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Davis v. Mitchusson

April 18, 2007

ROBERT LEE DAVIS PLAINTIFF
v.
GARY MITCHUSSON ET AL. DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wm. R. Wilson, Jr. United States District Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff, who was formerly held at the North Central Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction, filed a pro se*fn1 complaint (docket entry #1), pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, on February 16, 2007.

According to Plaintiff's complaint, he was denied his right to a speedy trial in May of 1995, on charges arising from an incident alleged to have occurred in early 1992. Plaintiff seeks $15,000,000.00 in damages for various alleged injuries. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's complaint must be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

I. Screening

Before docketing the complaint, or as soon thereafter as practicable, the Court must review the complaint to identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint if it: (1) is frivolous or malicious; (2) fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (3) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. In conducting its review, the Court is mindful that a complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim only if it appears beyond doubt that a plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of the claim or claims that would entitle him to relief. Springdale Educ. Ass'n v. Springdale Sch. Dist., 133 F.3d 649, 651 (8th Cir. 1998). The Court must accept the factual allegations in the complaint as true and hold a plaintiff's pro se complaint "to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. . . ." Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972) (per curiam). However, such liberal pleading standards apply only to a plaintiff's factual allegations. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n. 9 (1989). A plaintiff's complaint still must contain allegations sufficient to state a claim, as a matter of law, and must not be merely conclusory in its allegations. Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985).

II. Analysis

Plaintiff's complaint must be dismissed pursuant to Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-7 (1994). In Heck, the Court held that if a judgment in favor of a prisoner in a § 1983 action would necessarily imply the invalidity of the conviction, continued imprisonment, or sentence, then no claim for damages lies unless the conviction or sentence is reversed, expunged or called into question by issuance of a federal writ of habeas corpus. There is no indication that Plaintiff's sentence has been reversed, expunged or called into question by issuance of a federal writ of habeas corpus.*fn2 If the Court were to find in Plaintiff's favor, it would certainly imply the invalidity of his conviction. Thus, Plaintiff's complaint falls within Heck, supra, and must be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

The Court also notes that the events Plaintiff complains of occurred more than 10 years ago. The statute of limitations for § 1983 actions in Arkansas is three years. Morton v. City of Little Rock, 934 F.2d 180, 182 (8th Cir. 1991). Thus, the statute of limitations provides yet another reason for dismissal for failure to state a claim.

III. Conclusion

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT:

1. Plaintiff's complaint is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

2. This dismissal counts as a "strike" for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). 3. The Court certifies that an in forma pauperis appeal taken from the order and judgment dismissing this action is considered frivolous and not in good faith.

DATED this 18th day of ...


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