United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Texarkana Division
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED
STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
W. SCHROEDER III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Plaintiff William Rettstatt, proceeding pro se,
filed this civil rights lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983
complaining of alleged violations of his constitutional
rights. The case was referred to the United States Magistrate
Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1) and (3) and the
Amended Order for the Adoption of Local Rules for the
Assignment of Duties to United States Magistrate Judges.
Rettstatt named as Defendants the Liberty-Eylau Independent
School District, Bowie County District Attorney Bobby
Lockhart and Officer Bill Griffith, whom he describes as the
“Liberty-Eylau School Police Chief.”
Complaint, Plaintiff raised claims implicating the validity
of criminal charges that were pending against him at the time
the lawsuit was filed. Plaintiff also complained the
Liberty-Eylau Independent School District saw him as a
“problem child” and “passed him from grade
to grade to be rid of [him], ” resulting in a lack of
education. Docket No. 1 at 5. The lawsuit was
administratively closed until these charges were resolved.
Docket No. 13. Plaintiff later filed a motion to reopen,
stating he received 180 days for the pending charges against
him plus a separate five-year sentence, apparently referring
to a sentence he received in the State of Arkansas. Docket
No. 15. Plaintiff stated he had served both of these
motion to reopen was granted (Docket No. 18) and the
Magistrate Judge issued a Report recommending the lawsuit be
dismissed. Docket No. 19. The Magistrate Judge relied on the
Supreme Court's opinion in Heck v. Humphrey, 512
U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994).
Heck, the Supreme Court explained that “in
order to recover damages for allegedly unconstitutional
conviction or imprisonment, . . . a § 1983 plaintiff
must prove that the conviction or sentence has been reversed
on direct appeal, expunged by executive order, declared
invalid by a state tribunal authorized to make such
determination, or called into question by a federal
court's issuance of a writ of habeas corpus, 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254.” Heck, 512 U.S. at 486-87. This
rule applies even if the plaintiff has fully served his
sentence and habeas corpus is no longer available, unless the
plaintiff establishes that other procedural vehicles to
attack the sentence are lacking. Randell v. Johnson,
227 F.3d 300, 301 (5th Cir. 2000); Lavergne v.
Brignac, 654 F.App'x 177, (5th Cir. 2016).
Plaintiff has not shown the conviction and sentence he
received from the Texas prosecution has been overturned or
set aside or that he has no procedural vehicles available to
challenge the conviction, the Magistrate Judge concluded his
lawsuit was barred under Heck. Docket No. 19 at 5.
addition, the Magistrate Judge observed that District
Attorney Bobby Lockhart is shielded by prosecutorial immunity
and that Plaintiff's claims against the Liberty-Eylau
Independent School District were barred by the statute of
received a copy of the Magistrate Judge's Report on
February 27, 2017, and no objections have been filed.
Accordingly, this Court reviews the Magistrate Judge's
findings of fact and conclusions of law for plain error.
Douglass v. United Services Automobile Association,
79 F.3d 1415, 1430 (5th Cir. 1996) (en banc); see also
United States v. Wilson, 864 F.2d 1219, 1221 (5th Cir.),
cert. denied, 492 U.S. 918, 109 S.Ct. 3243 (1989)
(explaining that, when no objections to a Magistrate
Judge's Report are filed, the standard of review is
“clearly erroneous, abuse of discretion and contrary to
Court has reviewed the Magistrate Judge's Report, the
record, and all available evidence. This Court agrees with
the Magistrate Judge that Plaintiff fails to state a claim
because Plaintiff's claims are barred by Heck.
Finding no plain error in the Magistrate Judge's Report,
the Court hereby ADOPTS the Report of the
Magistrate Judge as the opinion of this Court. It is further
the above-styled civil action is DISMISSED WITH
PREJUDICE1for purposes of proceeding in forma
pauperis for failure to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted as to the Defendants Bobby Lockhart and the
Liberty-Eylau Independent School District. It is further
the Plaintiff's claims against Officer Griffin are
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE until Plaintiff can
show his conviction has been overturned, expunged by
executive order, declared invalid in a state collateral
proceeding or called into question through the issuance of a
federal writ of habeas corpus. It is also
that any and all motions which may be pending in this action
are hereby DENIED.