United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
K. EPPS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
incarcerated at Gwinnett County Department of Corrections,
commenced the above-captioned case pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, regarding events alleged to have occurred in
Columbia County, Georgia. He is proceeding pro se
and in forma pauperis (“IFP”). Because
he is proceeding 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 Fed.Appx. 733, 736 (11th Cir.
2006) (per curiam).
SCREENING THE COMPLAINT
names the following Defendants: (1) Superior Court Judge Carl
C. Brown, Jr.; (2) Department of Community Services (DCS)
Officer Edward M. McClung, Jr.; and (3) Columbia County
Sheriff Clay Whittle. (Doc. no. 1, pp. 1, 4.) Taking all of
Plaintiff's allegations as true, as the Court must for
purposes of the present screening, the facts are as follows.
pleaded guilty in the Superior Court of Columbia County to
two counts of Theft by Taking and two counts of Criminal
Attempt to Commit Theft by Taking. (Id., Ex. A.) On
December 16, 2008, Judge Brown sentenced Plaintiff to a
ten-year term of probation, with credit for time served from
July 30, 2008. (Id.) Based on a Petition for
Modification/Revocation of Probation signed by Judge Brown on
August 22, 2018, Officer McClung and five other DCS officers
arrested Plaintiff on a probation violation warrant after
Plaintiff's probation term expired. (Doc. no. 1, p. 5 and
Ex. B.) The petition alleged Plaintiff had committed deposit
account fraud on three occasions in April and May of 2018.
(Id., Ex. B.) Judge Brown revoked Plaintiff's
ten-year probation term in full on November 19, 2018.
(Id.) Although Plaintiff is now at Gwinnett County
Department of Corrections, Sheriff Whittle confined Plaintiff
at some point during the probation revocation proceedings.
(Id. at 5.)
seeks a declaration his arrest for a probation violation
after his term of probation expired violated his
constitutional rights. In addition to nominal damages,
Plaintiff seeks $3, 887, 520, from Defendants, jointly and
Legal Standard for Screening
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, or 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, 325 (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
Fed.Appx. 49, 51 (11th Cir. 2010) (per curiam)
(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 complaint must
“state a claim to 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
accusation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. A
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 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.
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. Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). However, this liberal
construction does not mean that the Court has a duty to
re-write the complaint. Snow v. DirecTV, Inc., 450
F.3d 1314, 1320 (11th Cir. 2006).
Plaintiff's Claims Are Barred Under Heck v.
claims are barred under Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S.
477 (1994). In Heck, the Supreme Court held,
“[I]n order to recover damages for allegedly
unconstitutional conviction or imprisonment, or for other
harm caused by actions whose unlawfulness would render a
conviction or sentence invalid, a § 1983 plaintiff must
prove that the conviction or sentence” has been
reversed, expunged, declared invalid, or called into question
by the issuance of a federal writ of habeas corpus.
Id. at 486-87. The Heck “favorable
termination” rule has been applied to complaints
alleging problems with revocation proceedings such as those
alleged by Plaintiff. See Reilly v. Herrera, 622
Fed.Appx. 832, 834-35 (11th Cir. 2015) (per curiam)
(affirming sua sponte dismissal of § 1983
complaint brought against probation officers and others
alleging conspiracy to fabricate violation of conditions of
supervised release because if true, “then the arrest
would be unlawful and the revocation ...