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Green v. Derr

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division

February 27, 2018

WARREN T. GREEN, Plaintiff
v.
JACQUE DERR, ET AL., Defendants

          CHIEF JUDGE DEE D. DRELL

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Joseph H.L. Perez-Montes United States Magistrate Judge

         Before the Court is a civil rights complaint (42 U.S.C. § 1983) filed by pro se Plaintiff Warren T. Green (#352460) (“Green”). Green was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 8). Green is a pretrial detainee at the Jackson Parish Detention Center in Jonesboro, Louisiana. Green complains that he was wrongfully arrested and incarcerated for failing to register as a sex offender. (Doc. 5, p. 4). Green seeks monetary damages, the dismissal of charges, and a release from jail.

         Because Green's criminal charge of failing to register remains pending in state court, his § 1983 claim for damages should be stayed pending the outcome of the criminal proceeding. Green's request for the dismissal of criminal charges and his release from custody should be dismissed, as such relief is not available under § 1983.

         I. Background

         Green alleges that he “checked in with Deputy Fitzgerald” to update his sex offender registry information. (Doc. 5, p. 3). Green returned three days later to pay certain fees and sign a contract. (Doc. 5, p. 3). Three months later, Green was arrested by Detective Kelly Fannin for failing to register as a sex offender. Green complains that parole officer Danny Green ignored his urgings to review Green's contract. Green alleges his arrest was without probable cause because Judge Derr “ignored the facts” when signing the warrant. (Doc. 5, p. 3).

         Green complains that, after speaking with his attorney, Detective Kelly Fannin informed Green that he was being charged with distribution of hydrocodone. (Doc. 5, p. 4). Detective Fannin did not advise Green of his Miranda rights, and ignored Green's request to speak with his attorney. Eventually, Fannin placed Green “in the hole.” Fannin advised Green he was being charged with distribution of hydrocodone and resisting an officer. (Doc. 5, p. 5).

         In his original complaint, Green states that some charges were dropped, but he does not specify which charges. Green was ordered to amend his complaint to state which charges were dismissed and which remain pending.

         In his amended complaint, Green does not mention the dismissal of any charges. Green reiterates that he was arraigned and incarcerated for distribution of hydrocodone and failing to register as a sex offender. Green claims his arrest and detention for failing to register as a sex offender are unlawful, as he is not required to register.

         II. Law and Analysis

         A. Green's complaint is subject to screening under §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.

         Green is a prisoner who has been allowed to proceed in forma pauperis. Title 28 U.S.C. § 1915A provides for the preliminary screening of lawsuits filed by prisoners seeking redress from an officer or employee of a governmental entity. See Martin v. Scott, 156 F.3d 578, 579-80 (5th Cir. 1998) (per curiam); Rosborough v. Mgmt. and Training Corp., 350 F.3d 459, 461 (5th Cir. 2003). Because Green is proceeding in forma pauperis, his complaint is also subject to screening under § 1915(e)(2). Both §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b) provide for sua sponte dismissal of the complaint, or any portion thereof, if the Court finds it is frivolous or malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.

         B. Green's claim for damages should be stayed.

         Green claims that his arrest and detention for failing to register as a sex offender are unlawful because he is not required to register. In Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994), the Supreme Court held that “a plaintiff who seeks to recover damages under § 1983 for actions whose unlawfulness would render a conviction or sentence invalid must first prove that the conviction or sentence has been reversed, expunged, invalidated, or otherwise called into question.” Id. A § 1983 claim falls under the rule of Heck only when a judgment in ...


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