Tyler v. Hodges et al
ORDER adopting Report and Recommendations of Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant. The Plaintiffs Complaint is DISMISSED without prejudice and without issuance and service of process. Signed by Honorable Mary Geiger Lewis on 1/8/2018.(cwhi, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
LARRY JAMES TYLER,
ERIC HODGES and WAYNE BYRD,
CIVIL ACTION NO.: 4:17-02451-MGL
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION,
AND DISMISSING PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT
WITHOUT PREJUDICE AND WITHOUT ISSUANCE AND SERVICE OF PROCESS
This case was brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (section 1983). Plaintiff is proceeding pro
se. The matter is before the Court for review of the Report and Recommendation (Report) of the
United States Magistrate Judge suggesting the Court dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint without
prejudice and without issuance and service of process. The Report was made in accordance with
28 U.S.C. § 636 and Local Civil Rule 73.02 for the District of South Carolina.
The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court. The recommendation
has no presumptive weight. The responsibility to make a final determination remains with the
Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270 (1976). The Court is charged with making a de
novo determination of those portions of the Report to which specific objection is made, and the
Court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate
Judge or recommit the matter with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
The Magistrate Judge filed the Report on December 13, 2017, and the Clerk of Court
entered Plaintiff's objections to the Report on January 2, 2018. The Court has reviewed the
objections, but holds them to be without merit. Therefore, it will enter judgment accordingly.
Plaintiff first objects the instant Complaint is not duplicative of his earlier cases because
he is challenging the procedure used to issue the warrant for his arrest, not his conviction. The
Magistrate Judge suggested the instant Complaint was duplicative of two earlier cases Plaintiff
filed in this Court alleging similar claims against the same Defendants, and Plaintiff could have
raised the instant claims in the earlier lawsuits. Having reviewed the record in those cases, Tyler
v. Hodges, No. 4:16-cv-01151-MGL (D.S.C.), Tyler v. Hodges, No. 4:17-cv-00308-MGL
(D.S.C.), the Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge. The claims in the instant Complaint are
duplicative of those in the earlier cases, and could have been raised in those cases. “Because
district courts are not required to entertain duplicative or redundant lawsuits, they may dismiss
such suits as frivolous pursuant to [28 U.S.C.] § 1915(e).” Cottle v. Bell, No. 00-6367, 2000 WL
1144623 at *1 (4th Cir. Aug. 14, 2000). For that reason, the Court will overrule Plaintiff’s first
Plaintiff next argues Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), does not bar his claims
because “[s]uccess in this case will not result in his early release, but only in new proceedings
which might hasten his release.”. ECF No. 11 at 2. The Magistrate Judge recommended Heck
barred Plaintiff’s claims. Heck bars a state prisoner’s section 1983 claim for damages where
success in the section 1983 action would imply the underlying sentence or conviction was wrong
unless that conviction or sentence was previously invalidated. Heck, 512 U.S. at 486-87. The
Heck rule has been extended to bar equitable remedies as well as monetary damages. Wilkinson
v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74, 81-82 (2005). Plaintiff here argues the procedure for issuing his arrest
warrant was unlawful.
Were he to succeed on this claim, it would necessarily imply his
subsequent conviction and sentence were unlawful. For that reason, the Court agrees with the
Magistrate Judge, and accordingly, it will overrule Plaintiff’s objection to the Magistrate Judge’s
recommendation regarding the Heck bar.
Finally, Plaintiff claims the Magistrate Judge erred in recommending Plaintiff could have
brought a habeas claim in earlier proceedings, and thus is now barred from bringing his section
1983 claim. The Magistrate Judge suggested the Heck bar is inapplicable where a prisoner could
not have brought an earlier habeas corpus claim. The Magistrate noted, however, even if
Plaintiff were no longer in custody for his 2013 conviction, he could have brought a habeas
corpus claim while in custody, and he was not prevented from doing so by circumstances beyond
his control. The Magistrate further recommended Plaintiff has a pending application for postconviction relief in the State courts, and the Federal courts will not generally intervene in an
ongoing State criminal proceeding.
The Heck bar does not apply “[i]f a prisoner could not, as a practical matter, seek habeas
relief” while he was in custody. Wilson v. Johnson, 535 F.3d 262, 268 (4th Cir. 2008). The
Wilson exception, however, applies only where something beyond Plaintiff’s control prevented
him from seeking habeas relief while in custody. See Id. Although Plaintiff argues he could not
have sought habeas relief at the warrant stage, he certainly could have sought habeas relief after
his resulting conviction and sentence. Plaintiff fails to allege he sought habeas relief while in
custody for his 2013 conviction, and also neglects to argue he was prevented from doing so by
circumstances beyond his control. For that reason, the Wilson exception to the Heck bar does not
apply to allow Plaintiff’s section 1983 claim.
Further, as noted above, Plaintiff has an application for post-conviction relief pending in
the State Court.
See Tyler v. State of South Carolina, No.: 2015CP1600016, located at:
(Last Accessed: January 3, 2018). Absent extraordinary circumstances not present here, this
Court will not interfere with the State court proceedings. See, e.g., Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S.
37, 44 (1971), Cinema Blue of Charlotte, Inc. v. Gilchrist, 887 F.2d 49, 52-54 (4th Cir. 1989).
For the above reasons, the Court will overrule Plaintiff’s objection to the Magistrate Judge’s
recommendation regarding Plaintiff not meeting the conditions for the Wilson exception to the
After a thorough review of the Report and the record in this case pursuant to the standard
set forth above, the Court overrules Plaintiff's objections, adopts the Report, and incorporates it
herein. Therefore, it is the judgment of this Court Plaintiff’s Complaint is DISMISSED without
prejudice and without issuance and service of process.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Signed this 8th day of January, 2018, in Columbia, South Carolina.
s/ Mary Geiger Lewis
MARY GEIGER LEWIS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
NOTICE OF RIGHT TO APPEAL
The parties are hereby notified of the right to appeal this Order within thirty days from
the date hereof, pursuant to Rules 3 and 4 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.
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