United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
KEVIN D. MCHENRY
STATE OF LOUISIANA, ET AL.
A. DOUGHTY JUDGE
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. HAYES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Kevin D. McHenry, an inmate at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed the instant
Complaint on February 1, 2018, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
He names the following Defendants: the State of Louisiana,
Colby Ainsworth, Kirk Robertson, Wilson Rambo, John Spires,
Stephen Sylvester, Wendell Manning, Mike Tubbs, and Carl
Patrick. For the following reasons, it is
recommended that Plaintiff's claims be DISMISSED
faults Judge Wilson Rambo for “sid[ing] with false
allegations” and “tak[ing] [his] right to make
bond” on either August 11, 2015, or August 12, 2015. He
claims that two district attorneys, Defendants Sylvester and
Spires, “on Aug. 11 or 12 of 2015, ” prosecuted
him in the absence of any evidence and took his “right
to bond . . . .” He also claims that he presented
evidence exculpating him from his current charge, but
Defendants Sylvester and Spires refuse to dismiss the charge.
alleges that Defendants Ainsworth and Robertson, two police
officers, falsely arrested him on August 8, 2015, and,
thereafter, withheld exculpatory evidence. Ainsworth also
lied in the arrest report and, at the State's behest,
lied at Plaintiff's trial. Plaintiff claims that, on June
22, 2017, Judge Wendell Manning disregarded “any and
all evidence in [his] favor” and found him guilty
“using pure imaginary evidence.” Plaintiff's
claims against Ainsworth and Robertson apparently relate to
his June 22, 2017 conviction.
claims further that Warden Carl Patrick and Sheriff Mike
Tubbs refused to respond to his administrative remedy
requests. He also faults Warden Patrick for placing him in
disciplinary segregation in 2013 or 2014 without a
disciplinary hearing, and he adds that Sheriff Mike Tubbs
approved the placement.
claims that he is innocent of both his June 22, 2017
conviction and a pending charge of second degree battery. He
maintains that, for the last nine months, he suffered stress
and depression. He seeks release from incarceration and the
“maximum amount” of compensatory damages. He also
asks the Court to discharge Defendant Ainsworth from his
is an inmate who has been permitted to proceed in forma
pauperis. As an inmate seeking redress from an
officer or employee of a governmental entity, his complaint
is subject to preliminary screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A. See Martin v. Scott, 156 F.3d
578, 579- 80 (5th Cir.1998) (per curiam). Because he
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.
complaint is frivolous when it “lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A claim lacks an
arguable basis in law when it is “based on an
indisputably meritless legal theory.” Id. at
327. Courts are also afforded the unusual power to pierce the
veil of the factual allegations and dismiss those claims
whose factual contentions are clearly baseless. Id.
complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted when it fails to plead “enough facts to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007); accord Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). Likewise, a complaint fails to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted if it appears that no relief
could be granted under any set of facts that could be proven
consistent with the allegations of the complaint. Of course,
in making this determination, the court must assume that all
of the plaintiff's factual allegations are true.
Bradley v. Puckett, 157 F.3d 1022, 1025 (5th Cir.
rights plaintiff must support his claims with specific facts
demonstrating a constitutional deprivation and may not simply
rely on conclusory allegations. Ashcroft, 556 U.S.
at 662; Schultea v. Wood, 1427');">47 F.3d 1427, 1433 (5th
Cir. 1995). Nevertheless, a district court is bound by the
allegations in a plaintiff's complaint and is “not
free to speculate that the plaintiff ‘might' be
able to state a claim if given yet another opportunity to add
more facts to the complaint.” Macias v. Raul A.
(Unknown) Badge No. 153, 23 F.3d 94, 97 (5th Cir. 1994).
hearing need not be conducted for every pro se complaint.
Wilson v. Barrientos, 926 F.2d 480, 483 n.4 (5th
Cir. 1991). A district court may dismiss a prisoner's
civil rights complaint as frivolous based upon the complaint
and exhibits alone. Green v. McKaskle, 788 F.2d
1116, 1120 (5th Cir. 1986).
Heck v. Humphrey
alleges that Defendants Ainsworth and Robertson falsely
arrested him and withheld exculpatory evidence. He also
claims that Ainsworth lied in the arrest report. It appears,
however, that Plaintiff's claims all relate to his June
22, 2017, conviction.
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), a successful
civil rights action that would necessarily imply the
invalidity of a plaintiff's conviction or sentence must
be dismissed unless the plaintiff first shows that the
conviction or sentence has been reversed, expunged, declared
invalid, or called into question by a federal court's
issuance of a writ of habeas corpus.
prevailing on claims of withholding exculpatory evidence and
lying in an arrest report would necessarily imply the
invalidity of Plaintiff's conviction. In Shaw v.
Harris, 116 Fed.Appx. 499, 500 (5th Cir. 2004), the
Fifth Circuit held that Heck barred a
Plaintiff's claims of evidence tampering, concealment,
and perjury because a decision granting the claims
“would necessarily imply that her conviction was
invalid.” In Lenoir v. Howard, 579 Fed.Appx.
227, 228 (5th Cir. 2012), the Fifth Circuit held that the
plaintiff's “claim that he was wrongly convicted
based on constitutional violations at trial, namely the use
of perjured testimony, necessarily implies that his
conviction was invalid.”
prevailing on the false arrest claim would necessarily imply
the invalidity of Plaintiff's conviction.
“‘[F]alse arrest . . . claims challenge the
existence of probable cause and, thus, by their essence are
collateral attacks on a criminal judgment's
validity.'” Thomas v. Pohlmann, 681
Fed.Appx. 401, 406 (5th Cir. 2017) (quoting Cormier v.
Lafayette City-Par. Consol. Gov't, 493 Fed.
App'x. 578, 583 (5th Cir. 2012)). When a plaintiff pleads
guilty to a charge for which he was arrested, allowing him to
proceed on his false arrest claim “would necessarily
implicate the validity of [his] convictions because the same
conduct that formed the probable cause for [his] arrest also
provided the basis for [his] convictions.” Id.
(citing Wells v. Bonner, 45 F.3d 90, 95 (5th Cir.
1995) (“[The ...