United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Albany Division
J. ABRAMS, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
the Court are Defendants' Motions for Judgment on the
Pleadings, Docs. 3 & 4. For the reasons stated below, the
Motions are GRANTED.
action was originally filed against Defendants in their
official and individual capacities in the Superior Court of
Dougherty County and was removed to this Court by Defendants.
Doc. 1 at 1. Plaintiff alleges that on April 22, 2017, she
was incarcerated as a pretrial detainee in the custody of
Defendant Sheriff Sproul, the Sheriff of Dougherty County.
Doc. 1-2 at 3. On November 28, 2017, the Court denied
Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Certification of Class
Action, Doc. 1-3, and Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary
Injunction, Doc. 1-4, and stayed the case pending the
Court's ruling on Defendants' Motions for Judgment on
the Pleadings. See Doc. 15.
motion for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(c) is subject to the same standard as a
Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss.” U.S. v.
Wood, 925 F.2d 1580, 1581 (11th Cir. 1991). Rule
12(b)(6) requires that the complaint plead enough facts to
state a claim for relief that is plausible-not just
conceivable-on its face. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Although a court must “take
the factual allegations in the complaint as true and construe
them in the light most favorable to the plaintiffs, ”
it is not required “to accept the labels and legal
conclusions in the complaint as true.” Edwards v.
Prime, Inc., 602 F.3d 1276, 1291 (11th Cir.
2010); see also 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.”). At bottom, “the factual allegations
in the complaint must possess enough heft to set forth a
plausible entitlement to relief.” Edwards, 602
F.3d at 1291 (punctuation omitted). Thus, “[i]f upon
reviewing the pleadings it is clear that the plaintiff would
not be entitled to relief under any set of facts that could
be proved consistent with the allegations, the court should
dismiss the complaint.” Cone Fin. Grp., Inc. v.
Emp'rs Ins. Co. of Wausau, 476 F. App'x 834, 836
(11th Cir. 2012) (quoting Horsley v. Rivera, 292
F.3d 695, 700 (11th Cir. 2002)).
Complaint, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988
and Georgia law, alleges that her Fourth and Sixth Amendment
and due process rights under the federal Constitution and her
rights under the Georgia Constitution were violated because:
(1) from the date of her arrest through the date of filing
this action, Plaintiff had no bond set nor was she afforded a
bond hearing; (2) “other than a first appearance
[before a magistrate judge] . . . [Plaintiff] has had no
court appearance [ ] since the date of her arrest, including
any court of inquiry (also referred to as a
‘preliminary hearing' or a ‘probably
[sic] cause hearing') pursuant to O.C.G.A.
§§ 17-7-20, et seq.;” (3) Plaintiff
applied for appointed counsel but “has not had any
visits from or communications from any attorney;” (4)
Plaintiff requested “a bond hearing or other court
hearing since her arrest by asking employees of Defendant
Sproul, but was informed . . . that they [cannot] do so, but
that any request for a bond hearing or other hearing must
come from an attorney;” (5) the magistrates of
Dougherty County follow the policy of Defendant State Court
Judge Darrisaw “in regards to setting bonds and setting
hearings for a court of inquiry (committal hearings);”
(6) Defendant Darrisaw has a policy “of refusing to set
bonds for pretrial detainees on warrants which charge certain
felonies, as in this case, even though they are authorized by
law, O.C.G.A. § 17-6-1, to do so;” (7) Defendant
Darrisaw has a policy “of refusing to set dates for
courts of inquiry, also known as committal hearings or
probable cause hearings, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 17-7-20,
et seq., unless requested to do so by an attorney at
law, ” resulting in the “jailing for weeks and
sometimes months of persons who are wholly innocent of the
offense, or against him there is no evidence sufficient to
establish probable cause to detain them . . . pending a grand
jury presentment;” and (8) “there is no procedure
. . . to obtain a hearing for either setting a bond, reducing
a bond, or setting a court of inquiry” without an
attorney request. Doc. 1-2 at 3-7. Plaintiff seeks a
“writ of prohibition, ” a “writ of
mandamus, ” an “order supervising inferior court,
” declaratory relief, attorney's fees, and
Plaintiff's release from jail. Doc. 1-2 at 9-10.
order to state a claim for relief under § 1983, a
plaintiff must allege that: (1) an act or omission deprived
her of a right, privilege, or immunity secured by the
Constitution or a statute of the United States; and (2) the
act or omission was committed by a person acting under color
of state law. Hale v. Tallapoosa Cty., 50 F.3d 1579,
1581 (11th Cir. 1995). Here, assuming for argument's sake
that Plaintiff can state a § 1983 under the
Hale standard, Plaintiff is not entitled to the
relief sought against the Defendants she has sued.
initial matter, Plaintiff requests to be released from jail;
however, Plaintiff cannot obtain a dismissal of pending
charges or speedier release through a § 1983 action.
See Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 487, 489 (1973).
“[H]abeas corpus is the exclusive
remedy for a state prisoner who challenges the fact or
duration of [her] confinement and seeks immediate or speedier
release[.]” Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477,
481 (1994). Thus, Plaintiff cannot challenge her current
confinement through this § 1983 action, and any claims
that challenge her confinement are dismissed.
Defendants Lockette and Sproul
Complaint alleges that Defendants Superior Court Judge
Lockette and Sherriff Sproul are “not alleged to have
committed any transgressions in regard to [Plaintiff],
” but were named “to obtain full relief.”
Doc. 1-2 at 7-8. Plaintiff does not state what specific
relief is sought or why these parties are necessary to obtain
it. As Plaintiff has not stated a federal claim against
Lockette and Sproul, either in their individual or official
capacities, those Defendants are DISMISSED
from this action. Even if Plaintiff had stated a basis for
her claims against Sproul and Lockette, for the same reasons