Hill v. Williams et al
ORDER DISMISSING CASE without prejudice; denying motions to amend (10 & 35), and denying the remaining post-remand motions, (39, 41, 42, 43) as moot. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 4/23/12. (kpr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
CHRIS E. WILLIAMS; PHILLIP H.
SHIRRON; JOHN W. COLE; DAN
HARMON; HAROLD KING; RICHARD
A. GARRETT; EDDY R. EASLEY; NORMAN
B. FRISBY; ESTATE OF SHERMAN BELL;
B,OB ADAMS; NORMAN MARK KLAPPENBACH;
ESTATE OF JOE KELLY HARDIN; DOES,
Jurors/alternate jurors, Grant County Trial,
September 1995; BOB FRAZIER; CRAIN,
Attorney, Malvern, AR; ARKANSAS ATTORNEY
GENERAL, Office and Staff; and CITY
OF SHERIDAN, ARKANSAS
The Court of Appeals vacated this Court's earlier judgment, noted this
Court's failure to rule on Hill's proposed amendment, Document No. 10, and
remanded the case for consideration of that motion. Hill v. Williams, No. 11
2717,2011 WL 4809964, at *1 (8th Cir. 12 Oct. 2011). On remand, the Court
concludes that the proposed amendment (and a new proposed amendment)
would not cure the defects in Hill's original complaint. The motions to amend
ar,:e therefore denied; and Hill's complaint is dismissed without prejudice.
Hill's claims are habeas claims at heart: he says that he has been
wrongfully convicted and that the State is withholding evidence. These
claims necessarily imply the invalidity of his conviction. So long as Hill's
state conviction stands, his claims are not cognizable under § 1983. Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477,486-87 (1994);Preiserv. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475 (1973);
Marlowe v. Fabian,
F.3d--, 2012 WL 1345559 (8th Cir. 19 April 2012). If
Hill wishes to pursue his claims, he must do so in a habeas action.
Hill tries to skirt the holdings in Heck and like cases. In a post-remand
filing, for example, he argues that he is not necessarily implying the invalidity
of his conviction because the evidence he seeks may prove exculpatory,
inculpatory, or inconclusive." Document No. 35, at 2. This argument is
misguided. To the extent the withheld evidence is exculpatory, Hill's Brady
claim implies that the conviction is invalid. If the withheld evidence is not
exculpatory, then no Brady violation exists on which to hang a § 1983 claim.
Hill cannot avoid the exhaustion requirement by trying to frame habeas
claims as § 1983 violations.
Motions to amend, Document Nos. 10 & 35, denied. The proposed
amendments are futile. If Hill wishes to show his conviction is invalid, then
he must exhaust his state-court remedies and seek relief through a petition for
a writ of habeas corpus. Hill's complaint, Document No.2, is dismissed
prejudice. The remaining post-remand motions, Document Nos. 39,
41, 42, & 43, are denied as moot.
D.P. Marshall Jr.
United States District Judge
23 April 2012
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