Hill v. City of St. Louis et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's post-dismissal motion to amend his complaint [Doc. # 11 ] is DENIED. Signed by District Judge Rodney W. Sippel on 1/28/15. (JWD)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
GREGORY A. HILL,
CITY OF ST. LOUIS, et al.,
No. 4:14CV1813 RWS
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Before the Court is plaintiff‟s post-dismissal motion to amend his complaint. For the
reasons outlined below, the Court will deny plaintiff‟s motion.
On October 27, 2014, plaintiff filed the instant action, invoking the jurisdiction of the
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. '' 2201 et seq., seeking to have this Court declare that
pursuant to the Supreme Court case of Powers v. Ohio, 499 U.S. 400 (1991), he should be
allowed to bring a declaratory judgment on behalf of an alternative juror who was excluded from
the jury at his criminal trial, to assert race discrimination rights on her behalf, and thus, raise a
collateral attack on his own criminal conviction.
The Court found that plaintiff was not entitled to seek a declaratory judgment
determination as to the validity of the judgment under which he was confined. See, e.g., Waldon
v. State of Iowa, 323 F.2d 852 (8th Cir. 1963); Christopher v. State of Iowa, 324 F.2d 180 (1963);
Shannon v. Sequeechi, 365 F.2d 827, 829 (10th Cir. 1966) (AThe [Declaratory Judgment] Act
does not provide a means whereby previous judgments by state or federal courts may be
reexamined, nor is it a substitute for appeal or post-conviction remedies.@). The Court noted that
any review of plaintiff‟s conviction would have to be limited to habeas corpus. Thus, plaintiff‟s
action was dismissed, without prejudice, on January 15, 2015.
Plaintiff seeks to amend his complaint to “show this Honorable Court that there exists
„substantial controversy between the parties herein having adverse legal interests.‟” He claims
that he has “determined that the state court judge and a state court prosecutor have abused the
discretion that Missouri law confers on them in the selection procedures on the jury venire.”
The aforementioned reasons proffered by plaintiff do not provide a legitimate reason to
amend this declaratory judgment action after dismissal of plaintiff‟s complaint. As noted above,
plaintiff cannot attack his criminal conviction through such collateral means. If he wishes to
attack his criminal conviction, he must pursue his remedies through post-conviction means or
through habeas corpus. Neither civil rights actions, nor declaratory relief complaints will suffice
to bring plaintiff the relief he is seeking.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff‟s post-dismissal motion to amend his
complaint [Doc. #11] is DENIED.
Dated this 28th day of January, 2015.
RODNEY W. SIPPEL
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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