Montgomery City Jail and the Montgomery Police Department Plain tiff names the Montgomery City Jail and the Montgomery Police Department as d e f e n d a n t s . These institutions are not legal entities and, therefore, are not subject to suit or liabi lity under 1983. See Dean v. Barber, 951 F.2d 1210, 1214 (11th Cir. 1992). In light o f the foregoing, the court concludes that Plaintiff's claims against the Montgomery City Jail and the M ont gom ery Police Department are due to be dismissed. Id. B. The Challenge to Plaintiff's Conviction/Sentence It is clear that the claims on which Plaintiff seeks to proceed go to the fundamental legality of a judgment and sentence imposed upon him by a state and/or city court located in Montgomery, Alabama. Consequently, these claims provide no basis for relief at this time. See Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641, 646 (1997); Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 ( 1 9 9 4 ). The plaintiff in Heck was a state inmate who sued the prosecutors assigned to his case and a state investigator who participated in the investigation which led to his conviction. He alleged that the defendants knowingly destroyed evidence which was exculpatory in nature and caused an unlawful voice identification procedure to be used at frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary damages from a defendant w h o is imm u n e from such relief. 28 U . S . C . 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii). 2 Case 2:05-cv-00661-ID-DRB Document 4 Filed 07/20/2005 Page 3 of 5 his trial. The complaint sought compensatory and punitive damages. In deciding the claims presented by Heck, the Supreme Court held that a claim for damages challenging the legality of a prisoner's conviction or confinement is 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. Heck, 512 U.S. at 483-489. The Court emphasized that "habeas corpus is the exclusive remedy for a state prisoner who challenges the fact or duration of his confinement and seeks immediate or speedier release, even though such a claim may come within the literal terms of 1983" and, based on the foregoing, concluded that Heck's complaint was due to be dismissed as no cause of action existed under section 1983. Id. at 481. In Balisok, the Court concluded that a state prisoner's "claim[s] for declaratory [and injunctive] relief and money damages, . . . that necessarily imply the invalidity of the punishment imposed, is not cognizable under 1983 . . ." unless the prisoner can demonstrate that the challenged action has previously been invalidated. 520 U.S. 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. 3 Case 2:05-cv-00661-ID-DRB Document 4 Filed 07/20/2005 Page 4 of 5 The claims presented in this civil action challenge the constitutionality of Plaintiff's current imprisonment on a sentence imposed on him by a state and/or city court in February of 2005. A judgment in favor of Plaintiff on these claims would necessarily imply the invalidity of this sentence. A review of the pleadings filed herein fails to establish that the sentence about which Plaintiff complains has been invalidated in an appropriate proceeding. Consequently, the instant collateral challenge to Plaintiff's conviction and/or sentence is prohibited. See Balisok, 520 U.S. at 645; Heck, 512 U. S. at 487. This civil action is, therefore, due to be dismissed in accordance with the provisions set forth in 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and (ii). II. CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons, it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that: 1. Plaintiff's 1983 claims against the Montgomery City Jail and the Montgomery P o l i c e Department be dismissed with prejudice pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. 191 5(e)(2 )(B)(i); 2. To the extent Plaintiff's complaint challenges the constitutionality of a conviction and/or sentence imposed upon him by a state and/or city court located in Montgomery, Alabama, in February 2005, these claims be dismissed without prejudice pursuant to the directives of 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii); and 3. This case be dismissed prior to service of process pursuant to the provisions of 4 Case 2:05-cv-00661-ID-DRB Document 4 Filed 07/20/2005 Page 5 of 5 28 U. S. C. 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and (ii). I t is further O R D E R E D that the parties are DIRECTED to file any objections to the said R e c o m m e n d a t i o n on or before August 1, 2005. Any objections filed must specifically identify the findings in the Magistrate Judge's Recommendation objected to. Frivolous, c o n c l u s iv e or general objections will not be considered by the District Court. The parties are a d v i s e d that this Recommendation is not a final order of the court and, therefore, it is not a p p e a l a b le . Failu re to file written objections to the proposed findings and recommendations in the M agistrate Judge's report shall bar the party from a de novo determination by the District Cou rt of issues covered in the report and shall bar the party from attacking on appeal factual f i n d in g s in the report accepted or adopted by the District Court except upon grounds of plain e r r o r or manifest injustice. Nettles v. Wainwright, 677 F.2d 404 (5 th Cir. 1982). See Stein v . Reynolds Securities, Inc., 667 F.2d 33 (11 th Cir. 1982). See also Bonner v. City of P r i c h a r d , 661 F.2d 1206 (11th Cir. 1981, en banc), adopting as binding precedent all of the d e c i s io n s of the former Fifth Circuit handed down prior to the close of business on S e p t e m b e r 30, 1981. D o n e this 20th day of July, 2005. /s/ Delores R. Boyd D E L O R ES R. BOYD U N I TE D STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 5

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