Galindo v. Marzales et al
ORDER of Dismissal. ORDERED that the Prisoner Complaint and the action are dismissed without prejudice because Mr. Galindo's claims are barred by the rule in Heck. FURTHER ORDERED that leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal is denied, by Judge Lewis T. Babcock on 9/5/12.(lygsl, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No. 12-cv-01878-BNB
ISAAC JOHN GALINDO,
OLGA COSTA DAVIS, and
ORDER OF DISMISSAL
Plaintiff, Isaac John Galindo, is a prisoner who currently is incarcerated at the
Weld County Jail in Greeley, Colorado. Mr. Galindo, acting pro se, filed a Prisoner
Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 challenging the validity of his state court
Mr. Galindo has been granted leave to proceed pursuant to the federal in forma
pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Subsection (e)(2)(B) of § 1915 requires a court to
dismiss sua sponte an action at any time if the action is frivolous, malicious, or seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. A legally frivolous
claim is one in which the plaintiff asserts the violation of a legal interest that clearly does
not exist or asserts facts that do not support an arguable claim. Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989). Under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that the defendants
have violated his or her rights under the Constitution and laws of the United States
while they acted under color of state law. Adickes v. S. H. Kress & Co, 398 U.S. 144,
Mr. Galindo is cautioned that his ability to file a civil action or appeal in federal
court in forma pauperis pursuant to § 1915 may be barred if he has three or more
actions or appeals in any federal court that were dismissed as frivolous, malicious, or for
failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
Under § 1915(g), the Court may count dismissals entered prior to the enactment of this
statute. Green v. Nottingham, 90 F.3d 415, 420 (10th Cir. 1996).
The Court must construe Mr. Galindo’s filings liberally because he is not
represented by an attorney. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). If the complaint reasonably can be read
“to state a valid claim on which the plaintiff could prevail, [the Court] should do so
despite the plaintiff’s failure to cite proper legal authority, his confusion of various legal
theories, his poor syntax and sentence construction, or his unfamiliarity with pleading
requirements.” Hall, 935 F.2d at 1110. However, the Court does not act as an
advocate for a pro se litigant. See id. For the reasons stated below, the complaint and
the action will be dismissed.
The complaint is not the model of clarity, but Mr. Galindo appears to assert that
he was denied a fair trial in Pueblo County criminal case number 09CR710 because
Defendant Judge Victor Reyes set an excessive amount for bail and “allow[ed]
insubstantial evidence . . . as well as an illegal search warrant.” Complaint at 5. He
also alleges that Defendant Judge Reyes “made angery [sic] faces which did intimidate
appellant.” Id. at 6. Mr. Galindo further alleges that Defendant District Attorney
Anthony Marzales allowed the judge to set an excessive amount for bail and
“overlooked medical motions which created cruel and unusual punishment.” Id. at 7.
Finally, Mr. Galindo asserts that Defendant Probation Officer Olga Costa Davis
committed perjury in Pueblo County criminal case number 08M982. Id. at 8. Mr.
Galindo seeks money damages.
Mr. Galindo’s claims for damages are barred by the rule in Heck v. Humphrey,
512 U.S. 477 (1994). Pursuant to Heck, if a judgment for damages necessarily would
imply the invalidity of a criminal conviction or sentence, the action does not arise until
the conviction or sentence has been reversed on direct appeal, expunged by executive
order, declared invalid by an authorized state tribunal, or called into question by the
issuance of a federal habeas writ. See Heck, 512 U.S. at 486-87. Mr. Galindo does
not appear to have invalidated his convictions and sentences. Therefore, the Court
finds that Mr. Galindo’s claims for damages challenging the validity of his state court
criminal convictions are barred by the rule in Heck and this case will be dismissed. The
dismissal will be without prejudice. See Fottler v. United States, 73 F.3d 1064, 1065
(10th Cir. 1996). However, a Heck dismissal counts as a strike under § 1915(g). See
Hafed v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 635 F.3d 1172, 1177-78 (10th Cir. 2011).
The Court also notes that Mr. Galindo’s complaint suffers from other deficiencies.
Defendant Judge Victor Reyes is absolutely immune from liability in civil rights suits
when acting in a judicial capacity unless he acted in the clear absence of all jurisdiction.
See Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11-12 (1991); Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349,
356-57 (1978); Hunt v. Bennett, 17 F.3d 1263, 1266-67 (10th Cir. 1994). Judge Reyes
was acting in his judicial capacity when he convicted and sentenced Mr. Galindo and,
therefore, was not acting in the clear absence of all jurisdiction. Therefore, the claims
Plaintiff asserts against Judge Reyes are barred by absolute judicial immunity.
Mr. Galindo clearly is suing other individuals involved in his criminal proceedings:
his probation officer , Olga Costa Reyes, and District Attorney Anthony Marzales.
Under Heck, he also may not sue these Defendants for damages.
Finally, the Court certifies pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) that any appeal
from this order would not be taken in good faith and therefore in forma pauperis status
will be denied for the purpose of appeal. See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438
(1962). If Mr. Galindo files a notice of appeal he also must pay the full $455.00
appellate filing fee or file a motion to proceed in forma pauperis in the United States
Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit within thirty days in accordance with Fed. R. App.
P. 24. Accordingly, it is
ORDERED that the Prisoner Complaint and the action are dismissed without
prejudice because Mr. Galindo’s claims are barred by the rule in Heck. It is
FURTHER ORDERED that leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal is
DATED at Denver, Colorado, this
BY THE COURT:
s/Lewis T. Babcock
LEWIS T. BABCOCK, Senior Judge
United States District Court
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