Enzler v. State of Montana
ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 7 in full. Any appeal of this decision will not be taken in good faith. Signed by Judge Brian Morris on 2/6/2017. Mailed to Enzler. (TAG)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
GREAT FALLS DIVISION
GARY LEE ENZLER,
STATE OF MONTANA,
ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE
JUDGE’S FINDINGS AND
Plaintiff, Mr. Enzler, filed a proposed Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
(Doc. 1), a Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis (Doc. 3), a proposed
Amended Complaint (Doc. 4), and a Motion for True Investigation (Doc. 5).
United States Magistrate Judge John Johnston issued and Order and Findings and
Recommendations in this matter. (Doc. 7.) Judge Johnston ordered Mr. Enzler’s
Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis granted and ordered his Motion for
True Investigation DENIED. Judge Johnston recommended that the Court dismiss
Mr. Enzler’s case because Mr. Enzler’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea in the
underlying conviction is currently on appeal to the Montana Supreme Court.
Plaintiff Enzler filed an objection. (Doc. 9.) The Court reviews de novo findings
and recommendations to which objections are made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).
Mr. Enzler previously pleaded guilty to sexual assault and was sentenced to
a prison term. Mr. Enzler then moved the trial court for leave to withdraw his
guilty plea, but the court denied that motion. The trial court’s denial of that motion
is currently on appeal to the Montana Supreme Court. See In re Gary Lee Enzler,
Civil Action No. 16-100-H-DLC-JTJ (citing State v. Enzler, No. DA 15-0495
(Mont. filed Aug. 13, 2015)).
Mr. Enzler’s Complaint is subject to screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 and
28 U.S.C. § 1915A, because he is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis. The
Court is required to dismiss Mr. Enzler’s Complaint under these provisions if it is
frivolous or malicious, fails state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or
seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Judge
Johnston has correctly and thoroughly explained these standards in his Order and
Findings and Recommendations. (Doc. 7 at 3.)
B. Heck v. Humphrey
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 48687 (1994), bars Mr. Enzler’s § 1983 claims. In Heck, the Court stated that “in order
to recover damages for an allegedly unconstitutional conviction or imprisonment . .
. a § 1983 plaintiff must prove that the conviction or sentence has been reversed on
direct appeal” or otherwise declared invalid, called into question by the issuance of
a habeas corpus writ, or expunged. Id. The Court in Heck further elaborated that an
underlying conviction must be reversed before adjudicating a § 1983 claim when
the § 1983 judgment “would necessarily imply the invalidity” of the underlying
conviction. Heck, 512 U.S. at 487.
The Court’s determination as to whether any of Mr. Enzler’s Constitutional
rights were violated under § 1983 would necessarily imply the invalidity of his
conviction. Mr. Enzler has failed to prove that his underlying conviction has in fact
been invalidated. My Enzler’s conviction is, to the contrary, still on appeal to the
Montana Supreme Court.
III. CONCLUSION AND ORDER
The Court cannot grant relief based on Mr. Enzler’s § 1983 claims due to the
current lack of resolution in his pending appeal. Mr. Enzler’s Complaint must be
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED:
1. Magistrate Judge Johnston’s Findings and Recommendations (Doc. 7) is
ADOPTED IN FULL.
2. Mr. Enzler’s Complaint (Doc. 1) and Amended Complaint (Doc. 4) are
3. The Clerk of Court is directed to close this matter and enter judgment
pursuant to Rule 58 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
4. The Clerk of Court is directed to have the docket reflect that the Court
certifies pursuant to Rule 24(a)(3)(A) of the Federal Rules of Appellate
Procedure that any appeal of this decision will not be taken in good faith.
The record makes plain that the instant Complaint is frivolous, as it lacks
arguable substance in law or fact.
DATED this 6th day of February, 2017.
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