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.

McNeely v. State

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division

January 2, 2020

Robert H. McNeely, Plaintiff
v.
State of Ohio, Defendant

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JEFFREY J. HELMICK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before me on the civil rights Complaint of Plaintiff Robert H. McNeely. (Doc. 1). Also before me is Plaintiff's motion to proceed with this matter in forma pauperis. (Doc. 2). For the following reasons, I grant Plaintiff's in forma pauperis motion, and dismiss this action.

         Background

         Plaintiff's Complaint chronicles a criminal case in the Lucas County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas where Plaintiff alleges that he pleaded guilty on October 22, 2004, to rape and sexual battery. (Doc. 1 at 2-3). The events described in the Complaint include various appeals and writs filed by Plaintiff. According to the Complaint, Plaintiff was released from prison on May 26, 2016. After he was released, Plaintiff filed various motions with the Ohio courts, all of which were dismissed or denied. (Id. at 5-6). Plaintiff alleges that he was wrongfully convicted and asks that I overturn his conviction, clear his record, bar state prosecutors for further attempts to prosecute him, and award him 30 Million Dollars in damages. (Id. at 6).

         Standard of Review

         Although pro se pleadings are liberally construed, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per curiam); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), I am required to dismiss an in forma pauperis action under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) if it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or if it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319 (1989); Lawler v. Marshall, 898 F.2d 1196 (6th Cir. 1990); Sistrunk v. City of Strongsville, 99 F.3d 194, 197 (6th Cir. 1996). A claim lacks an arguable basis in law or fact when it is premised on an indisputably meritless legal theory or when the factual contentions are clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. A cause of action fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted when it lacks “plausibility in the complaint.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 564 (2007).

         Analysis

         Plaintiff fails to allege a plausible civil rights claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 because Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994) bars such claims. Under Heck, a plaintiff cannot succeed in a § 1983 action when the basis for the claim necessarily implies the invalidity of a previous state criminal conviction.

[I]n order to recover damages for allegedly unconstitutional conviction or imprisonment, or for other harm caused by actions whose unlawfulness would render a conviction or sentence invalid, a § 1983 plaintiff must prove that the 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, 28 U.S.C. § 2254. A claim for damages bearing that relationship to a conviction or sentence that has not been so invalidated is not cognizable under § 1983.

Heck, 512 U.S. at 486-87.

         Here, Plaintiff asks this Court to overturn his 2004 conviction in the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas, clear his record, and award him damages. This I cannot do. Plaintiff has not alleged that this criminal conviction has been resolved in his favor or invalidated in any of the ways articulated by Heck. Indeed, he alleges to the contrary. Therefore, Heck bars Plaintiff's § 1983 action.[1] Except in the context of a properly asserted habeas corpus action brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, Plaintiff may not ask a district court to review rulings made in state criminal proceedings. See Holland v. Cty. of Macomb, No. 16-2103, 2017 WL 3391653, at *2 (6th Cir. Mar. 17, 2017) (affirming dismissal to the extent that plaintiff asked the district court to overturn his conviction because such a claim is barred by Heck and not cognizable under § 1983) (citing Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 488-90 (1973)).

         Conclusion

         For the reasons stated above, I grant Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis and dismiss this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). I certify pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) that ...


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.