Willis v. Kirby et al (INMATE1)

Filing 4

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS re 1 Inmate 1983 Complaint filed by Brent Willis, that this case be dismissed without prejudice pursuant to the directives of 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). Objections to R&R due by 12/27/2005. Signed by Judge Charles S. Coody on 12/13/2005. (dmn)

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Willis v. Kirby et al (INMATE1) Doc. 4 Case 3:05-cv-01161-MEF-CSC Document 4 Filed 12/13/2005 Page 1 of 5 IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES F O R THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA E A S T E R N DIVISION B R E N T WILLIS, Plaintiff, v. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) C I V I L ACTION NO. 3:05-CV-1161-F [WO] E L A IN E KIRBY, et al., Defendants. R E C O M M E N D A T I O N OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE In this 42 U.S.C. 1983 action, Brent Willis ["Willis"] challenges the constitutionality o f his incarceration in the Opelika City Jail. Willis seeks monetary damages and the te rm in a tio n of his sentence. After a thorough review of the complaint, the court concludes that dismissal of this ca se prior to service of process is proper under 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).1 FACTS O n October 10, 2005, a state court sentenced Willis to 215 days imprisonment. Willis c o m p la in s that he is "stuck with these days" despite his appeal. Plaintiff's Complaint at 2. A prisoner who is allowed to proceed in forma pauperis in this court will have his complaint screened in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B). This screening procedure requires the court to dismiss a prisoner's civil action prior to service of process if it determines that the complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary damages from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii). 1 Dockets.Justia.com Case 3:05-cv-01161-MEF-CSC Document 4 Filed 12/13/2005 Page 2 of 5 H e asserts that the defendants have "tamper[ed] with due process" as they have "yet to a b a n d o n [] the prosecution, discharge me and terminate the bond." Id. DISCUSSION W illis complains that his incarceration in the Opelika City Jail pursuant to the s e n te n c e imposed upon him on October 10, 2005 is illegal. This claim goes to the f u n d a m e n ta l legality of the plaintiff's confinement, and, consequently, provides no basis for re lie f at this time pursuant to 1983. Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641, 646 (1997); Heck v . Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994); Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 500 (1973). In 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 a n d until the [order requiring such confinement] is reversed, expunged, invalidated, or im p u g n e d by the grant of a writ of habeas corpus" and complaints containing such claims m u s t therefore be dismissed. 512 U.S. at 483-489. The Court emphasized that "habeas c o rp u s is the exclusive remedy for a [confined individual] who challenges the fact or duration o f his confinement and seeks immediate or speedier release, even though such a claim may co m e within the literal terms of 1983" and, based on the foregoing, concluded that Heck's c o m p la in t was due to be dismissed as no cause of action existed under section 1983. 512 U .S . at 481. In so doing, the Court rejected the lower court's reasoning that a section 1983 a c tio n should be construed as a habeas corpus action. 2 Case 3:05-cv-01161-MEF-CSC Document 4 Filed 12/13/2005 Page 3 of 5 In Balisok, the Court further concluded that an inmate's "claim[s] for declaratory [and in ju n c tiv e ] relief and money damages, . . . that necessarily imply the invalidity of the p u n ish m e n t imposed, is not cognizable under 1983 . . ." unless the inmate can demonstrate th a t the challenged action has previously been invalidated. 520 U.S. at 648. Moreover, the C o u r t determined that this is true not only when a prisoner challenges the judgment as a s u b s ta n tiv e matter but also when "the nature of the challenge to the procedures could be such a s necessarily to imply the invalidity of the judgment." Id. at 645. The Court reiterated the p o s itio n taken in Heck that the "sole remedy in federal court" for a prisoner challenging the c o n s titu tio n a lity of his confinement is a petition for writ of habeas corpus. Balisok, 520 U.S. a t 645. Additionally, 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. The instant complaint challenges the constitutionality of a sentence imposed upon W illis on October 10, 2005 by a court located in Lee County, Alabama. A judgment in favor o f Willis in this cause of action would necessarily imply the invalidity of this sentence and h is confinement pursuant to this sentence. It is clear from the complaint that the sentence a b o u t which Willis complains has not been invalidated in an appropriate proceeding. C o n se q u e n tly, the instant collateral attack on the plaintiff's confinement in the Opelika City J a il is prohibited as habeas corpus is the exclusive remedy for an inmate who challenges the 3 Case 3:05-cv-01161-MEF-CSC Document 4 Filed 12/13/2005 Page 4 of 5 v a lid ity of the fact or duration of his confinement. Balisok, 520 U.S. at 645; Heck, 512 U.S. a t 481; Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 488-490 (1973). Such attack is therefore subject to summary dismissal by this court in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. 1 9 1 5 (e )( 2 )( B )( ii) . CONCLUSION A c c o r d in g ly, it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that this case b e dismissed without prejudice pursuant to the directives of 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). It is further ORDERED that on or before December 27, 2005 the parties may file objections to this R e c o m m e n d a tio n . Any objections filed must clearly identify the findings in the Magistrate J u d g e 's Recommendation to which the party is objecting. Frivolous, conclusive or general o b jec tio n s will not be considered by the District Court. The parties are advised that this R e c o m m e n d a tio n is not a final order of the court and, therefore, it is not appealable. F a ilu re to file written objections to the proposed findings and advisements in the M a g is tra te Judge's Recommendation shall bar the party from a de novo determination by the D is tric t Court of issues covered in the Recommendation and shall bar the party from a tt a c k i n g on appeal factual findings in the Recommendation accepted or adopted by the D is tric t Court except upon grounds of plain error or manifest injustice. Nettles v. W a in w r ig h t, 677 F.2d 404 (5th Cir. 1982). See Stein v. Reynolds Securities, Inc., 667 F.2d 4 Case 3:05-cv-01161-MEF-CSC Document 4 Filed 12/13/2005 Page 5 of 5 3 3 (11th Cir. 1982). See also Bonner v. City of Prichard, 661 F.2d 1206 (11th Cir. 1981, en b a n c ), adopting as binding precedent all decisions of the former Fifth Circuit handed down prior to the close of business on September 30, 1981. D o n e this 13 th day of December, 2005. /s/Charles S. Coody CHARLES S. COODY C H IE F UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 5

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