United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER OF SUMMARY DISMISSAL
TERRENCE G. BERG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Plaintiff Peter Taylor's pro
se civil rights complaint filed under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Plaintiff is a state prisoner confined at the Bellamy
Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia, Michigan. The Court
will deny the complaint because it fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted.
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires that a complaint set
forth “a short and plain statement of the claim showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief, ” as well as
“a demand for the relief sought.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2), (3). The purpose of this rule is to “give the
defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v.
Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957) and Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2)). While this notice pleading standard does not
require “detailed” factual allegations,
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, it does require more than
the bare assertion of legal conclusions or “an
accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009). “A pleading that offers ‘labels and
conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.'”
Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
“Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders
‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further
factual enhancement.'” Id. (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).
has been granted leave to proceed without prepayment of the
filing fee for this action. Under the Prison Litigation
Reform Act (“PLRA”), the Court is required to
sua sponte dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint
before service on a defendant if it determines that the
action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief against
a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 42
U.S.C. § 1997e(c); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
Similarly, the Court is required to dismiss a complaint
seeking redress against government entities, officers, and
employees that it finds to be frivolous or malicious, fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). A complaint
is frivolous if it lacks an arguable basis in law or in fact.
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989).
state a federal civil rights claim, a plaintiff must allege
that: (1) he was deprived of a right, privilege, or immunity
secured by the federal Constitution or laws of the United
States, and (2) the deprivation was caused by a person acting
under color of state law. Flagg Bros. v. Brooks, 436
U.S. 149, 155-57 (1978). A pro se civil rights
complaint is to be construed liberally. Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972).
is incarcerated pursuant to convictions for second-degree
murder, two counts of felonious assault, and possession of a
firearm during the commission of a felony. The complaint
names three defendants: the Wayne County Prosecutor's
Office and two prosecutors, John D. O'Hair, formerly the
elected County Prosecuting Attorney and a retired Wayne
County Circuit Judge, and James D. Gonzales. Plaintiff argues
that, in connection with his criminal trial, the prosecutors
suppressed material evidence, presented false evidence, and
failed to present a res gestae witness. He seeks
monetary damages between twenty-five and fifty million
dollars. Plaintiff's complaint is subject to dismissal
for several reasons.
the complaint is subject to dismissal under Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994). Plaintiff argues
that material evidence related to his criminal conviction was
withheld. This claim necessarily challenges the validity of
Plaintiff's criminal conviction. A claim under §
1983 is an appropriate remedy for a state prisoner
challenging a condition of his imprisonment. See Preiser
v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 499 (1973). In
Heck, 512 U.S. at 486-87, the Supreme Court
established that a state prisoner does not state a cognizable
civil rights claim challenging his imprisonment if a ruling
on his claim would necessarily render his continuing
confinement invalid, until and unless the reason for his
continued confinement has been reversed on direct appeal,
called into question by a federal court's issuance of a
writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, or
otherwise invalidated. Because Plaintiff has not achieved
such a favorable termination of his criminal case, the
complaint is barred by Heck.
prosecuting attorneys O'Hair and Gonzales are immune for
suit. The common law principle of absolute immunity for
prosecutors applies to claims filed under § 1983.
Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 427 (1976).
Prosecutors are entitled to absolute prosecutorial immunity
for any conduct relating to “initiating a prosecution
and ... presenting the State's case.” Id.
at 431. In contrast, when a prosecutor “functions as an
administrator” or an investigator “‘rather
than as an officer of the court' he is entitled only to
qualified immunity.” Buckley v. Fitzsimmons,
509 U.S. 259, 273 (1993), citing Imbler, 424 U.S. at
431 n. 33. Plaintiff's allegations concern conduct
related to presenting the State's case. Therefore,
defendants O'Hair and Gonzales are immune from suit under
a county prosecutor's office is not an entity or person
subject to suit under § 1983. See Briggs v
.Moore, 251 Fed. App'x 77, 79 (3d Cir. 2007);
Hancock v. Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office,
548 F.Supp. 1255, 1256 (E.D.Mich.1982).
civil rights complaint is DISMISSED FOR FAILURE TO
STATE A CLAIM ...