Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Martinez v. Snyder

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

January 30, 2019

ROBERTO MARTINEZ, #02067337, Plaintiff,
v.
JAMES SCOTT SNYDER, Defendant.

          FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION

          IRMA CARRILLO RAMIREZ, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         By Special Order No. 3-251, this case has been automatically referred for findings, conclusions and recommendation. Based on the relevant filings and applicable law, the plaintiff's complaint should be DISMISSED with prejudice.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Roberto Martinez (Plaintiff) sues a Carrollton police detective under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged violation of his civil rights. (See doc. 9 at 4.) He claims that after he was arrested on August 13, 2011, the detective first told him that he needed to register as a sex offender, but then told him that he did not need to sign the registration forms. (Id. at 6.) Five days later, Plaintiff was arrested again, and the detective said that “we'r[e] gone [sic] register you now.” (Id.) On August 31, 2011, Plaintiff was arrested for failure to register as a sex offender and later charged with that offense in Cause No. 14-00302. (Id.) He alleges that the detective made misleading statements about the registration procedures under oath, and that he falsely testified at trial that Plaintiff had refused to sign the registration forms. (Id. at 4, 6-7.) As a result, he contends that he was wrongfully convicted in Cause No. 14-00302 on September 17, 2014, of failure to register as a sex offender. See www.dallascounty.org (search for plaintiff). He alleges that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction. (Id. at 7.) He seeks monetary damages. (See doc. 9 at 4.) No. process has been issued in this case.

         II. PRELIMINARY SCREENING

         As a prisoner seeking redress from an officer or employee of a governmental entity, Plaintiff's complaint is subject to preliminary screening under 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.

         A claim 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. A claim that falls under the rule announced in Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), “is legally frivolous unless the conviction or sentence at issue has been reversed, expunged, invalidated, or otherwise called into question.” Hamilton v. Lyons, 74 F.3d 99, 102 (5th Cir. 1996). A claim 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).

         III. SECTION 1983

         Plaintiff sues under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. It “provides a federal cause of action for the deprivation, under color of law, of a citizen's ‘rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws' of the United States.” Livadas v. Bradshaw, 512 U.S. 107, 132 (1994). It “afford[s] redress for violations of federal statutes, as well as of constitutional norms.” Id. To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege facts that show (1) he has been deprived of a right secured by the Constitution and the laws of the United States; and (2) the deprivation occurred under color of state law. See Flagg Bros., Inc. v. Brooks, 436 U.S. 149, 155 (1978); Cornish v. Corr. Servs. Corp., 402 F.3d 545, 549 (5th Cir. 2005).

         A. Habeas Relief

         To the extent that Plaintiff's allegation of insufficient evidence to support the conviction my be construed as a claim for habeas relief, such relief is an inappropriate remedy in a § 1983 action. See Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 554 (1974). A plaintiff cannot challenge the fact or duration of confinement in a § 1983 action. Clarke v. Stalder, 154 F.3d 186, 189 (5th Cir. 1998) (citing Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 487 (1973)). He may only do so within the exclusive scope of habeas corpus. See Preiser, 411 U.S. at 487. Plaintiff may only obtain declaratory or monetary relief in this § 1983 action.

         B. Statute of Limitations

         Courts “may raise the defense of limitations sua sponte.” Harris v. Hegmann, 198 F.3d 153, 156 (5th Cir. 1999). “[W]here it is clear from the face of a complaint filed in forma pauperis that the claims asserted are barred by the applicable statute of limitations, those claims are properly dismissed” under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Gartrell v. Gaylor, 981 F.2d 254, 256 (5th Cir. 1993); accord, Stanley v. Foster, 464 F.3d 565, 568 (5th Cir. 2006).

         Federal courts look to the law of the forum state to determine the length of the statute of limitations applicable in § 1983 cases. Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 387 (2007). The general statute of limitations governing personal injuries in the forum state provides the applicable limitations period. Piotrowski v. City of Houston, 237 F.3d 567, 576 (5th Cir. 2001). Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, so Plaintiff ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.