Sims v. Rochelle et al
ORDER vacating 3 Order. The Court will construe Mr. Sims's 2 complaint as a petition for writ of habeas corpus brought under 28 U.S.C. §2254. The Clerk of the Court is directed to send a copy of this Order to the ADC Trust Fund Central ized Banking Agency, ADC Compliance Division, and the Warden of the Dub Brassell Adult Detention Center. The Clerk is instructed to serve a copy of Mr. Sims's 2 habeas corpus petition on the Respondent Greg Bolin, Chief Deputy Jail Administrat or of the Dub Brassell Detention Center, and the Arkansas Attorney General, by regular mail. Chief Deputy Bolin should file an answer, motion, or other responsive pleading to the petition within 20 days after service. The Clerk is directed to terminate the following defendants: Dametria Rochelle, Felicia Fisher, Rebekah Kennedy, S. Kyle Hunter, Rik Ramsey, and Kimberly Bridgeforth. Signed by Magistrate Judge Beth Deere on 6/16/2014. (ks)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
PINE BLUFF DIVISION
MELVIN EARL SIMS
CASE NO. 5:14-CV-227 BSM/BD
Melvin Earl Sims filed this federal lawsuit pro se, that is, without the help of a
lawyer, under 42 U.S.C. §1983, the Federal Civil Rights Act. Mr. Sims requested that he
be allowed to proceed in forma pauperis (docket entry #1). The Court granted that
request and ordered that Mr. Sims pay the $350.00 filing fee for a civil rights action in
monthly installments to be collected from his prison account. (#3)
Federal courts are required to screen prisoner complaints that seek relief against a
government entity, officer, or employee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. The Court has reviewed
Mr. Sims’s complaint which purports to be a civil rights action and includes a request for
damages. He specifically states, however, that he is being held in custody in violation of
his constitutional rights and also requests immediate release from incarceration. (#2 at
A civil rights action brought under 42 U.S.C. §1983 challenges the conditions of a
prisoner’s confinement, whereas a habeas corpus action “is an attack by a person in
custody upon the legality of that custody, and . . . the traditional function of the writ is to
secure release from illegal custody.” Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 484 (1973).
Habeas corpus is the appropriate remedy here, because Mr. Sims’s claim “goes directly to
the constitutionality of physical confinement or the shortening of its duration.” Id. at 489.
For these reasons, the Court will construe Mr. Sims’s complaint as a petition for
writ of habeas corpus brought under 28 U.S.C. §2254,1 and will VACATE its earlier
The Clerk of the Court is directed to send a copy of this Order to the Arkansas
Department of Correction Trust Fund Centralized Banking Office, P.O. Box 8908, Pine
Bluff, Arkansas 71611, the Arkansas Department of Correction Compliance Division,
P.O. Box 20550, Pine Bluff, Arkansas 71612, and the Warden of the W.C. “Dub”
Brassell Adult Detention Center, 300 East Second Avenue, Pine Bluff, Arkansas 71601 to
notify them that the Court’s earlier order initiating deductions from Mr. Sims’s account
(#3) has been vacated and deductions for payment of the filing fee in this case are no
Mr. Sims’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis (#1) is GRANTED. The Clerk is
instructed to serve a copy of Mr. Sims’s habeas corpus petition (#2) on the Respondent
Greg Bolin, Chief Deputy Jail Administrator of the Dub Brassell Detention Center, and
If a judgment in favor of a prisoner in an action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
would necessarily imply the invalidity of the conviction, continued imprisonment, or
sentence, the prisoner cannot pursue a claim for damages until the conviction or sentence
has been reversed, expunged, or called into question by a state tribunal or federal court.
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 489 (1994). If successful in his habeas case, Mr. Sims
may have a claim for damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, but right now, such a claim is
the Arkansas Attorney General, by regular mail. Chief Deputy Bolin should file an
answer, motion, or other responsive pleading to the petition within twenty (20) days after
Because the matter is being converted to a habeas petition, the Clerk is directed to
terminate the following defendants: Dametria Rochelle, Felicia Fisher, Rebekah Kennedy,
S. Kyle Hunter, Rik Ramsey, and Kimberly Bridgeforth.
IT IS SO ORDERED, this 16th day of June, 2014.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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