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. Kaiser

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

March 12, 2019

Roberto Martinez, #02067337, Plaintiff,
v.
Peace Officer Kaiser, Defendant.

          FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          RENEE HARRIS TOLIVER MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Special Order 3, this case was referred to the United States magistrate judge for pretrial management. The Court granted Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis but did not issue process pending judicial screening. Upon review of the relevant pleadings and applicable law, this case should be summarily DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE as frivolous and for failure to state a claim.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On November 20, 2018, Plaintiff Roberto Martinez, a state prisoner, filed a pro se complaint against Security Officer David Presley and Peace Officer Kaiser. Doc. 3 at 3. He asserted constitutional violations stemming from his arrest on June 18, 2011, and his subsequent prosecution for failure to register as a sex offender in 2012. Doc. 3 at 4. On January 25, 2019, Martinez filed the operative Fourth Amended Complaint (“Amended Complaint”), only asserting claims against Officer Kaiser and, thus, abandoning claims against Presley.[1] Doc. 9 at 3-4. Martinez alleges that Kaiser failed to investigate “all material evidence, ” contact witnesses, and gather “all the necessary information about the witnesses”-including the purported 911 caller- before arresting him on June 18, 2011. Doc. 9 at 4, 6. Further, he avers that Kaiser “conspired to imprison and register [him] as a sex offender [for] life” through his testimony at the June 12, 2012 trial. Doc. 9 at 7. By this action, Martinez seeks “redress of grievances” and damages for the alleged constitutional violations. Doc. 9 at 4.

         Online research reveals that on June 12, 2012, a jury convicted Martinez, under the alias of Roberto Arnoldo Barrientos, of misdemeanor indecent exposure for the conduct underlying his June 18, 2011 arrest, and he was sentenced to 180 days confinement. See State v. Barrientos, No. M11-13388 (Crim. Dist. No. 3, Dallas Cty., June 12, 2012), aff'd, No. 05-12-00882-CR (Tex. App.-Dallas July 17, 2013). Subsequently, Martinez was twice convicted of failing to register as a sex offender, the latter conviction enhanced by the prior conviction, and was sentenced to 18 months in state jail and 7 years in prison, respectively. See State v. Martinez, No. F11-13303-W (363rd Jud. Dist. Court, Dallas Cty., Apr. 24, 2012), aff'd, No. 05-12-00648-CR (Tex. App.-Dallas June 24, 2013); State v. Martinez, No. F14-00302-J (Crim. Dist. No. 3, Dallas Cty., Sep. 17, 2014), aff'd, No. 05-14-01238-CR, 2015 WL 6750812 (Tex. App.-Nov. 4, 2015, pet. ref'd). On December 19, 2017, Martinez was again convicted of failure to register, enhanced with previous conviction, and was sentenced to two years' confinement. State v. Martinez, No. F17-18761-K (Crim. Dist. Court No. 4, Dallas Cty., Dec. 19, 2017).[2] It is this offense for which he is presently confined.

         II. ANALYSIS

         Because the plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, his complaint is subject to screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). That statute provides for the sua sponte dismissal of a complaint if the Court finds that it (1) is frivolous or malicious, (2) fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or (3) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. A complaint is frivolous when it “lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A complaint lacks an arguable basis in law when it is “based on an indisputably meritless legal theory.” Id. at 327. A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).

         The Court must always liberally construe pleadings filed by pro se litigants. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (noting pro se pleadings “must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers”); Cf.Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(e) (“Pleadings must be construed so as to do justice.”). Even under this most liberal construction, however, Martinez fails to state a viable claim.

         Martinez maintains that he was wrongfully arrested on June 18, 2011, and that by his June 12, 2012 testimony, Kaiser conspired to imprison and require that he register as a sex offender for life. Thus, the deadlines for filing suit for wrongful arrest and conspiracy to wrongfully imprison were June 18, 2013 and June 12, 2014, respectively. See Owens v. Okure, 488 U.S. 235, 249-50 (1989) (state forum's personal injury statute of limitations applies in a section 1983 case); Stanley v. Foster, 464 F.3d 565, 568 (5th Cir. 2006) (Texas section 1983 actions are governed by the two-year personal injury limitations period; court can raise affirmative defense of statute of limitations sua sponte in in forma pauperis actions); Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 16.003(a) (West 2019). October 24, 2018 is the earliest possible date on which Martinez's original complaint can be deemed filed[3]--well outside of both limitations' periods.

         Martinez cannot demonstrate that he is entitled to equitable tolling of either limitation period due to a “legal disability.” SeeTex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann.' 16.001(a) (West 2019) (“a person is under a legal disability if the person is: (1) younger than 18 years of age, regardless of whether the person is married; or (2) of unsound mind.”). And his imprisonment does not provide a basis to toll the statute of limitations under Texas law. See Gonzales v. Wyatt, 157 F.3d 1016, 1020 (5th Cir. 1998). Accordingly, Martinez's Amended Complaint, Doc. 9, wholly fails to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. See Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 215 (2007) (concluding that when the allegations “show that relief is barred by the applicable statute of limitations, the complaint is subject to dismissal for failure to state a claim”).

         III. LEAVE TO AMEND

         Ordinarily, a pro se plaintiff should be granted leave to amend his complaint prior to dismissal. See Brewster v. Dretke, 587 F.3d 764, 767-768 (5th Cir. 2009) (“leave to amend is not required . . . if the plaintiff has already pleaded his ‘best case.'”). For the reasons outlined herein, Martinez's claims are fatally infirm. Thus, granting leave to amend would be futile and cause needless delay.

         IV. CONCLUSION

         For the foregoing reasons, this action should be summarily DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). This dismissal will count as a “strike” or ...


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.