United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION
CARRILLO RAMIREZ, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
Statute of Limitations
“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.
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