United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
D. WHITNEY CHIEF UNITED UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on initial review of
Plaintiff's Complaint, (Doc. No. 1). Plaintiff is
proceeding in forma pauperis. See (Doc. No.
8). Also pending is Plaintiff's Letter seeking the
appointment of counsel. (Doc. No. 6).
se Plaintiff, who is incarcerated at the Mountain View
Correctional Institution, has filed a civil rights suit
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff names as
Defendants: Assistant District Attorneys J. Douglas Mundy,
Greg Newman, and Michael Bender. He alleges that Defendants
have violated due process and defamed his character by
bringing false and “trumped up” criminal charges
against him. (Doc. No. 1 at 12). Their actions have allegedly
resulted in two consecutive sentence of 50 to 72 months'
imprisonment. He asks the Court to set aside the criminal
verdict and judgment, award him damages for pain and
suffering, dismiss the charges, and grant any other relief
the Court deems appropriate.
separate page entitled “Conditions of Confinement,
” Plaintiff alleges that correctional personnel are
deliberately indifferent for failing to carry out medical
orders, and that prison housing assignments are inconsistent
with, or aggravate, a prisoner's medical condition. (Doc.
No. 1 at 15).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Plaintiff is a prisoner proceeding in forma
pauperis, the Court must review the Complaint to
determine whether it is subject to dismissal on the grounds
that it is “(i) frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to
state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). In its
frivolity review, a court must determine whether the
Complaint raises an indisputably meritless legal theory or is
founded upon clearly baseless factual contentions, such as
fantastic or delusional scenarios. Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327-28 (1989). A complaint
should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim
“unless ‘after accepting all well-pleaded
allegations in the plaintiff's complaint as true and
drawing all reasonable factual inferences from those facts in
the plaintiff's favor, it appears certain that the
plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of his
claim entitling him to relief.'” Veney v.
Wyche, 293 F.3d 726, 730 (4th Cir. 2002)
(quoting Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231,
244 (4th Cir. 1999)).
pro se complaint must be construed liberally.
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); see
also Smith v. Smith, 589 F.3d 736, 738 (4th
Cir. 2009) (“Liberal construction of the pleadings is
particularly appropriate where … there is a pro
se complaint raising civil rights issues.”).
However, the liberal construction requirement will not permit
a district court to ignore a clear failure to allege facts in
his complaint which set forth a claim that is cognizable
under federal law. Weller v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990). A
pro se complaint must still contain sufficient facts
“to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level” and “state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 570 (2007); see Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) (the Twombly
plausibility standard applies to all federal civil complaints
including those filed under § 1983). This
“plausibility standard requires a plaintiff to
demonstrate more than a sheer possibility that a defendant
has acted unlawfully.” Francis v. Giacomelli,
588 F.3d 186, 193 (4th Cir. 2009) (internal
quotation marks omitted). He must articulate facts that, when
accepted as true, demonstrate he has stated a claim entitling
him to relief. Id.
are absolutely immune as individuals from Section 1983
liability for acts arising out of the exercise of their
official functions. Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S.
409, 418 (1976). This immunity applies only to the extent
that prosecutors serve as advocates for the State.
Buckley v. Fitzsimmons, 509 U.S. 259, 273 (1993).
Therefore, a prosecutor's administrative and
investigative duties that do not relate to the preparation
for the initiation of a prosecution or for judicial
proceedings are not entitled to absolute immunity.
alleges that the Defendants brought criminal charges against
him that were unfounded and excessive. Deciding whether, and
with what offenses, an individual should be charged with is a
prosecutorial duty that is a traditional function of an
advocate. See generally Savage v. Maryland, __ F.3d
__, 2018 WL 3398220 at *6 (4th Cir. July 13, 2018)
(“whether to ‘initiat[e] a prosecution,' of
course, is in the heartland of the prosecutorial discretion
covered by absolute immunity.”) (quoting Burns v.
Reed, 500 U.S. 478, 486 (1991)). Therefore, absolute
prosecutorial immunity applies and the claims against
Defendants are dismissed.
law opens two main avenues to relief on complaints related to
imprisonment: a petition for habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254, and a complaint under the Civil Rights
act, § 1983. Muhammad v. Close, 540 U.S. 749,
750 (2004). “Habeas corpus, and not § 1983, is the
exclusive federal remedy for state prisoners seeking actual
release from confinement, ” Griffinv.
Baltimore Police Dep't, 804 F.3d 692, 694-95
(4th Cir. 2015) (citing Preiser v.
Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 487-90 (1973)), and
“requests for relief turning on circumstances of
confinement may be presented in a § 1983 action, ”
Muhammad, 540 U.S. at 750. Some cases are
“hybrids, ” where a prisoner seeks damages, which
are unavailable through a habeas action, but on allegations
that either imply the invalidity of ...