United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION, AND
DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT WITHOUT PREJUDICE AND
WITHOUT ISSUANCE AND SERVICE OF PROCESS
GEIGER LEWIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case was brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (section 1983).
Plaintiff is proceeding pro se. The matter is before the
Court for review of the Report and Recommendation (Report) of
the United States Magistrate Judge suggesting the Court
dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint without prejudice and
without issuance and service of process. The Report was made
in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Local Civil Rule
73.02 for the District of South Carolina.
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court.
The recommendation has no presumptive weight. The
responsibility to make a final determination remains with the
Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270 (1976).
The Court is charged with making a de novo determination of
those portions of the Report to which specific objection is
made, and the Court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole
or in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge or
recommit the matter with instructions. 28 U.S.C. §
Magistrate Judge filed the Report on December 13, 2017, and
the Clerk of Court entered Plaintiff's objections to the
Report on January 2, 2018. The Court has reviewed the
objections, but holds them to be without merit. Therefore, it
will enter judgment accordingly.
first objects the instant Complaint is not duplicative of his
earlier cases because he is challenging the procedure used to
issue the warrant for his arrest, not his conviction. The
Magistrate Judge suggested the instant Complaint was
duplicative of two earlier cases Plaintiff filed in this
Court alleging similar claims against the same Defendants,
and Plaintiff could have raised the instant claims in the
earlier lawsuits. Having reviewed the record in those cases,
Tyler v. Hodges, No. 4:16-cv-01151-MGL (D.S.C.),
Tyler v. Hodges, No. 4:17-cv-00308-MGL (D.S.C.), the
Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge. The claims in the
instant Complaint are duplicative of those in the earlier
cases, and could have been raised in those cases.
“Because district courts are not required to entertain
duplicative or redundant lawsuits, they may dismiss such
suits as frivolous pursuant to [28 U.S.C.] §
1915(e).” Cottle v. Bell, No. 00-6367, 2000 WL
1144623 at *1 (4th Cir. Aug. 14, 2000). For that reason, the
Court will overrule Plaintiff's first objection.
next argues Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994),
does not bar his claims because “[s]uccess in this case
will not result in his early release, but only in new
proceedings which might hasten his release.”. ECF No.
11 at 2. The Magistrate Judge recommended Heck
barred Plaintiff's claims. Heck bars a state
prisoner's section 1983 claim for damages where success
in the section 1983 action would imply the underlying
sentence or conviction was wrong unless that conviction or
sentence was previously invalidated. Heck, 512 U.S.
at 486-87. The Heck rule has been extended to bar
equitable remedies as well as monetary damages. Wilkinson
v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74, 81-82 (2005). Plaintiff here
argues the procedure for issuing his arrest warrant was
unlawful. Were he to succeed on this claim, it would
necessarily imply his subsequent conviction and sentence were
unlawful. For that reason, the Court agrees with the
Magistrate Judge, and accordingly, it will overrule
Plaintiff's objection to the Magistrate Judge's
recommendation regarding the Heck bar.
Plaintiff claims the Magistrate Judge erred in recommending
Plaintiff could have brought a habeas claim in earlier
proceedings, and thus is now barred from bringing his section
1983 claim. The Magistrate Judge suggested the Heck
bar is inapplicable where a prisoner could not have brought
an earlier habeas corpus claim. The Magistrate noted,
however, even if Plaintiff were no longer in custody for his
2013 conviction, he could have brought a habeas corpus claim
while in custody, and he was not prevented from doing so by
circumstances beyond his control. The Magistrate further
recommended Plaintiff has a pending application for
post-conviction relief in the State courts, and the Federal
courts will not generally intervene in an ongoing State
Heck bar does not apply “[i]f a prisoner could
not, as a practical matter, seek habeas relief” while
he was in custody. Wilson v. Johnson, 535 F.3d 262,
268 (4th Cir. 2008). The Wilson exception, however,
applies only where something beyond Plaintiff's control
prevented him from seeking habeas relief while in custody.
See Id. Although Plaintiff argues he could not have
sought habeas relief at the warrant stage, he certainly could
have sought habeas relief after his resulting conviction and
sentence. Plaintiff fails to allege he sought habeas relief
while in custody for his 2013 conviction, and also neglects
to argue he was prevented from doing so by circumstances
beyond his control. For that reason, the Wilson
exception to the Heck bar does not apply to allow
Plaintiff's section 1983 claim.
as noted above, Plaintiff has an application for
post-conviction relief pending in the State Court. See
Tyler v. State of South Carolina, No. 2015CP1600016,
(Last Accessed: January 3, 2018). Absent extraordinary
circumstances not present here, this Court will not interfere
with the State court proceedings. See, e.g., Younger v.
Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 44 (1971), Cinema Blue of
Charlotte, Inc. v. Gilchrist, 887 F.2d 49, 52-54 (4th
Cir. 1989). For the above reasons, the Court will overrule
Plaintiff's objection to the Magistrate Judge's
recommendation regarding Plaintiff not meeting the conditions
for the Wilson exception to the Heck bar.
thorough review of the Report and the record in this case
pursuant to the standard set forth above, the Court overrules
Plaintiff's objections, adopts the Report, and
incorporates it herein. Therefore, it is the judgment of this
Court Plaintiff's Complaint is DISMISSED
without prejudice and without issuance and service of
IS SO ORDERED.
OF RIGHT TO APPEAL
parties are hereby notified of the right to appeal this Order
within thirty days from the date hereof, pursuant to Rules 3