United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING CASE
Victoria A. Roberts United States District Court
Lorenzo Johnson, a state inmate incarcerated at the Marquette
Branch Prison, filed a pro se civil rights complaint
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Johnson is proceeding
without prepayment of the filing fee in this action under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). After careful consideration of the
complaint, the court summarily dismisses the case.
convicted Johnson on August 5, 2014, for possession of a
firearm during the commission of a felony, second offense,
Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.227b(1). Johnson claims that the
defendants, six named Detroit Police Officers, the Detroit
Police Department, and the City of Detroit, violated his
Fourth Amendment rights during a warrantless search of his
home. The search resulted in the discovery of two firearms,
leading to his prosecution and conviction. Johnson raised the
same Fourth Amendment challenges he raises in his current
complaint in his appeal of right. The Michigan Court of
Appeals rejected his claims. People v. Johnson, No.
323312, 2016 WL 191996, *1-4 (Mich. Ct. App. Jan. 14, 2016)
(unpublished). He also filed a federal habeas case
challenging his conviction on Fourth Amendment grounds which
was denied by the Court. See Johnson v. Harry, No.
16-12405 (E.D.Mich. Oct. 19, 2016).
rights complaints filed by pro se prisoners are subject to
the screening requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
Brown v. Bargery, 207 F.3d 863, 866 (6th Cir. 2000).
Section 1915(e)(2) requires district courts to screen and
dismiss complaints that are frivolous, fail to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted, or that seek monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); McGore v. Wigglesworth,
114 F.3d 601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997). A complaint is frivolous
and subject to sua sponte dismissal under § 1915(e) if
it lacks an arguable basis in either law or fact. Neitzke
v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A plaintiff fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, when,
construing the complaint in a light most favorable to the
plaintiff and accepting all the factual allegations as true,
the plaintiff undoubtedly can prove no set of facts in
support of his claims that would entitle him to relief.
Sistrunk v. City of Strongsville, 99 F.3d 194, 197
(6th Cir. 1996); Cline v. Rogers, 87 F.3d 176, 179
(6th Cir. 1996); Wright v. MetroHealth Med. Ctr., 58
F.3d 1130, 1138 (6th Cir. 1995).
alleges that defendants violated his Fourth Amendment rights
during the search of his home which resulted in the discovery
of firearms leading to his convictions.
the Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994) doctrine,
a state prisoner may not file a § 1983 suit for damages
or equitable relief if a ruling on his claims would render a
conviction or sentence invalid, until and unless the
conviction or sentence has been reversed on direct appeal,
expunged by executive order, declared invalid by a state
tribunal, or called into question by a federal court's
issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. Id. at 486-87;
Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74, 81-82 (2005)
(“[A] state prisoner's § 1983 action is barred
(absent prior invalidation)- no matter the relief sought
(damages or equitable relief), no matter the target of the
prisoner's suit (state conduct leading to conviction or
internal prison proceedings) - if success in that action
would necessarily demonstrate the invalidity of confinement
or its duration.”).
holds true regardless of the relief sought by the plaintiff.
Heck, 512 U.S. at 487-89. The underlying basis for
the holding in Heck is that “civil tort
actions are not appropriate vehicles for challenging the
validity of outstanding criminal judgments.”
Heck, 512 U.S. at 486. If Johnson prevailed on his
claim concerning the validity of the search and seizure of
the firearms that led to his prosecution, his convictions and
continued confinement would be called into question.
Consequently, his claims are barred by Heck and must
Fourth Amendment claims do not provide an exception to
Heck. The Sixth Circuit observed that Heck
“plainly refutes the argument that Fourth Amendment
claims are exempted from the requirement that a conviction
must be set aside as a precondition for this type of §
1983 suit.” Schilling v. White, 58 F.3d 1081,
1086 (6th Cir. 1995). Johnson cannot argue that Heck
does not apply to his claims.
action is dismissed for failure to state a claim pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b) and 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c).
Court must next decide whether an appeal of this action would
be in good faith within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(3). See McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d
601, 611 (6th Cir.1997). For the same reasons that the Court
dismisses the action, the Court discerns no good-faith basis
for an appeal. Finally, ...