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Brooks v. Carlson

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

March 23, 2017

ANDREW CARLSON, et al., Defendants.



         This matter has come before the court on plaintiff Dennis Wayne Brooks' pro se civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985, and 1986. (Dkt. #1.) Plaintiff is a state prisoner at West Shoreline Correctional Facility in Muskegon, Michigan.

         The Defendants are: Andrew Carlson, a detective for the City of Saginaw, Michigan; Nancy Beagle, a parole and probation agent; Richard A. Riebschlegea, a parole and probation supervisor for the State of Michigan; Robert L. Kaczmarek, a state judge in Saginaw, Michigan; Floyd P. Kloc, a licensed attorney in Michigan; and Latashia Jackson, Tracy Boswell, Lonnae Jackson, Ospira Cooper, and Virgil Sangster, who are private citizens residing in Michigan. Plaintiff sues the Defendants in their personal and official capacities for money damages.

         I. BACKGROUND

         In his statement of facts, Plaintiff alleges that the five private citizens named as Defendants in this action have accused him of criminal sexual conduct. According to him, Latashia Jackson and Tracy Boswell have said that he sexually penetrated them when they were children, and Defendant Virgil Sangster has said that he saw Plaintiff engaging in sexual activity with Ms. Boswell. Additionally, he alleges that Lonnae Jackson and Ospira Cooper have accused Plaintiff of sexually abusing them when they were teenagers.

         Plaintiff claims that the three-year statute of limitations for criminal sexual conduct expired before he was charged with the crime and that retroactive application of a recent law which revives time-barred prosecutions violated his rights under the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Constitution. Plaintiff also claims that the defendants provided false statements about him, gave perjured testimony, introduced false evidence against him, and conspired to convict him in violation of his right to due process. The court has granted Plaintiff permission to proceed without prepaying the fees and costs for this action. (Dkt. #3.)

         II. STANDARD

         Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996, federal district courts must screen an indigent prisoner's complaint and dismiss the complaint if it is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim for which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A; Flanory v. Bonn, 604 F.3d 249, 252 (6th Cir. 2010); Smith v. Campbell, 250 F.3d 1032, 1036 (6th Cir. 2001). A complaint is frivolous if it lacks an arguable basis in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). “A complaint is subject to dismissal for failure to state a claim if the allegations, taken as true, show the plaintiff is not entitled to relief.” Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 215 (2007).

         While a complaint “does not need detailed factual allegations, ” the “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact).” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (footnote and citations omitted). In other words, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, ‘to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.' ” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).

         Finally, to prevail on a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must prove two elements: “(1) that he or she was deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States; and (2) that the deprivation was caused by a person acting under color of law.” Robertson v. Lucas, 753 F.3d 606, 614 (6th Cir. 2014).

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. Heck v. Humphrey

         Plaintiff's allegations are frivolous and fail to state a claim because they challenge his state conviction and sentence of seven and a half to fifteen years in prison for criminal sexual conduct. In Heck v. Humphrey, the Supreme Court explained:

to recover damages for allegedly unconstitutional conviction or imprisonment, or for other harm caused by actions whose unlawfulness would render a conviction or sentence invalid, a § 1983 plaintiff must prove that the conviction or 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, 28 U.S.C. § 2254. A claim for ...

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