United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING CASE
F. Cox U.S. District Judge.
Timothy Eugene Sampson, a state inmate incarcerated at the
Chippewa Correctional Facility, has filed a pro se
complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1983. 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 of the complaint, the court
summarily dismisses the case.
is incarcerated as a result of his Wayne County Circuit Court
conviction for first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit
first-degree murder, felon in possession of a firearm, and
commission of a felony with a firearm. Facts surrounding
plaintiff's conviction were summarized in the opinion
denying him relief on direct appeal:
Defendants' convictions arise from the death of Brandon
Buck, whose unrecognizable body was discovered inside a
burning minivan during the early morning hours of April 18,
2011. In September 2011, a witness, Ayesha White, came
forward and reported observing the events that led to
Buck's death. White was the only witness to the events,
and was the only reason authorities were able to determine
whose body was found in the van. White stated that she was
present when Warner, at Sampson's direction, shot Buck.
Afterward, Cummings obtained a minivan and Buck's body
was placed inside, and then Cummings poured gasoline inside
the minivan and set it on fire. An autopsy determined that
Buck was already dead before the fire, having died from
multiple gunshot wounds.
People v. Sampson, 2014 Mich.App. LEXIS 1017, 2014
WL 2553303 (Mich. App. June 3, 2014).
complaint names thirteen defendants: (1) Cathy M. Garrett -
Wayne County Clerk, (2) Margaret VanHouten - Wayne Circuit
Judge, (3) Jason Williams - Assistant Wayne County
Prosecutor, (4) Mary Casey - Judge VanHouten's Law Clerk,
(5) Unknown Wayne County Clerk, (6) Kim Worthy - Wayne County
Prosecutor, (7) County of Wayne, (8) Jane Doe - court
reporter, (9) Jonathan Simon - plaintiff's appellate
counsel, (10) Michael Harrison, Assistant Wayne County
Prosecutor, (11) Patricia Fresard, Wayne Circuit Judge, (12)
Unknown Wayne County Officials, and (13) Wayne Circuit Court.
prolix complaint makes allegations regarding the alleged
misconduct, conspiracy, and acts of retaliation by the
defendants during plaintiff's state court appeal.
Plaintiff seems to chiefly allege that the defendants
conspired and retaliated against him by failing to provide
him with an accurate and complete record of proceedings in
the trial court, depriving him of the ability to successfully
pursue appellate relief in the state courts. The complaint
seeks monetary damages in the amount of $3, 800, 000.
complaints filed by a pro se prisoner 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 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).
alleges that the various actions by the defendants resulted
in his continued confinement by virtue of his unlawful
conviction when they scuttled his state court appeal by
failing to provide him with an accurate and complete record
of his trial court proceedings. In addition to the the fact
that some of the defendants named in the complaint are not
state actors, Lugar v. Edmondson Oil Co., 457 U.S.
922, 937 (1982), are immune from suit, Welch v. Texas
Dep't. Highways, 483 U.S. 468, 472 (1987), or are
not legal entities capable of being sued at all,
Haverstick Enters. v. Fin. Fed. Credit, 32 F.3d 989,
992, n.1 (6th Cir. 1994), plaintiff's complaint is barred
by the favorable-termination requirement set forth in
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994).
Heck the Supreme Court held that claims such as
those raised by plaintiff in this action may not be brought
in a civil suit:
[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 ...