TEGARDEN v. INDIANA PAROLE BOARD et al
Entry Granting Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis and Dismissing Complaint: The plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis [dkt. 2] is granted. The plaintiff is assessed an initial partial filing fee of Twelve Dollars and Seventy-Eig ht Cents ($12.78). He shall have through March 9, 2016, in which to pay this sum to the clerk of the district court. For the reasons stated, the plaintiff's complaint must be dismissed. The plaintiff shall have through March 9, 2016, in which to show cause why Judgment consistent with this Entry should not issue ***SEE ENTRY FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION***. Signed by Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson on 2/4/2016. Copy sent to Plaintiff John Tegarden via US Mail. (DW)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
INDIANA PAROLE BOARD,
GWENDOLYN M. HORTH Parole Hearing
THOR R. MILLER Parole Hearing Chairman,
VIRGIL R. MADDEN Parole Hearing
CHARLES F. MILLER Parole Hearing
FREDERICK A. MEDLEY Parole Hearing
Entry Granting Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis and Dismissing Complaint
The plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis [dkt. 2] is granted. The plaintiff is
assessed an initial partial filing fee of Twelve Dollars and Seventy-Eight Cents ($12.78). He shall
have through March 9, 2016, in which to pay this sum to the clerk of the district court.
The plaintiff is a prisoner currently incarcerated at Pendleton Correctional Industrial
Facility. Because the plaintiff is a “prisoner” as defined by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(h), this Court has an
obligation under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b) to screen his complaint before service on the defendants.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the Court must dismiss the complaint if it is frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief. In determining whether the complaint states a claim, the Court applies
the same standard as when addressing a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6). See Lagerstrom v. Kingston, 463 F.3d 621, 624 (7th Cir. 2006). To survive dismissal,
[the] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a
claim for relief that is plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Pro se complaints such as that filed by the plaintiff
are construed liberally and held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers. Obriecht v. Raemisch, 517 F.3d 489, 491 n.2 (7th Cir. 2008).
The plaintiff brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Indiana Parole
Board and the five members of the Indiana Parole Board. He alleges the following: in June 2015
the plaintiff was arrested for a parole violation. He had a hearing before the Parole Board on
August 19, 2015, during which he told the Parole Board that he was being held in violation of
Indiana law. The Parole Board informed him that they do not “make mistakes” and that he would
have to remain in custody for the remainder of his parole. He seeks, among other things, $100,000
in damages from each defendant and declaratory and injunctive relief.
“[W]hen a state prisoner seeks damages in a [42 U.S.C.] § 1983 suit, the district court must
consider whether a judgment in favor of the plaintiff would necessarily imply the invalidity of his
conviction or sentence. . . .” Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 487 (1994). If it would, a plaintiff
has no cause of action under § 1983 “unless and until the conviction or sentence is reversed,
expunged, invalidated, or impugned by the grant of a writ of habeas corpus.” Id. at 489.
The principle from Heck applies to re-incarceration or continued incarceration pursuant to
the order of parole authorities. See Easterling v. Siarnicki, 435 Fed. Appx. 524, 526 (7th Cir.
2011) (“Heck applies to both a prisoner’s original sentence and to reimprisonment upon revocation
of parole.”); Littles v. Bd. of Pardons and Paroles Div., 68 F.3d 122, 123 (5th Cir. 1995) (applying
Heck to parole revocation). A favorable decision on the plaintiff’s claim here—that is, a finding
that the Parole Board held him in custody in violation of Indiana law—would necessarily call into
question the revocation of his parole. See White v. Gittens, 121 F.3d 803, 807 (1st Cir. 1997)
(concluding that a § 1983 claim based on revocation of parole was barred by Heck; “[a] favorable
decision in the § 1983 proceeding would necessarily call into question the validity of the state’s
decree revoking [plaintiff’s] parole and ordering him back to prison. Heck therefore applies, and
the 1983 action is not cognizable in a federal court”). Accordingly, Heck bars the plaintiff’s
claims, and they are not actionable until and unless he successfully challenges the revocation of
his parole. The dismissal of his claims shall be without prejudice.
For the reasons stated, the plaintiff’s complaint must be dismissed. The plaintiff shall have
through March 9, 2016, in which to show cause why Judgment consistent with this Entry should
not issue. See Luevano v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 722 F.3d 1014, 1022 (7th Cir. 2013) (“Without at
least an opportunity to amend or to respond to an order to show cause, an IFP applicant’s case
could be tossed out of court without giving the applicant any timely notice or opportunity to be
heard to clarify, contest, or simply request leave to amend.”).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Date: February 4, 2016
Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana
PENDLETON - CIF
CORRECTIONAL INDUSTRIAL FACILITY
5124 West Reformatory Road
PENDLETON, IN 46064
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?