United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
K. EPPS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
an inmate at the Augusta State Medical Prison in Grovetown,
Georgia, brought the above-captioned case pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Because he is proceeding in forma
pauperis (“IFP”), Plaintiff's complaint
must be screened to protect potential defendants.
Phillips v. Mashburn, 746 F.2d 782, 785 (11th Cir.
1984); Al-Amin v. Donald, 165 F.App'x 733, 736
(11th Cir. 2006).
SCREENING OF THE COMPLAINT
names as Defendants: (1) Scott Wilkes; (2) The State; and (3)
Catonga Fletcher. (Doc. no. 1, pp. 1, 4.) Taking all of
Plaintiff's factual allegations as true, as the Court
must for purposes of the present screening, the facts are as
was convicted in July 2005 of rape, molestation, aggravated
battery, and incest of his daughter and sentenced to thirty
years in prison. (Id. at 7, 9.) However, Plaintiff
was innocent of the crime and his daughter's testimony
was perjury. (Id. at 7.) Plaintiff's
ex-girlfriend, Catonga Fletcher, coerced his daughter to
testify falsely because Ms. Fletcher was angry with Plaintiff
for not giving her money to purchase marijuana.
details many other problems with his case leading to his
wrongful conviction. (See id. at 8-10.) The police
did not have probable cause or a warrant to arrest him, and
he was never read his Miranda rights. (Id. at 8.)
His indictment was not valid and his attorney did not secure
his bond. (Id.) His conviction also violated the
prohibition against double jeopardy. (Id. at 10.)
Because of these deficiencies, Plaintiff demands his
immediate release from prison. (Id. at 9.) In
addition to his release, Plaintiff asks for $9 million in
damages and that record of his alleged crime be erased.
(Id. at 6-7, 9.)
Legal Standard for Screening
amended complaint or any portion thereof may be dismissed if
it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, of if it seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune to such relief. See
28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b). A claim is
frivolous if it “lacks an arguable basis either in law
or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 327 (1989). “Failure to state a claim under §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is governed by the same standard as
dismissal for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6).” Wilkerson v. H & S, Inc., 366
F.App'x 49, 51 (11th Cir. 2010) (citing Mitchell v.
Farcass, 112 F.3d 1483, 1490 (11th Cir. 1997)).
avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted, the allegations in the amended
complaint must “state a claim for relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “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.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). That
is, “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. While Rule 8(a) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure does not require detailed
factual allegations, “it demands more than an
unadorned, the defendant unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. An
amended complaint is insufficient if it “offers
‘labels and conclusions' or ‘a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action, '”
or if it “tenders ‘naked assertions' devoid
of ‘further factual enhancement.'”
Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555,
557). In short, the amended complaint must provide a
“‘plain statement' possess[ing] enough heft
to ‘sho[w] that the pleader is entitled to
relief.'” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).
the court affords a liberal construction to a pro se
litigant's pleadings, holding them to a more lenient
standard than those drafted by an attorney. Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). However, this liberal
construction does not mean that the court has a duty to
re-write the amended complaint. Snow v. DirecTV,
Inc., 450 F.3d 1314, 1320 (11th Cir. 2006).
Plaintiff's Complaint is Barred Under Heck v.
complaint is barred under Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S.
477, 486-87 (1994). In that case, the Supreme Court held that
when an inmate's allegations rest on the invalidity of
his imprisonment, his § 1983 claim does not accrue until
that invalidity is proven. Id.; see also Harden
v. Pataki,320 F.3d 1289, 1301 (11th Cir. 2003)
(extending Heck to parole revocation challenges);
Cobb v. Florida, 293 F.App'x 708, 709 (11th Cir.
2008) (holding district court correctly dismissed §1983
complaint where necessary implication of granting relief
would be finding revocation of probation invalid). In
Heck, the Supreme Court further explained, if
“a judgment in favor of the plaintiff would necessarily
imply the invalidity of his conviction or sentence, ”
then that § 1983 claim must ...