Murphy v. Unnamed Police Officer's et al
ORDER granting 2 MOTION for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis filed by James Anthony Murphy. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on 10/17/2016. (JLS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF SOUTH DAKOTA
JAMES ANTHONY MURPHY,
ORDER DISMISSING CASE
UNNAMED POLICE OFFICER’S
SIOUX FALLS SOUTH DAKOTA
POLICE DEPARTMENT, UNITED
STATES ATTORNEY’S OFFICE,
Plaintiff, James Anthony Murphy, is an inmate at the Oxford
Correctional Institution in Oxford, Wisconsin. On September 19, 2016, he filed
a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Docket 1. The court ordered Murphy to
give notice whether he was seeking habeas relief, and, if he meant to proceed
with his § 1983 claims, to pay an initial partial filing fee. Docket 4. Murphy has
given the court notice that he wishes to proceed under § 1983, Docket 5, and
paid his initial partial filing fee. Docket 6. The court has screened Murphy’s
complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the following reasons Murphy is
granted in forma pauperis status, and his complaint is dismissed.
In March 2014, Murphy visited a website called “back page” that offers
what Murphy calls “Adult services and entertainment . . . .” Docket 1 ¶¶ 4-5.
Murphy clicked on an advertisement that led him to a site that advertised “Too
Hot Young Girls.” Id. ¶¶ 6-7. Murphy alleges that he did not know what the
website was but emailed the owner of the listing, who then sent him pictures of
“available” women. Id. ¶¶ 6-8. Murphy alleges that he refused the “offer,” but
the owner kept calling and emailing Murphy. Id. ¶ 9. The owner of the website
was an undercover Sioux Falls police officer. Id.
After receiving multiple calls and emails, Murphy agreed to meet the
website owner. Id. ¶ 10. Murphy alleges that once he met the website owner
and learned the age of “the person whom would be meeting with him,” he tried
to leave. Id. ¶ 11. Murphy alleges he was held against his will. Id. His
complaint does not state what happened next, but Murphy eventually pleaded
guilty, id. ¶ 12, and is now serving a 24 month sentence. Id. ¶ 1.
On September 19, 2016, Murphy filed this complaint raising three
claims. Docket 1. The court, noting that his claims were likely barred by Heck
v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 487 (1994)), ordered him to give notice whether he
was seeking habeas relief or wished to proceed with his claims under § 1983.
Docket 4. Murphy gave notice that he wished to proceed with his claims under
§ 1983. Docket 5.
The court must accept the well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as
true. Schriener v. Quicken Loans, Inc., 774 F.3d 442, 444 (8th Cir. 2014). Civil
rights and pro se complaints must be liberally construed. Erickson v. Pardus,
551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citation omitted); Bediako v. Stein Mart, Inc., 354 F.3d
835, 839 (8th Cir. 2004). Even with this construction, “a pro se complaint must
contain specific facts supporting its conclusions.” Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d
1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985); Ellis v. City of Minneapolis, 518 F. App'x 502, 504
(8th Cir. 2013). A complaint “does not need detailed factual allegations . . .
[but] requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of
the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007). “If a plaintiff cannot make the requisite showing,
dismissal is appropriate.” Abdullah v. Minnesota, 261 F. App’x 926, 927 (8th
Cir. 2008); Beavers v. Lockhart, 755 F.2d 657, 663 (8th Cir. 1985).
Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis
Because it was not clear whether Murphy meant to file a § 1983
complaint or whether he sought habeas relief, the court provisionally granted
Murphy leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Now that Murphy states that he
wishes to proceed with his claims under § 1983, the court determines whether
to grant him leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), a prisoner who Abrings a
civil action or files an appeal in forma pauperis . . . shall be required to pay
the full amount of a filing fee.@ 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(b)(1). A >When an inmate seeks
pauper status, the only issue is whether the inmate pays the entire fee at the
initiation of the proceedings or over a period of time under an installment
plan.= @ Henderson v. Norris, 129 F.3d 481, 483 (8th Cir. 1997) (quoting
McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997)).
In addition to the initial partial filing fee that Murphy has already paid,
he must Amake monthly payments of 20 percent of the preceding month=s
income credited to the prisoner=s account.@ 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(b)(2). The statute
places the burden on the prisoner=s institution to collect the additional
monthly payments and forward them to the court as follows:
After payment of the initial partial filing fee, the prisoner shall be
required to make monthly payments of 20 percent of the preceding
month=s income credited to the prisoner=s account. The agency
having custody of the prisoner shall forward payments from the
prisoner=s account to the clerk of the court each time the amount
in the account exceeds $10 until the filing fees are paid.
28 U.S.C. ' 1915(b)(2). Therefore, the remaining installments will be collected
pursuant to this procedure.
The clerk of the court will send a copy of this order to the appropriate
financial official at plaintiff=s institution. Murphy is responsible for the entire
filing fee, as long as he is a prisoner, even though the case is dismissed. See In
re Tyler, 110 F.3d 528, 529B30 (8th Cir. 1997).
Screening Under § 1915A
Murphy alleges that he was arrested without probable cause, that he
was entrapped by defendants, and that he is innocent. Id. ¶¶ 12, 15-16. These
claims are barred by Heck, 512 U.S. at 487. Under Heck, “When ‘a judgment
in favor of the plaintiff would necessarily imply the invalidity of his conviction
or sentence . . .’ § 1983 is not an available remedy.” Skinner v. Switzer, 562
U.S. 521, 533 (2011) (quoting Heck, 512 U.S. at 487). A finding that Murphy
was arrested without probable cause, the he was entrapped by defendants,
and that he was innocent would “necessarily imply the invalidity of his
conviction.” Therefore, Murphy’s claims are Heck barred and are dismissed
under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and 1915A(b)(1) for failure to state a claim.
Thus, it is ORDERED
1. Murphy’s motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Docket 2) is
2. Murphy=s institution will collect the additional monthly payments in
the manner set forth in 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(b)(2), quoted above, and will
forward those installments to the court until the $350 filing fee is
paid in full.
3. The clerk of the court is directed to send a copy of this order to the
appropriate official at plaintiff=s institution.
4. Murphy’s complaint (Docket 1) is dismissed under 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and 1915A(b)(1) for failure to state a claim.
Dated October 17, 2016.
BY THE COURT:
/s/ Karen E. Schreier
KAREN E. SCHREIER
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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