United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
P. ELLISON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, filed this section 1983 lawsuit against six
prison officials and employees. He seeks declaratory and
injunctive relief for alleged violations of his
constitutional rights regarding a disciplinary conviction.
screened the complaint pursuant to section 1915 A, the Court
DISMISSES this lawsuit for the reasons shown
BACKGROUND AND CLAIMS
challenges a prison disciplinary conviction he received at
the Pack Unit in December 2017. He claims that the
disciplinary charge was false and brought in retaliation for
class action lawsuits filed by other Pack Unit inmates. His
administrative appeals of the disciplinary conviction were
denied by prison grievance officials.
states that the conviction was for an improper telephone
communication. He contends that prison officials denied him
due process by not listening to an audio recording of the
subject telephone call, which he claims would have
established his innocence. He further contends that his
counsel substitute at the hearing was ineffective, and that
grievance officials failed to set aside the false conviction
during his administrative appeals.
seeks a declaratory judgment finding that his constitutional
rights were violated. He further seeks as injunctive relief
an apology from prison officials for convicting him of a
false and retaliatory disciplinary charge, an apology to his
mother, and a revocation of the disciplinary conviction and
Court is required to scrutinize the pleadings and dismiss the
complaint in whole or in part if it is frivolous, malicious,
fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or
seeks monetary damages from a defendant who is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915A(b), 1915(e)(2)(B).
section 1915(e)(2)(B)(i), the Court may dismiss an in
forma pauperis complaint as frivolous when it lacks an
arguable basis in law or fact. Hutchins v.
McDaniels, 512 F.3d 193, 195 (5th Cir. 2007). A
complaint lacks an arguable basis in law if it is based on an
indisputably meritless legal theory. Davis v. Scott,
157 F.3d 1003, 1005 (5th Cir. 1998).
seeks declaratory and injunctive relief and asks for reversal
of the purportedly unlawful disciplinary conviction. In
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994), the
Supreme Court held that a claim that, in effect, attacks the
constitutionality of a conviction or imprisonment is not
cognizable under section 1983 and does not accrue until that
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." See also Reger v.
Walker, 312 Fed.Appx. 624, 625 (5th Cir. 2009) (noting
that claims asserted in a sectionl983 action, whether for
damages, declaratory judgment, or injunctive relief, that
would imply the invalidity of a conviction, are not
Supreme Court has extended Heckto prison
disciplinary proceedings, concluding that claims for
declaratory or injunctive relief or for monetary damages that
necessarily imply the invalidity of a disciplinary punishment
are not cognizable in a section 1983 proceeding. Edwards
v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641, 646-48 (1997). Plaintiffs
request to have this Court reconsider the basis and validity
of the disciplinary charge and the actions of the officials
involved with the disciplinary proceeding and resulting
punishment, if successful, would "necessarily imply the
invalidity of the punishment imposed." Edwards,
520 U.S. at 648. Thus, such claims are not cognizable in this
case unless plaintiff has satisfied the conditions set by
Heck. Plaintiffs pleadings show that his
administrative challenges to the conviction were denied, and
he does not state or show that the conviction has been
successfully challenged through habeas proceedings. As a
result, plaintiff does not meet the Heck
requirements and his claims must be dismissed. See
Heck, 512 U.S. at 487-88; see also McGrew v. Tex.
Bd. Of Pardons and Paroles, 47 F.3d 158, 161 (5th Cir.
claims are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE to their
being asserted again until the Heck conditions are
met. See Johnson v. McElveen,101 F.3d 423, 424 (5th
Cir. 1996). Alternatively, plaintiffs claims ...