Moment v. Green
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Paul W. Grimm on 2/15/2017. (c/m 2/15/2017 aos, Deputy Clerk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
MICHAEL MOMENT, #16-02335.
ROBERT L. GREEN,
Civil Action No. PWG-16-3968
Michael Moment filed this Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis, ECF No.2, on December 12,2016.
1983 with a Motion for
For reasons to follow,
I shall grant the Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis for the purpose of preliminary
screening and dismiss the Complaint.
Moment complains that he is illegally held at the Montgomery County Jail.
Robert L. Green is Director of the Montgomery
of Correction and
Moment alleges that he informed Green that he was being illegally detained
At the time he filed the Complaint, Moment was housed at the Montgomery County Detention
Center at 1307 Seven Locks Road in Rockville, Maryland. ECF No. I. Moment has since
provided the Court with a different address in Laurel, Maryland. ECF NO.4. It is unclear whether
his new address is for mailing purposes only or if he remains at the Montgomery County
Detention Center. When a defendant is released on his own recognizance prior to sentencing, he
still is "in custody' because he [is] subject to restraints not shared by the public generally."
Wilson v. Flaherty, 689 F.3d 332, 336 (4th Cir. 2012) (quoting Hensley v. Mun. Court, 411 U.S.
345,351 (1973) (internal quotation marks and alterations omitted».
because the judge who ordered his detention lacked authority to do so. Moment faults Green for
continuing to detain him and seeks $5 million dollars in damages?
Moment filed the Complaint under 28 U.S.C. S1915, which permits an indigent to
commence an action in federal court without prepaying the filing fee. To protect against abuse
of this privilege, the statute requires a court to dismiss any claim that fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted" or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief." 28 U.S.C. sI915(e)(2)(B)(ii),
(iii); 28 U.S.C. SI915A(b)(l),
This Court is
mindful of its obligation to liberally construe the pleadings of pro se litigants such as Moment's.
See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).
In evaluating a pro se complaint, a plaintiffs
allegations are assumed to be true. Id. at 93 (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555-56 (2007)). Nonetheless, liberal construction does not mean that a court can ignore a
clear failure in the pleading to allege facts which set forth a claim cognizable in a federal district
court. See Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir. 1990) ("The 'special
with which a district court should view such pro se complaints does not
transform the court into an advocate."); Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th
Cir. 1985) (stating a district court may not "conjure up questions never squarely presented").
On November 7, 2011, Moment was sentenced to a term of incarceration to be followed
After a hearing held on August 2, 2016, Moment was found guilty of
violating his probation.
Docket No. 278, Maryland
Montgomery Cty., Md. Aug. 2, 2016).
v. Moment, No. 117643C (Cir. Ct.
His sentencing is scheduled for February 13, 2017.
Moment's claims are based on allegations similar to those he presented in other recently filed
cases. See Moment v. Denai, Civil Action No. PWG-16-3976 (D. Md.); Moment v. Martel, Civil
Action No. PWG-16-3966 (D. Md); Moment v. Malagari, Civil Action Nos. PWG-16-2535 and
PWG-16-2536 (D. Md).
Docket No. 303 Maryland v. Moment, No. 117643C (CiL Ct. Montgomery Cty., Md. Jan. 12,
To extent that Moment seeks damages
under a 42 U.S.C.
related to his
confinement arising from his violation of probation charges and conviction, he is barred from so
doing so at this time. Assuming that a colorable constitutional claim has been stated, where an
inmate's success in a
1983 damages action would implicitly call into question the validity of
the underlying conviction or duration of confinement, the inmate must first "achieve favorable
termination of his available state or federal habeas opportunities to challenge the underlying
or sentence." Muhammad
v. Close, 540 U.S. 749, 751 (2004) (citing Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994)). Moment does not allege, nor does the record reflect, that he
has done so in regard to his conviction.
Because a judgment
necessarily imply the invalidity of his conviction, the Complaint will be dismissed without
For these reasons, this Court will deny and dismiss the Complaint without prejudice in a
separate order which follows.
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