United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE OR AMEND
RICHARD CREATURA UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Plaintiff Darrel Patrick Willis, proceeding pro se,
filed this civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. §
alleges he was unlawfully jailed three separate times for
violations of his community custody, even though he had
allegedly completed his community custody sentence. Dkt. 5.
He filed this suit, claiming monetary damages for losses he
incurred while jailed. However, his claim, if found in
plaintiff's favor, would necessarily invalidate a
sentence not yet shown to be unlawful, which would not be the
proper subject of a 1983 complaint. Further, though he cites
to the First Amendment, plaintiff has not pled a legitimate
constitutional violation. Having reviewed and screened
plaintiff's Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the
Court declines to serve the Complaint, but provides plaintiff
leave to file an amended pleading by September 1, 2017, to
cure the deficiencies identified below.
claims he was sentenced to one year of community custody in
August 2014. Dkt. 5 at 3. He states that he finished that
sentence on August 29, 2015. Id. He claims that,
despite this, defendant Nick Kiser arrested him for violation
of his community custody in September 2015. Id.
After a full hearing, he was sentenced to 25-30 days
incarceration. Id. He claims that the Department of
Corrections altered his sentence without informing him, and
that because of this incarceration, he lost his apartment,
his security deposit, and all his possessions. Id.
He further alleges that he was arrested and jailed twice
more, in November 2015 and May 2016. Id. After his
third alleged violation, plaintiff was transferred to Grays
Harbor County Jail on a warrant for an offense stemming from
his first arrest in 2015. Id. He asks the Court to
grant him monetary damages calculated according to his actual
losses and to the number of days he was allegedly unlawfully
detained. Id. at 4.
the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the Court is
required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking
relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee
of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The
Court must “dismiss the complaint, or any portion of
the complaint, if the complaint: (1) is frivolous, malicious,
or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted;
or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief.” Id. at (b); 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2); see Barren v. Harrington, 152
F.3d 1193 (9th Cir. 1998).
order to state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, a plaintiff must show: (1) he suffered a violation of
rights protected by the Constitution or created by federal
statute, and (2) the violation was proximately caused by a
person acting under color of state law. See Crumpton v.
Gates, 947 F.2d 1418, 1420 (9th Cir. 1991). The first
step in a § 1983 claim is to identify the specific
constitutional right allegedly infringed. Albright v.
Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994). To satisfy the second
prong, a plaintiff must allege facts showing how individually
named defendants caused, or personally participated in
causing, the harm alleged in the complaint. See Arnold v.
IBM, 637 F.2d 1350, 1355 (9th Cir. 1981).
Complaint suffers from deficiencies requiring dismissal if
not corrected in an amended complaint.
Challenge to Lawfulness of Incarceration - Heck
alleges that his constitutional rights were violated when,
after full hearings, he was wrongfully imprisoned three times
for violating his community custody even though he had
completed his community custody sentence. However, a civil
rights complaint under § 1983 cannot proceed when
“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 the plaintiff
can demonstrate that the conviction or sentence has already
been invalidated.” Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S.
477, 487 (1994). The § 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). To obtain federal judicial review of a
state conviction or sentence, a party must file a petition
for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254
and must first exhaust his state judicial remedies. See
Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 500 (1973).
finding in favor of plaintiff's 1983 claims would
necessarily invalidate his arrest and imprisonment. Thus,
plaintiff is calling into question his convictions for
violations of community custody and his confinements as a
result of those convictions. The wrong he describes is jail
time for violating his community custody even though he had
completed his community custody sentence. Dkt. 5 at 3. He
requests monetary damages calculated to recoup money and
possessions lost during his confinement. Id. at 4.
To find in plaintiff's favor would be a finding that his
incarceration was unlawful. A federal 1983 action cannot be
heard if it would necessarily invalidate a conviction or
sentence. Heck, 512 U.S. at 487. Before plaintiff
can recover in a 1983 action for damages caused by an
unlawful incarceration, he must first demonstrate the
incarceration was unlawful by exhausting his state remedies
and filing a petition for habeas corpus. Preiser,
411 U.S. at 500.
First Amendment Claim
noted above, plaintiff is calling into question his
convictions for violations of his community custody. However,
plaintiff alleges that his unlawful incarceration was a
violation of his First Amendment rights. Dkt. 5 at 4. He does
not explain how his First Amendments rights were ...