Boykin v. Rathman

Filing 11

MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge R David Proctor on 2/27/2015. (AVC)

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FILED 2015 Feb-27 PM 01:31 U.S. DISTRICT COURT N.D. OF ALABAMA UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA EASTERN DIVISION DONCEY FRANK BOYKIN, } } } } } } } } } Plaintiff, v. JOHN T. RATHMAN, Defendant. Case No.: 1:14-cv-00957-RDP-JEO MEMORANDUM OPINION The Magistrate Judge filed a Report and Recommendation on February 3, 2015, recommending that this action, filed pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), be dismissed. The parties were allowed fourteen (14) days in which to file objections to the recommendations made by the Magistrate Judge. On February 19, 2015, Plaintiff filed objections to the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation. (Doc. 10). Plaintiff’s objections are not fully comprehensible and do not appear to be responsive to the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation. Those portions of Plaintiff’s objections that the court can understand consist largely of conclusory restatements of arguments he has already presented. Plaintiff also attaches copies of orders entered in this and related cases. However, the evidence and arguments raised by Plaintiff were properly considered and correctly rejected by the Magistrate Judge, and Plaintiff’s restatement of these arguments does not alter the recommendation made by the Magistrate Judge. In addition, Plaintiff does not respond to the Magistrate Judge’s conclusion that the statute of limitations bars this Bivens action. The court agrees with the Magistrate Judge that the applicable two year limitations period bars Plaintiff’s claim because Plaintiff was aware of his alleged injury no later than May 13, 2003 (when the state court vacated his guilty plea for second-degree robbery). However, he did not file this Bivens action until May 15, 2014. In addition, the court agrees with the Magistrate Judge that even if Plaintiff’s claims were timely (and, to be clear, they are not), they are still due to be dismissed under Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994). Plaintiff summarily challenges the Magistrate Judge’s reliance on Heck because “it addresses the Heck problem, not this one.” (Doc. 10 at 1-2). The court concludes that Plaintiff’s objection is misplaced and that the Magistrate Judge properly applied Heck. As the Eleventh Circuit has held, Heck applies with equal force to Bivens claims as it does to § 1983 claims. Abella v. Rubino, 63 F.3d 1063, 1065 (11th Cir. 1995). In relevant part, Heck holds that, in order to recover damages for an allegedly unconstitutional conviction or imprisonment, Plaintiff must first have his conviction or imprisonment invalidated. Heck, 512 U.S. 486-87. Therefore, because Plaintiff’s 2000 federal sentence has not been invalidated, his Bivens damages claims are not ripe. Furthermore, as the Magistrate Judge has indicated, Plaintiff can only challenge his 2000 federal sentence by way of habeas corpus, not (as he has attempted to do so here) by bringing a Bivens action. Accordingly, after careful consideration of the record in this case, the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation, and Plaintiff’s objections thereto, the court hereby ADOPTS the Report of the Magistrate Judge. The court further ACCEPTS the recommendations of the Magistrate Judge that the Plaintiff’s claims are due to be dismissed. A separate order in accordance with the Memorandum Opinion will be entered. 2 DONE and ORDERED this February 27, 2015. _________________________________ R. DAVID PROCTOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 3

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