United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division
OPINION AND ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING
PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT AND DENYING LEAVE TO APEAL IN FORMA
L. LUDINGTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
17, 2017, Plaintiff William Jeffery Whitmore, a state
prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a civil rights
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The complaint
challenges Plaintiff's arrest and convictions for
resisting and obstructing police officers, driving with a
suspended license, and carrying a concealed weapon.
See Compl., ECF No. 1. Plaintiff is incarcerated at
the Newberry Correctional Facility in Newberry,
Michigan. The defendants are prosecuting attorney
Michael D. Wendling, municipal court hearing officer Michael
L. West, Port Huron police officers James Gilbert and Gerard
Peczeniuk, and assistant prosecuting attorneys Mona S.
Armstrong and Jennifer Deegan. Plaintiff seeks money damages
and injunctive relief for alleged violations of his rights
under the Constitution and other documents. Because
Plaintiff's allegations fail to state a claim for which
relief may be granted, his complaint will be dismissed.
to Plaintiff's complaint, on January 8, 2017, police
officers James Gilbert and Gerard Peczeniuk stopped Plaintiff
while he was driving his wife's vehicle in Port Huron,
Michigan. The basis for the stop was an anonymous tip that
Plaintiff had an outstanding warrant for non-payment of child
support. After the officers arrested Plaintiff and placed him
in their police car, the officers searched the vehicle that
Plaintiff had been driving. They found a loaded clip under
the center console and his wife's registered handgun in
the glove compartment. Plaintiff was later charged with
resisting and obstructing police officers, driving a motor
vehicle while license suspended, and carrying a concealed
weapon. During his subsequent jury trial, he was precluded
from introducing into evidence state police bulletins on the
topics of probable cause and search warrants. Although
Plaintiff claims that there was no evidence he committed a
crime, the jury found him guilty as charged.
now sues the defendants in their personal and official
capacities. He contends that the defendants violated his
rights under the Declaration of Independence, the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, two documents identified as
F.S.I.A. and F.A.R.A., and the Federal Constitution,
including the Second, Fourth, and Eleventh Amendments.
Plaintiff seeks two million dollars in money damages,
reversal of the state-court decisions or judgments, and
release from custody.
Court has granted Plaintiff permission to file his complaint
without prepaying the fees and costs for this action.
See ECF No. 3. Pursuant to 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; 42 U.S.C. §
1997e(c)(1); 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).
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). To prevail on a claim
under 42 U.S.C. § 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).
complaint is frivolous and fails to state a claim for which
relief may be granted because it challenges his convictions
and present confinement. The sole federal remedy for his
challenge to the fact or duration of physical imprisonment
and his request for release from that imprisonment is a
petition for the writ of habeas corpus, following exhaustion
of state remedies. Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S.
475, 499. n.14, 500 (1973). And, as explained by the Supreme
Court in Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994),
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 damages
bearing that relationship to a conviction or sentence that
has not been so invalidated is not cognizable under
Id. at 486-87 (footnote omitted) (emphasis in
original). Heck and progeny,
taken together, indicate that 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 ...