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Lavictor v. Davis

United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division

October 8, 2019

JEFF J. DAVIS et al., Defendants.



         This is a civil rights action brought by a federal prisoner claiming that individuals involved in his federal prosecution violated his federal constitutional rights. Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321 (1996) (PLRA), the Court is required to dismiss any prisoner action brought under federal law if the complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A. The Court must read Plaintiff's pro se complaint indulgently, see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), and accept Plaintiff's allegations as true, unless they are clearly irrational or wholly incredible. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992). Applying these standards, the Court will dismiss Plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim because it is barred by the doctrine of Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994).


         I. Factual allegations

         Plaintiff is presently incarcerated with the Federal Bureau of Prisons at the Allenwood Medium Federal Correctional Institution in White Deer, Pennsylvania. On December 8, 2014, a jury of this Court found Plaintiff guilty of sexual abuse, aggravated sexual abuse, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, domestic assault, and attempt to tamper with a victim by corrupt persuasion. On May 11, 2015, the Court imposed concurrent sentences on each count. The longest of Plaintiff's concurrent sentences is 355 months. Plaintiff, with the assistance of counsel, directly appealed his convictions. By judgment entered February 3, 2017, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed this Court's judgment. Plaintiff then filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court denied the petition on June 6, 2017.

         After exhausting his direct appeal, Plaintiff returned to this Court and filed a pro se motion to vacate his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. By opinion, order, and judgment entered August 3, 2018, the Court denied relief and denied Plaintiff a certificate of appealability. Plaintiff then sought a certificate of appealability from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. That court denied the certificate by order entered October 31, 2018.

         On May 21, 2019, Plaintiff moved the Court to produce his grand jury hearing transcripts, ballot, or record, the indictment, and the criminal complaint. That motion remains pending. On July 22, 2019, Plaintiff filed his complaint in this action.

         Plaintiff sues Jeff J. Davis and Hannah N. Bobee from the United States Attorneys Office; arresting agent Richard Grout; court reporters K. Thomas, Sandy Larson, and Glenda Trexler; Richard Barr from the Department of Justice; Unknown Party #1 described as head of the Bureau of Prisons; Unknown Party #2 described as Probation Officer; and Judge R. Allan Edgar. Plaintiff does not identify specific actions taken by each Defendant; rather, he refers to them collectively:

The aforementioned defendants are legally responsible for violating the plaintiff's due process rights, depriving him of any substantive due process as stipulated for in the Fourteenth Amendment, affecting his liberty interest to be free from prosecution without probable cause, and for placing him in custody unlawfully.

(Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.1-2.) The crux of Plaintiff's complaint is that he was wrongfully convicted and, now, is “unlawfully and unconstitutionally” confined. (Id., PageID.1.) Plaintiff seeks the documents he requested by motion in his criminal case so that he might prove the denial of due process. He asks the Court to award him nominal, compensatory, and punitive damages. Plaintiff also asks the Court to order his immediate release from custody “thereby terminating his fraudulent sentence and probation.” (Id., PageID.2.)

         II. Failure to state a claim

         A complaint may be dismissed for failure to state a claim if it fails “‘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)). While a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's allegations must include more than labels and conclusions. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555; Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”). The court must determine whether the complaint contains “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” 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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Although the plausibility standard is not equivalent to a “‘probability requirement,' . . . it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not ‘show[n]'-that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)); see also Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010) (holding that the Twombly/Iqbal plausibility standard applies to dismissals of prisoner cases on initial review under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915A(b)(1) and 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)).

         Where a person alleges that a “federal” actor has violated his or her federal constitutional rights, the claim arises under the doctrine of Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bur. of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). Plaintiff invokes Bivens as the basis for his claims.[1](Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.1, 3.) The Court will consider Plaintiff's allegations as attempting to state a Bivens claim.

         In Bivens, 403 U.S. 388, the Supreme Court recognized for the first time an implied private action for damages against federal officers alleged to have violated a citizen's constitutional rights. See Corr. Servs. Corp. v. Malesko, 534 U.S. 61, 66 (2001). This implied cause of action is “the federal analog to suits brought against state officials” under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Hartman v. Moore, 547 U.S. 250, 254 n.2 (2006). To state a claim that is cognizable in a Bivens action, the plaintiff must plead two essential elements: first, that he has been deprived of ...

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