United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER OF SUMMARY DISMISSAL
Page Hood Chief Judge
Marcus Martin, a state inmate incarcerated at the Charles
Egeler Reception and Guidance Center in Jackson, Michigan,
has filed a pro se civil complaint. The Court granted
Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis, and
he is proceeding without prepayment of the filing fee in this
action under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). After careful
consideration, the court summarily dismisses the complaint.
to the Michigan Department of Corrections website, Plaintiff
is incarcerated as a result of his 2009 Kent Circuit Court
convictions for narcotics offenses, for which he serving a
sentence of 12 to 30 years.
complaint names Hon. Paul J. Sullivan (a Kent County Circuit
Court Judge), Timothy M. Doyal (a Kent County Assistant
Prosecutor), and Lee A. Somerville (Plaintiff's criminal
appellate counsel), as defendants. The complaint alleges that
Defendants conspired against him by amending his motion to
withdraw his plea in a manner which scuttled his state court
appeal of his criminal conviction. He claims that as a result
of Defendants' conduct his is being unlawfully imprisoned
pursuant to an invalid conviction. He seeks a declaratory
judgment that his plea and sentence were unconstitutionally
imposed, an order enjoining Defendants from taking
retaliatory action, and any alternative relief to which he is
complaint filed by a pro se prisoner is 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 to
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 if 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).
civil action seeks to invalidate Plaintiff's state
conviction. In Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S.
477, 486-87 (1994), the Supreme Court held such claims to be
[W]hen a state prisoner seeks damages in a § 1983 suit,
the district court must consider whether a judgment in favor
of the plaintiff would necessarily imply the invalidity of
his conviction or sentence; if it would, the complaint must
be dismissed unless plaintiff can demonstrate that the
conviction or sentence has already been invalidated.
petition for a writ of habeas corpus provides the appropriate
vehicle for challenging the fact or duration of a
prisoner's confinement in federal court. Preiser v.
Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 486-87 (1973). It appears
Plaintiff has never filed such an action.
the Court cannot convert this matter into a petition for a
writ of habeas corpus. When a suit that should have been
brought under the habeas corpus statute is prosecuted instead
as a civil suit, it should not be “converted”
into a habeas corpus suit and decided on the merits.
Pischke v. Litscher, 178 F.3d 497, 500 (7th Cir.
1999). Instead, the matter should be dismissed, leaving it to
the prisoner to decide whether to refile it as a petition for
writ of habeas corpus. Id. Moreover, Heck
clearly directs a federal district court to dismiss a civil
rights complaint which raises claims that attack the validity
of a conviction; it does not direct a court to construe the
civil rights complaint as a habeas petition. See Murphy
v. Martin, 343 F.Supp.2d 603, 610 (E.D. Mich. 2004).
foregoing reasons, the complaint is DISMISSED pursuant to
Court further find that an appeal from this order would be
frivolous and could not be taken in good faith. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a)(3); Coppedge v. United States, 369
U.S. 438, 443-45 (1962). Leave ...