McDaniel v. Williams et al
ORDER dismissing pltf's complaint without prejudice for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; this dismissal counts as a "strike"; judgment will be entered accordingly. Signed by Chief Judge J. Leon Holmes on 5/5/11. (vjt)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
ANDRE D. McDANIEL
NO. 4:11CV00219 JLH
JAMES L. WILLIAMS, et al.
Plaintiff Andre D. McDaniel, currently incarcerated at the North Central Unit of the Arkansas
Department of Correction, filed this pro se complaint (docket entry #2), pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, on March 7, 2011, naming as Defendants Department of Community Corrections (“DCC”)
Hearing Examiner James L. Williams, DCC Parole/Probation Officer Daniel E. Scott, DCC Area
Supervisor T. Houston, Arkansas Board of Parole Commissioner John Felts and Chairman Leroy
Brownlee. Because Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, his
complaint must be dismissed.
Before docketing the complaint, or as soon thereafter as practicable, the Court must review
the complaint to identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint if it: (1) is frivolous or
malicious; (2) fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (3) seeks monetary relief
against a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A (2006). Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief.” In Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly, the Court stated, “a plaintiff’s
obligation to provide the ‘grounds’ of his ‘entitle[ment] to relief’ requires more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do . . . . Factual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level . . . .” 550 U.S. 544,
555, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1964-65, 167 L. Ed. 2d 929 (2007) (citing 5 Charles Alan Wright & Arthur
R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1216, pp. 235-36 (3d ed. 2004)) (setting new standard
for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted), overruling Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S.
41, 78 S. Ct. 99, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80 (1957). A complaint must contain enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face, not merely conceivable. Id. at 570, 127 S. Ct. at 1974. However,
a pro se plaintiff's allegations must be construed liberally. Burke v. N.D. Dep’t of Corr. & Rehab.,
294 F.3d 1043, 1043-1044 (8th Cir. 2002) (citations omitted).
According to Plaintiff, his parole was wrongly revoked based on false allegations made by
Scott, and he was denied due process and equal protection in a November 30, 2010, parole
revocation hearing before Williams. Plaintiff seeks damages and the immediate reinstatement of his
parole. However, any judgment in Plaintiff’s favor would imply the invalidity of his current
incarceration, and his complaint must therefore be dismissed. See Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477,
114 S. Ct. 2364, 129 L. Ed. 2d 383 (1994). In Heck v. Humphrey, the United States Supreme Court
held that if a judgment in favor of a prisoner in a § 1983 action would necessarily imply the
invalidity of the conviction, continued imprisonment, or sentence, then no claim for damages lies
unless the conviction or sentence is reversed, expunged or called into question by issuance of a
federal writ of habeas corpus. Id. at 486-89, 114 S. Ct. at 2372-73. There is no indication that
Plaintiff’s conviction or sentence has been reversed, expunged, or called into question by issuance
of a federal writ of habeas corpus, and any judgement in his favor would certainly imply the
invalidity of his continued incarceration.1 Accordingly, Plaintiff’s complaint must be dismissed.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT:
Plaintiff’s complaint is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE for failure to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted.
This dismissal counts as a “strike” for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
The Court certifies that an in forma pauperis appeal taken from the order and
judgment dismissing this action is considered frivolous and not in good faith.
DATED this 5th day of May, 2011.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Plaintiff’s only remedy for challenging the lawfulness of his continued incarceration is a
writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. See Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74, 81-82,
125 S. Ct. 1242, 1247-48, 161 L. Ed. 2d 253 (2005) (state prisoners may use only habeas remedies
when they seek to invalidate duration of confinement, either directly through injunction compelling
speedier release or indirectly through judicial determination that necessarily implies unlawfulness
of State's custody); Echols v. Kemna, 511 F.3d 783, 785 (8th Cir. 2007) (explaining that a petitioner
must fully exhaust all available state remedies before commencing a federal habeas action to
invalidate his commitment).
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