Phinney v. Lt. A. Espinoza
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER dismissing with prejudice 1 Complaint. (Signed by Judge Sim Lake) Parties notified. (aboyd, 4)
United States District Court
Southern District of Texas
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
WILLIAM E. PHINNEY,
LT. A. ESPINOZA,
January 10, 2017
David J. Bradley, Clerk
CIVIL ACTION NO. H-16-3535
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
The plaintiff, William E. Phinney (TDCJ #02102386), has filed
incarcerated, the court is required to scrutinize the claims and
dismiss the Complaint, in whole or in part, if it determines that
the Complaint "is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted" or "seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief."
After considering all of the pleadings, the court concludes that
this case must be dismissed for the reasons explained below.
When Phinney filed the Complaint in this case he was in the
custody of the Harris County Jail, having been arrested on theft
Complaint, Docket Entry No. 1, p. 3. See also Attachment to
Prisoner's Civil Rights Complaint, Docket Entry No. 1-1, pp. 1-4,
(continued ... )
currently incarcerated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. 2
Phinney has filed this civil action against Lieutenant A.
mistreated during the course of his arrest for theft. 4
contacted Espinoza to report "illegal conduct" by the arresting
officers, but Espinoza failed to prepare a police report regarding
violated his civil rights. 6
that Espinoza has
Phinney seeks a criminal investigation
of the officers who arrested him. 7
Phinney filed a
arrested him. 8
separate lawsuit against the officers who
That case was dismissed on October 24, 2016, after
( • • • continued)
in Phinney v. Pasadena Police Dep't,
( S . D . Tex . ) .
Civil Action No.
Notice, Docket Entry No. 6, p. 1.
Complaint, Docket Entry No. 1, p. 3.
Id. at 4.
Prisoner' s Civil Rights Complaint, Docket Entry No. 1 in
Phinney v. Pasadena Police Dep't, Civil Action No. H-16-3105 (S.D.
the district court determined that Phinney failed to articulate a
viable claim for relief. 9
To the extent that Phinney now faults Espinoza for failing to
constitutional right to have someone criminally prosecuted.
Oliver v. Collins, 914 F.2d 56, 60 (5th Cir. 1990).
Nor is there
a constitutional right to have someone investigated.
decision to charge an individual with criminal violations is not
vested within the courts, but is solely within the discretion of
the district attorney.
See Linda R.S. v. Richard D.,
93 S. Ct.
another."); Sattler v. Johnson, 857 F.2d 224, 227 (4th Cir. 1988)
(observing that there is "no such constitutional right"
another criminally prosecuted) .
Private citizens are thus not
Del Marcelle v.
901-02 (7th Cir. 2012)
Brown County Corp.,
680 F.3d 887,
(Easterbrook, C.J., concurring)
Because the Complaint lacks an arguable basis in law,
case will be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
1915A(b) as legally
0rder of Dismissal, Docket Entry No. 4 in Phinney v. Pasadena
Police Dep't, Civil Action No. H-16-3105 (S.D. Tex.).
Conclusion and Order
Based on the foregoing,
the court ORDERS that the Complaint
filed by William E. Phinney (Docket Entry No. 1) is DISMISSED with
prejudice as frivolous.
The Clerk is directed to provide a copy of this Memorandum
Opinion and Order to the plaintiff.
copy by regular mail,
The Clerk will also provide a
or e-mail to the
Counsel, P.O. Box 13084, Austin, Texas 78711, Fax Number (512) 9362159.
SIGNED at Houston, Texas, on this 9th day of January, 2017.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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