McGowan v. Guin et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION ADOPTING and ACCEPTING the Magistrate Judge's 8 Report and Recommendation. Signed by Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins on 12/14/2016. (JLC)
2016 Dec-14 PM 01:38
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
WALTER DWAYNE MCGOWAN,
JAMES C. GUIN, et al.,
) Case No. 7:16-cv-01371-VEH-JEO
The magistrate judge filed a report on October 12, 2016, recommending that this
action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 be dismissed without prejudice for failing to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, and for seeking monetary relief from
defendants who are immune from such relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). (Doc.
8). The plaintiff has filed objections to the report and recommendation. (Doc. 11).
As he did in his complaint, the plaintiff asserts he “did not have the requisite
amount of drugs in” his “possession to constitute trafficking,” and therefore has been
“over charged.” (Id. at 1). He reiterates his belief that his bond is unconstitutionally
“excessive” in that the amount is disproportionate to his crime. (Id.). Unlike his
complaint, the plaintiff expresses his feeling that Judge James C. Guin and District
Attorney Pickett are biased against him. (Id.). For relief, the plaintiff requests only
that his bond be reduced or the charges lower or dismissed. (Id.). He expressly
withdraws his demand for monetary damages. (Id.).
Finally, the plaintiff requests that he be allowed to pay the remainder of the filing
fee with “check[s] from home instead of checks in the amount of 20% from” his
“inmate account on the grounds” that he has another civil rights case pending in this
court. (Id.). He declares “they are taking 40% from” his “account and” he “cannot
Having carefully reviewed and considered de novo all the materials
in the court file, including the report and recommendation and the objections thereto,
the magistrate judge’s report is hereby ADOPTED and the recommendation is
Monetary damages aside, the plaintiff still cannot state a claim upon which relief
can be granted since it is well established that a federal court will not interfere with
ongoing state criminal proceedings except under extraordinary circumstances. See
Redner v. Citrus County, Florida, 919 F.2d 646, 649 (11th Cir. 1990) (“A state’s trial
and appeals process is considered ‘a unitary system,’ and Younger [v. Harris, 401 U.S.
37 (1971)] prevents a federal court from disrupting the process[.]”) (alterations
supplied). The plaintiff’s conclusory feeling about judicial bias and his complaints of
being overcharged and subjected to excessive bail are not extraordinary circumstances
meriting federal interference. The plaintiff can have utilize state court procedures to
address these issues and challenge the cases against him. Moreover, a petition for writ
of habeas corpus, not a civil rights lawsuit, is “the proper means of challenging . . .
confinement and seeking release.” Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 484 (1973).
Therefore, in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1) this action is due to be
dismissed without prejudice for failing to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. The plaintiff’s request for permission to make payments toward the filing fee
by way of personal check is DENIED. The plaintiff signed Prisoner Consent Forms
to pay the filing fees in his civil rights cases in the manner set out in the form itself.
Pursuant to that form and 28 U.S.C. 1915(b)(2), the filing fee must be collected from
the plaintiff’s jail account. If the plaintiff believes the Tuscaloosa County Jail is
withdrawing funds from his account in excess of the amount required, he is encouraged
to contact the appropriate officials regarding the matter.
A Final Judgment will be entered.
DONE this the 14th day of December, 2016.
VIRGINIA EMERSON HOPKINS
United States District Judge
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