FIELDS v. WARDEN OF NEW JERSEY STATE PRISON
MEMORANDUM OPINION filed. Signed by Judge Anne E. Thompson on 12/18/2015. (eaj) (Main Document 10 replaced on 12/21/2015) (eaj, ).
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
No. 15-8471 (AET)
WARDEN NEW JERSEY STATE PRISON,
THOMPSON, District Judge:
DEC 2 1 2015
WILLIAM T. WALSH
Before the Court is Petitioner Mark Fields' motion to
consolidate his petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254, with his civil rights action filed pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983, Fields v. Plousis, et al., Civil Action No.
(Docket Entry 4).
Petitioner, a state-sentenced inmate incarcerated at
New Jersey State Prison, fi_led an application for writ of habeas
corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, on December 19, 2013.
By Order dated December 27, 2013, the Honorable Joel
A. Pisano administratively terminated the petition for failure
to submit the filing fee or a complete application to proceed in
(Docket Entry 2).
Petitioner submitted an amended application to proceed
in forma pauperis on March 5, 2014.
(Docket Entry 3).
On August 28, 2015, the Clerk's office received a
letter from Petitioner captioned "Caution:
requesting this case be consolidated with Fields.v. Plousis, No.
(Docket Entry 4). This matter was reassigned to this
Court on September 1, 2015.
(Docket Entry 5).
Petitioner supplemented his motion on October 26,
(Docket Entry 6).
By Order dated December 7, 2015, this Court severed
Plaintiff's habeas petition into two separate actions.
Entry 9) .
In this petition, Petitioner challenges the July 5,
2012 establishment of an 18-month future eligibility date,
(Docket Entry 1 at 61).
In his action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Plaintiff seeks
declaratory relief and monetary damages from members of the New
Jersey State Parole Board for alleged violations of
constitutional rights in their decision not to grant him parole
and failing to grant him a timely parole hearing. Civil No.
3:14-cv-1139 (AET), Docket Entry 1.
A court may consolidate cases when they involve common
questions of law or fact. Fed. R. Civ. P. 42(a) (1).
Although both proceedings concern Petitioner's
mandatory period of supervision and denial of parole,
Petitioner's § 1983 claim may not continue unless and until
there has been a favorable outcome for Petitioner in this
action. See Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87
(holding that before a § 1983 plaintiff can recover damages, he
"must prove that the conviction
oi sentence has been reversed on
direct appeal, expunged by executive order, declared invalid by
a state tribunal authorized to make such determination, or
called into question by a federal court's issuance of a writ of
habeas corpus"); see also Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74, 8182 (2005) (noting § 1983 action by state prisoner "is barred
(absent prior invalidation)-no matter the relief sought (damages
or equitable relief), no matter the target of the prisoner's
suit (state conduct leading to conviction or internal prison
proceedings)-if success in that action would necessarily
demonstrate the invalidity of confinement or its duration.");
Williams v. Consovoy, 453 F.3d 173, 177 (3d Cir. 2006)
(extending Heck and Wilkinson to suits alleging unlawful
revocation of parole because "success on the § 1983 claim would
necessarily demonstrate the invalidity of the Parole Board's
Heck, Wilkinson, and Williams all stand for the
proposition that a § 1983 complaint must be dismissed if success
in the case would necessarily call into question the validity of
the plaintiff's continued confinement, including confinement
that is the direct result of parole revocation.
Plaintiff's§ 1983 complaint is barred as success on
the merits of his complaint would necessarily invalidate his
continued confinement as the result of the Parole Board's
decision not to release him on parole.
As Petitioner's § 1983 matter cannot go forward until
this action has been resolved, Petitioner's request to
consolidate these matters is denied.
An appropriate Order accompanies this Opinion.
U.S. Disttict Judge
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