United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
OUNCRE D. JONES, Plaintiff
MICKY DOVE, ET AL., Defendants
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
H.L. Perez-Montes United States Magistrate Judge
the Court is a civil rights complaint (28 U.S.C. § 1983)
filed by pro se Plaintiff Ouncre D. Jones
(“Jones”). Jones was granted leave to proceed
in forma pauperis. (Doc. 7). Jones is a pretrial
detainee incarcerated at the Natchitoches Parish Detention
Center. Jones alleges that he was subjected to excessive
force during his arrest. He names as Defendants Natchitoches
Police Chief Micky Dove and Officer C. Dranquet.
Jones's criminal charges remain pending in state court,
his § 1983 complaint should be stayed pending the
outcome of the criminal proceedings.
states that he was arrested by the Natchitoches Police
Department following a chase. (Doc. 1, p. 3). Officer
Dranquet allegedly placed Jones in a headlock and punched
Jones in the head. When another officer arrived, Officer
Dranquet claimed that Jones had punched him in the eye. (Doc.
1, p. 3).
was ordered to amend his complaint to state whether he was
charged with any offenses as a result of the altercation with
Officer Dranquet. In response, Jones provides that he was
charged with hit and run, resisting and officer, aggravated
flight, resisting a police officer with force or violence,
simple criminal damage to property, battery of a police
officer, reckless operation of a vehicle, shoplifting, and
numerous traffic violations. According to Jones, several of
the charges are pending.
Law and Analysis
Jones's complaint is subject to screening under
§§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.
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 Jones
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.
Jones's complaint should be stayed.
claims that he was subjected to excessive force during his
arrest. 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 favor of
the plaintiff would necessarily imply the invalidity of a
subsequent conviction or sentence. See Wallace v.
Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 393 (2007).
Heck rule does not apply to pending criminal
charges. See id. at 393-94. If a plaintiff files a
claim of unlawful arrest before he has been convicted, or
files any other claim related to rulings that will likely be
made in a pending or anticipated criminal trial, it is within
the power of the district court to stay the civil action
until the criminal case has ended. See id.
Jones is convicted of the charges related to his altercations
with the arresting officers, an award of damages would imply
the invalidity of the conviction(s). Thus, Jones's claim