Maati v. Ebsen et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER on initial review of the complaint. Plaintiff's Complaint 1 is dismissed without prejudice. A separate judgment will be entered in accordance with this Memorandum and Order. Ordered by Judge John M. Gerrard. (Copy mailed to pro se party)(MKR)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEBRASKA
AMIKET EN MAATI,
ANN EBSEN, et al.,
Plaintiff filed his Complaint in this matter on May 17, 2012. (Filing No. 1.)
Plaintiff has previously been given leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Filing No.
6.) The court now conducts an initial review of the Complaint to determine whether
summary dismissal is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
Plaintiff filed his Complaint against the Sarpy County Public Defender’s
Office, the Sarpy County Attorney’s Office, Sarpy County, and three individuals.
(Filing No. 1.) Plaintiff is currently a patient in the Norfolk Regional Center in
Norfolk, Nebraska. (Id.; see also Docket Sheet.)
Condensed and summarized, Plaintiff alleges that on July 1, 1999, he was
convicted in the District Court of Sarpy County, Nebraska, of second-degree sexual
assault and sexual assault of a child. (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 3.) Thereafter, he
was sentenced to serve 20 years in the Nebraska Department of Corrections. (Id. at
CM/ECF pp. 3-4.) Plaintiff completed his sentence and was released on October 29,
2008. (Id. at CM/ECF p. 4.) However, “the moment” that he was released Plaintiff
was taken into custody again, pursuant to an order of detention from the Sarpy
County Mental Health Board, and placed in the Sarpy County Jail. (Id.) Plaintiff was
transported to the Norfolk Regional Center in February 2010. (Id. at CM/ECF p. 6.)
Plaintiff believes his current detention is wrongful and based on “official misconduct,
featuring unlawful behavior, perjury and violation[s] of Plaintiff’s rights under the
United States and Nebraska Constitutions.” (Id. at CM/ECF pp. 1-2.) He seeks
monetary damages, attorney’s fees, costs of suit, and additional relief that this court
may deem equitable and just. (Id. at CM/ECF pp. 20-21.)
APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW
The court is required to review in forma pauperis complaints to determine
whether summary dismissal is appropriate. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). The court must
dismiss a complaint or any portion thereof that states a frivolous or malicious claim,
that fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
A pro se plaintiff must set forth enough factual allegations to “nudge their
claims across the line from conceivable to plausible,” or “their complaint must be
dismissed” for failing to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 569-70 (2007); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct.
1937, 1950 (2009) (“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.”). Regardless of whether a plaintiff is represented
or is appearing pro se, the plaintiff’s complaint must allege specific facts sufficient
to state a claim. See Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985).
However, a pro se plaintiff’s allegations must be construed liberally. Burke v. North
Dakota Dep’t of Corr. & Rehab., 294 F.3d 1043, 1043-44 (8th Cir. 2002) (citations
DISCUSSION OF CLAIMS
Claims relating to the validity of an individual’s incarceration may not be
brought in a civil rights case, regardless of the relief sought. As set forth by the
Supreme Court in Preiser v. Rodriquez, 411 U.S. 475 (1973), and Heck v. Humphrey,
512 U.S. 477 (1994), if success on the merits of a civil rights claim would necessarily
implicate the validity of a prisoner’s conviction or continued confinement, the civil
rights claim must be preceded by a favorable outcome in a habeas corpus or similar
proceeding in a state or federal forum. Absent such a favorable disposition of the
charges or conviction, a plaintiff may not use 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to cast doubt on the
legality of his conviction or confinement. See Heck, 512 U.S. at 486-87; see also
Duncan v. Walker, 533 U.S. 167, 176 (2001) (stating a state court order of civil
commitment satisfies the federal habeas statute’s “in custody” requirement); Simpson
v. Demorales, No. CV 08-5475-SGL (JTL), 2009 WL 362109, at *2-4 (C.D. Cal. Feb.
10, 2009) (concluding a plaintiff who filed a § 1983 complaint, challenging his
commitment to a mental health facility after serving a sentence pursuant to a criminal
conviction, failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted because his
claim would imply that his commitment was in some way invalid).
Here, Plaintiff alleges that his current detention is wrongful and based on
“official misconduct, featuring unlawful behavior, perjury and violation[s] of
Plaintiff’s rights under the United States and Nebraska Constitutions.” (Filing No.
1 at CM/ECF pp. 1-2.) A judgment in Plaintiff’s favor on these claims would imply
that his current confinement is in some way invalid. As set forth above, the court
cannot address claims related to the validity of Plaintiff’s confinement in an action
brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. However, the court will dismiss Plaintiff’s
Complaint without prejudice to reassertion in a habeas corpus or similar proceeding.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that:
Plaintiff’s Complaint (filing no. 1) is dismissed without prejudice.
A separate judgment will be entered in accordance with this
Memorandum and Order.
DATED this 11th day of July, 2012.
BY THE COURT:
s/ John M. Gerrard
United States District Judge
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