Villarreal v. Pigott et al
OPINION AND ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING CASE WITHOUT PREJUDICE Signed by District Judge Victoria A. Roberts. (CPin)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
DAVID ANTHONY VILLARREAL,
Case Number: 2:17-CV-12469
HON. VICTORIA A. ROBERTS
BILL J. PIGOTT, ET AL.,
OPINION AND ORDER OF SUMMARY DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE
Pending before the Court is Plaintiff David Anthony Villarreal’s pro se civil rights
complaint filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is proceeding without prepayment of
the filing fee in this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Plaintiff’s claims relate to the
revocation of his parole. He seeks injunctive and monetary relief. For the reasons which
follow, the complaint is dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires that a complaint set forth “a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,” as well as
“a demand for the relief sought.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2), (3). The purpose of this rule is
to “give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson,
355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957) and Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2)). While this notice pleading standard
does not require “detailed” factual allegations, Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, it does require
more than the bare assertion of legal conclusions or “an unadorned, thedefendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). “A pleading that offers ‘labels and conclusions’ or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.’” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
“Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders ‘naked assertion[s]’ devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement.’” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).
Plaintiff has been granted leave to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee for
this action. Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), the court is required to
sua sponte dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint before service on a defendant if it
determines that the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief
can be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. See 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Similarly, the Court is
required to dismiss a complaint seeking redress against government entities, officers, and
employees that it finds to be frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). A complaint is frivolous if it lacks an arguable
basis in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989).
To state a federal civil rights claim, a plaintiff must allege that: (1) he was
deprived of a right, privilege, or immunity secured by the federal Constitution or laws of
the United States, and (2) the deprivation was caused by a person acting under color of
state law. Flagg Bros. v. Brooks, 436 U.S. 149, 155-57 (1978). A pro se civil rights
complaint is to be construed liberally. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972).
Petitioner names twelve defendants: an Administrative Law Judge (Tyra LawsWright), several employees of the Saginaw County Parole Office (Bill J. Pigott, Landon
VanWormer, Katie Schall, Samuel J. Ruffino, and Stephanie M. Musser), a Michigan
Department of Corrections (MDOC) grievance officer (Richard D. Russell), a parole
violation specialist (Cynthia VanLake), and four members of the Michigan Parole Board
(Combs, Eagen, King, and Wilson). Plaintiff’s claims focus on the revocation of his
In 1993, Plaintiff pleaded guilty in Saginaw County Circuit Court to one count of
second-degree criminal sexual conduct, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.520c(1)(a), and no
contest to two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, Mich. Comp. Laws §
750.520b(1)(a). He was sentenced to concurrent prison terms of five to fifteen years for
the second-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction and twenty to forty years for each
of the first-degree criminal sexual conduct convictions.
Plaintiff was released on parole in 2013. According to the complaint, in 2015,
Plaintiff was given a polygraph test by the parole office and the results indicated
deception. Plaintiff was charged, in 2015, with violating the terms of his parole by failing
to complete a sex offender treatment program, using a device capable of connecting to the
internet, possessing a cell phone capable of taking photographs, and failing to charge his
electronic monitoring device. Plaintiff was found guilty of all of the charged violations,
with the exception of failing to complete a sex offender treatment program. His parole
was revoked on August 19, 2015.
Plaintiff’s complaint alleges that the revocation of his parole was improperly based
upon the failed polygraph examination. He argues that the conditions of his parole did
not require him to submit to a polygraph examination and that, but for the failed
examination, his parole would not have been revoked.
The complaint necessarily challenges the validity of the parole revocation. A
claim under § 1983 is an appropriate remedy for a state prisoner challenging a condition
of his imprisonment. See Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 499 (1973). In Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), the Supreme Court established that a state prisoner does
not state a cognizable civil rights claim challenging his imprisonment if a ruling on his
claim would necessarily render his continuing confinement invalid, until and unless the
reason for his continued confinement has been reversed on direct appeal, called into
question by a federal court’s issuance of a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254,
or otherwise invalidated. Id. at 486-87. Because Plaintiff has not achieved a favorable
termination of the parole revocation, this complaint is barred by Heck.
Accordingly, the complaint is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.1
S/Victoria A. Roberts
VICTORIA A. ROBERTS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
DATED: October 24, 2017
See Hodge v. City of Elyria, 126 Fed. App’x 222, 223 (6th Cir. 2005) (holding
that a case dismissed pursuant to Heck should be dismissed without prejudice so that
plaintiff may re-assert claims if plaintiff obtains reversal or expungement of convictions).
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