United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
CIVIL RIGHTS 42 U.S.C. § 1983
FINAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
T. WALKAR, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
was confined at the DeKalb County Jail in Decatur, Georgia
when he fled this action in May 2018. Plaintiff, pro se,
seeks relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 from the District
Attorney of DeKalb County (the "District
Attorney"). (Doc. 1.) The Court granted Plaintiff leave
to proceed in forma pauperis and now must screen his
federal court must screen a prisoner's complaint to
determine if it: (1) is frivolous or malicious; (2) fails to
state a claim on which relief can be granted; or (3) seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. To state a claim for relief
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege facts
plausibly showing that: (1) an act or omission deprived him
of a right, privilege, or immunity secured by the
Constitution or a statute of the United States; and (2) the
deprivation occurred under color of state law. Richardson
v. Johnson, 598 F.3d 734, 737 (11th Cir. 2010).
following allegations are taken from Plaintiffs complaint and
presumed true for purposes of the § 1915A screening.
See Hughes v. Lott, 350 F.3d 1157, 1159-60 (11th
Cir. 2003). Plaintiff was arrested on December 12, 2017, and
charged with three drug crimes. Plaintiff was not shown a
warrant for his arrest.
preliminary hearing in the DeKalb County Magistrate Court on
January 4, 2018, the prosecutor stated that Plaintiff was a
flight risk and "tried to paint a picture of
[negativity] . . . about [him]." (Doc. 1 at 3-4.) As a
result, the Magistrate Court denied Plaintiffs request to
reduce his $45, 000 bond.
complains that both the prosecution against him and his
confinement are unlawful. Plaintiff fled his complaint on May
9, 2018, the same day that a hearing on his motion to reduce
bond was held. Plaintiff was given a reduced bond at that
hearing, and he was released from jail on May 19, 2018.
Case Search, DeKalb Cty. -Judicial Info. Sys.,
/portal/Home/WorkspaceMode (No. D0267266) (last
visited May 23, 2018); Jail Search, DeKalb Cty.,
visited May 23, 2018).
seeks $250, 000 in damages from the District Attorney for the
alleged wrongful prosecution and incarceration. Plaintiff
also seeks dismissal of the criminal charges against him.
District Attorney is immune from suit in her individual
capacity for her prosecutorial actions, which is what
Plaintiff challenges in this case. See Van de Kamp v.
Goldstein, 555 U.S. 335, 862 (2009). Even if there was
not probable cause to arrest or prosecute Plaintiff, the
District Attorney (and her subordinate prosecutors) is
"entitled to absolute immunity for the malicious
prosecution of someone whom [she] lacked probable cause to
indict." See Buckley v. Fitzsimmons, 509 U.S.
259, 274 n.5 (1993). Absolute immunity shields
prosecutors' "[d]ecisions about indictment or trial
prosecution," Goldstein, 555 U.S. at 862, and
protects them from claims that they maliciously commenced a
prosecution, Kalina v. Fletcher, 522 U.S. 118, 124
District Attorney also is immune from suit in her official
capacity because she is a state actor and the State is immune
from suit under § 1983. See Owens v. Fulton
Cty., 877 F.2d 947, 952 (11th Cir. 1989); McDuffie
v. DeKalb Cty. Police Dep't, No. 1:16-cv-1430-WSD,
2016 WL 7239954, at *5 (N.D.Ga. Dec. 15, 2016) (holding that
prosecutor "is protected by sovereign immunity against
Plaintiffs ... claims against him in his official
capacity"); Johnson v. Chisolm, No. CV 410-031,
2010 WL 4540292, at *2 (S.D. Ga. July 15, 2010) ("A
prosecutor sued in his official capacity is protected by the
Eleventh Amendment."). Plaintiffs claims against the
District Attorney, whether in her individual or official
capacity, are not viable.
Plaintiff had sued a defendant who was not immune from relief
under § 1983, he has not stated a viable claim for
malicious prosecution. Malicious prosecution claims do not
accrue until the criminal charges against the plaintiff are
fully resolved in his favor. Heck v. Humphrey, 512
U.S. 477, 484-87 (1994); Uboh v. Reno, 141 F.3d
1000, 1002-04 (11th Cir. 1998). Plaintiffs criminal case is
still pending and, thus, has not been resolved in his favor.
Plaintiff cannot challenge his confinement under § 1983.
See Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 487-90
(1973). But even if he could, his challenge is now moot
because he has been released from that confinement.
foregoing reasons, the undersigned RECOMMENDS that this
action be ...