United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
TYRONE D. RICHARD, a/k/a TYROND DWAYNE RICHARD, TDCJ #1816974, Petitioner,
DAN HINDE, et al., Respondents.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
LAKE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
inmate Tyrone D. Richard, also known as Tyrond Dwayne Richard
(TDCJ #1816974), has filed a Petition for Extraordinary
Relief ("Petition") in the form of a writ of
mandamus (Docket Entry No. 1-1) . He has also filed a
Declaration of Inability to Pay Cost (Docket Entry No. 2),
which is construed as a motion for leave to proceed without
prepayment of the filing fee. Thus, the court is required to
scrutinize the claims and dismiss the case if it "is
frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted" or "seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). After considering all of the
pleadings, the court concludes that this case must be
dismissed for the reasons explained below.
is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence in the Texas
Department of Criminal Justice - Correctional Institutions
Division ("TDCJ") as the result of a 2012
conviction for possession of a controlled substance. See
State v. Richard, No. 1336435 (180th Dist. Ct., Harris
Cty., Tex.). When Richard was arrested and charged with the
offense that resulted in this conviction, officers recovered
26.2 grams of crack cocaine and $3, 698.00 in cash in his
possession. See Richard v. State, No.
01-12-00995-CR, 2013 WL 3155957, *l-2 (Tex. App. - Houston
[1st Dist.] June 20, 2013, pet. ref'd). After this
conviction was entered, the State initiated a civil
forfeiture proceedings for the funds that were seized at the
time of Richard's arrest. See State v. Approximately
$3, 698.00. No. 2012-13937 (269th Dist. Ct., Harris
to Richard, the State prevailed in the forfeiture action as
the result of a judgment entered by the lead respondent in
this case, the Honorable Dan Hinde, who is the presiding
judge of the 269th District Court of Harris County,
Texas. To date, Richard's efforts to set
aside that judgment have been unsuccessful. See In re
Tyrone Richard, No. 01-16-00751-CV, 2016 WL 7104014, *1
(Tex. App. -Houston [1st Dist.] Dec. 6, 2016); In re
Tyrone Richard. No. 17-0120 (Tex. Sup. Ct. March 17,
now challenges the result of the civil forfeiture proceeding,
arguing that the funds were recovered as the result of an
unlawful search and were not otherwise subject to
forfeiture.Richard argues that he filed a
"[Motion for] Summary Judgment of Dismissal" that
would have resulted in a judgment in his favor in the civil
forfeiture proceeding, but that Hinde has failed or refused
to rule on that motion. Richard seeks relief in the form of a
writ of mandamus to compel Hinde to rule on his motion and
enter a judgment of dismissal in his favor.
request for a federal writ of mandamus is governed by 28
U.S.C. § 1361. This statute provides that district
courts shall have "original jurisdiction of any action
in the nature of mandamus to compel an officer or employee of
the United States or any agency thereof to perform a duty
owed to the plaintiff." 28 U.S.C. § 1361. Richard
is not entitled to a writ of mandamus because the respondent
is a state official, and not an agent or employee of the
United States. A federal district court has no power to issue
writs of mandamus to direct state officials in the
performance of their duties. See Move v. Clerk, DeKalb
Cty. Superior Ct.. 474 F.2d 1275, 1275-76 (5th Cir.
to the extent that Richard's arguments call into question
the validity of a state court civil judgment, the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine bars review of his claims.
See Liedtke v. State Bar of Tex.. 18 F.3d 315, 317
(5th Cir.1994) (citing Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co..
263 U.S. 413, 44 S.Ct. 149, 68 L.Ed. 362 (1923) and D.C.
Ct. of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462, 103 S.Ct. 1303,
75 L.Ed.2d 206 (1983)). In that regard, the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine bars review of "cases
brought by state-court losers complaining of injuries caused
by state-court judgments rendered before the district court
proceedings commenced and inviting district court review and
rejection of those judgments." Exxon Mobil Corp. v.
Saudi Basic Indus. Corp., 544 U.S. 280, 125 S.Ct. 1517,
1521-22, 161 L.Ed.2d 454 (2005).
Richard's Petition must be dismissed pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) for failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted.
Conclusion and Order
on the foregoing, the court ORDERS as follows:
1. The motion for leave to proceed without prepayment of the
filing fee (Docket Entry No. 2) is GRANTED.
2. The TDCJ Inmate Trust Fund is ORDERED to deduct funds from
the inmate trust account of Tyrone D. Richard, a/k/a Tyrond
Dwayne Richard (TDCJ #1816974) and forward them to the Clerk
on a regular basis, in compliance with the provisions of 28
U.S.C. § ...