United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER OF SUMMARY DISMISSAL
Gershwin A. Drain, United States District Court Judge.
prisoner Richard Soldan (“Plaintiff”), currently
confined at the Central Michigan Correctional Facility in St.
Louis, Michigan, has filed a pro se civil rights
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Dkt. No. 1.
Plaintiff's complaint alleges that his parole agent,
William R. Robinson (“Defendant”), made false
statements against him, coerced a witness to testify against
him, and engaged in other misdeeds relative to his 2017
parole revocation proceedings in retaliation for Plaintiff
threatening legal action over a GPS tether issue. Plaintiff
sues the Defendant in his official and individual capacities
and seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as
monetary damages. The Court has granted Plaintiff leave to
proceed without prepayment of the filing fee for this action.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Having reviewed the
complaint, the Court now dismisses it for failure to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted under § 1983.
the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996
(“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). The
Court is similarly required to dismiss a complaint seeking
redress against government entities, officers, and employees
which is 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. A complaint is frivolous if it lacks an
arguable basis in law or in fact. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992); Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989).
pro se civil rights complaint is to be construed
liberally. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21
(1972). Nonetheless, Federal 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
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(citation omitted). While this notice pleading standard does
not require “detailed” factual allegations, it
does require more than the bare assertion of legal principles
or conclusions. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Rule 8
“demands more than an unadorned, the
defendant-unlawfully-harmed me 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). “Factual
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).” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-56 (citations
and footnote omitted).
state a civil rights claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must allege that: (1) he or she 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); Harris v. Circleville, 583 F.3d 356,
364 (6th Cir. 2009). Additionally, a plaintiff must allege
that the deprivation of his or her rights was intentional.
Davidson v. Cannon, 474 U.S. 344, 348 (1986);
Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327, 333-36 (1986).
case, Plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted in his complaint. A claim under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 is an appropriate remedy for a prisoner challenging a
condition of imprisonment. See, e.g., Preiser v.
Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 499 (1973). Since Plaintiff
contests a parole revocation decision, however, he actually
seeks habeas relief because such claims concern the validity
of his confinement. Ruling on such claims would necessarily
imply the invalidity of the parole revocation decision and
his current imprisonment. Such claims are not properly
brought under § 1983. See Heck v. Humphrey, 512
U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994) (holding that a state prisoner does
not state a cognizable civil rights claim challenging his
conviction or 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, expunged by executive order,
declared invalid by a state tribunal, or been called into
question by a federal court's issuance or a writ of
habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254). This holds true
regardless of the relief sought by the plaintiff.
Id. at 487-89.
United States Supreme Court has affirmed 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 action would necessarily
demonstrate the invalidity of confinement or its
duration.” Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74,
81-82 (2005). The Heck doctrine applies to claims
challenging state parole revocation proceedings. See Noel
v. Grzesiak, 96 Fed.Appx. 353, 354 (6th Cir. 2004)
(citing Crow, infra); Norwood v. Michigan
Dep't of Corr., 67 Fed.Appx. 286, 287 (6th Cir.
2003); accord Williams v. Consovoy, 453 F.3d 173,
177 (3d Cir. 2006); Crow v. Penry, 102 F.3d 1086,
1087 (10th Cir. 1996) (“[Heck] applies to
proceedings that call into question the fact or duration of
parole or probation.”); Jackson v. Vannoy, 49
F.3d 175, 177 (5th Cir. 1995) (same).
case, the allegations in Plaintiff's complaint go to the
validity of the evidence against Plaintiff at his parole
hearing and the propriety of the parole revocation decision
itself such that ruling in his favor would necessarily
demonstrate the invalidity of his incarceration. Such a claim
is barred by Heck. Because Plaintiff's challenge
to his parole revocation would necessarily imply the
impropriety of his confinement, and since that decision has
not been overturned or otherwise declared invalid, his civil
rights complaint contesting that decision must be dismissed.
upon the foregoing analysis, the Court concludes that
Plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in his complaint.
Accordingly, the Court DISMISSES the civil
rights complaint. Lastly, the Court concludes that an appeal
from this order cannot be taken in good ...