United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
ORDER AND REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
CHRISTOPHER L. RAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
se plaintiff Kelvin Jerome Fields, an inmate at Chatham
County Detention Center (CCDC), filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Complaint against District Attorney Meg Heap for alleged
procedural defects related to his state criminal case.
See doc. 1 at 5-9. The Court granted Fields'
request to pursue his case in forma pauperis (IFP),
doc. 3, and he returned the necessary forms, docs. 4 & 5,
as well as an Amended Complaint. Doc. 6. The Court now
proceeds to screen the Amended Complaint pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A.
alleges the warrants for his arrest were invalidly executed
and “void.” Doc. 6 at 2-5; see id. at 19
(attaching habeas corpus filings challenging criminal case,
State of Georgia v. Fields, CR16-2514 (Chatham
Super. Ct.)). Warrant W16001617 is “void and of no
effect” because it was “ex[e]cuted” or
signed on June 13, 2016, yet he did not appear before a
judicial officer until months later. Id. at 2-5, 8.
The other two warrants are, he contends, thus tainted and
also invalidated. Id. at 3. Fields asks the return
of his “freedom . . . that has been illegal[l]y
taken” by defendant Heap in violation of his
“Fourth Amendment rights.” Doc. 6 at 27.
construed, plaintiff's Complaint alleges malicious
prosecution. See Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 390
(2007) (the tort of malicious prosecution “remedies
detention accompanied . . . by wrongful
institution of legal process.”). The Eleventh
Circuit “has identified malicious prosecution as a
violation of the Fourth Amendment and a viable constitutional
tort cognizable under § 1983.” Wood v.
Kesler, 323 F.3d 872, 881 (11th Cir. 2003). But - as
Fields well knows - an essential element of a malicious
prosecution claim is the termination of the criminal
prosecution in the plaintiff's favor. Id. at
882. And there is no allegation that the Chatham County
criminal case has been resolved in Fields' favor.
See docs. 1 & 6; see also State v.
Fields, CV16-2514. Indeed, it appears to have
crystalized into a conviction that he is currently serving.
accessed January 8, 2019. Fields, therefore, cannot state a
claim for damages until that conviction is
also waves at a § 1983 due process claim arising from his
allegedly invalid arrest warrants and trial on accusation
without an indictment waiver. Docs. 6 & 7. To state a
procedural due process claim, a plaintiff must allege (1) a
deprivation of a constitutionally protected liberty interest,
(2) state action, and (3) constitutionally inadequate
process. Shaarbay v. Palm Beach Cty. Jail, 350
Fed.Appx. 359, 361 (11th Cir. 2009). Fields contends his
rights under O.C.G.A. § 17-4-62 (warrantless arrests)
and O.C.G.A. § 17-7-70 (trial on accusation) were
violated, entitling him to “freedom.” Doc. 6 at
27. But, it must be remembered, he was arrested pursuant to a
warrant (three, in fact) and § 17-7-70.1(a.1)
specifically authorizes the district attorney to proceed to
trial on accusation for violations of O.C.G.A. §
16-13-30 without obtaining a waiver of indictment so
long as there has been a finding of probable cause. O.C.G.A.
§ 17-7-70.1(a.1). Fields meets both conditions - he was
charged with an excepted crime and had a probable cause
hearing on October 24, 2016 (doc. 6 at 6, 19; doc. 7 at 6,
11). Simply put, even were Heap a viable defendant,
Fields has not identified any liberty interest to which he
was entitled that was then violated.
a pro se prisoner normally should be given an
opportunity to amend his complaint, see, e.g., Johnson v.
Boyd, 568 Fed.Appx. 719, 724 (11th Cir. 2014); Duff
v. Steub, 378 Fed.Appx. 868, 872 (11th Cir. 2010),
“a district court need not allow amendment if the
amended complaint would still be subject to dismissal.”
Jenkins v. Walker, 620 Fed.Appx. 709, 711 (11th Cir.
2015). Fields' malicious prosecution and due process
claims are dead on arrival, and do not appear amendable.
the Complaint should be DISMISSED. It is
also time for Fields to pay his filing fee. Since his PLRA
paperwork reflects an average monthly balance of $0.00, doc.
4, he does not owe any initial partial filing fee at this
time. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1) (requiring an
initial fee assessment “when funds exist”).
Fields' custodian (or designee) shall therefore set aside
and remit 20 percent of all future deposits to his account,
then forward those funds to the Clerk each time the set aside
amount reaches $10.00, until the balance of the Court's
$350.00 filing fee has been paid in full.
the Clerk is DIRECTED to send this Report
and Recommendation (R&R) to Fields' account custodian
immediately, as this payment directive is nondispositive
within the meaning of Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a), so no Rule 72(b)
adoption is required. In the event he is transferred to
another institution, his present custodian shall forward a
copy of this R&R and all financial information concerning
payment of the filing fee and costs in this case to
Fields' new custodian. The balance due from him shall be
collected by the custodian at his next institution in
accordance with the terms of the payment directive portion of
R&R is submitted to the district judge assigned to this
action, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and this
Court's Local Rule 72.3. Within 14 days of service, any
party may file written objections to this R&R with the
Court and serve a copy on all parties. The document should be
captioned “Objections to Magistrate Judge's Report
and Recommendations.” Any request for additional time
to file objections should be filed with the Clerk for
consideration by the assigned district judge.
the objections period has ended, the Clerk shall submit this
R&R together with any objections to the assigned district
judge. The district judge will review the magistrate
judge's findings and recommendations pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). The parties are advised that
failure to timely file objections will result in the waiver
of rights on appeal. 11th Cir. R. 3-1; see Symonett v.
V.A. Leasing Corp., 648 Fed.Appx. 787, 790 (11th Cir.
2016); Mitchell v. United States, 612 Fed.Appx. 542,
545 (11th Cir. 2015).
REPORTED AND RECOMMENDED,
 Both the Complaint and Amended
Complaint levy a claim of malicious prosecution against Heap.
Docs. 1 & 6. Fields simultaneously also filed a
“Brief in Support for Civil Suit[ ] ¶ 418-030,
” contending that his due process rights were violated
because his state court case is proceeding to trial on
accusation even though he did not first waive his right to
indictment by grand jury, . See doc. 7 at 1-5
(citing criminal case, State of Georgia v. Fields,