United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
ANTHONY M. AIKENS, Plaintiff,
KERRY PUTNEY, et al., Defendants.
D. Whitney Chief United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court on initial review of
Plaintiff's Complaint filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
[Doc. 1]; see 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). On September
13, 2019, the Court entered an order waiving the initial
filing fee and directly monthly payments be made from
Plaintiff's prison account. [Doc. 8]. Thus, Plaintiff is
proceeding in forma pauperis.
Plaintiff Anthony M. Aikens is a prisoner of the State of New
York, currently incarcerated at Attica Correctional Facility
located in Attica, New York. Plaintiff filed the current
action on August 9, 2019, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
naming the following individual or groups of individuals as
Defendants: (1) Kerry Putney, identified as the police chief
for Mecklenburg County; (2) Jane Doe, identified as a retired
detective from the “Charlotte NC police dept;”
(3) John Doe, identified as the partner of Jane Doe and
employed with the “Charlotte NC police dept” at
the relevant times; (4) members of the CSI team involved in
the investigation at 736 Wendover Street in Charlotte, NC;
and (5) Andrew Murray, identified as the District Attorney
for Prosecutorial District # 26 [Doc. 1 at 3]. Plaintiff
purports to bring claims against Defendants for (1)
“plant[ing] Plaintiff's DNA in their reports in
which was after the fact, crime scene was close, ” (2)
for maliciously prosecuting the plaintiff “with
evidence that was manufactured by the leading female
detective;” and (3) allowing Jane Doe to “run a
corrupt investigation and act[ing] in concert to violate
plaintiff's federally protected rights.” [Doc. 1 at
relief, Plaintiff seeks, among other things, damages in the
amount of $150, 000, 000.00. [Doc. 1 at 5].
Plaintiff makes no allegation in his Complaint that his
conviction has been overturned or otherwise invalidated.
[See Doc. 1].
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court must
review the Complaint to determine whether it is subject to
dismissal on the grounds that it is “frivolous or
malicious [or] fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Furthermore,
§ 1915A requires an initial review of a “complaint
in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a
governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental
entity, ” and the court must identify cognizable claims
or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if
the complaint is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted; or seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.
frivolity review, this 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). Furthermore, a
pro se complaint must be construed liberally. Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). However, the liberal
construction requirement will not permit a district court to
ignore a clear failure to allege facts 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).
the Plaintiff has failed to allege that his underlying
conviction has been vacated or otherwise invalidated,
Heck v. Humphries, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), applies to
bar Plaintiff's claims. In Heck, the United
States Supreme Court held as follows:
[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. Thus, when a state prisoner seeks damages in a
§ 1983 suit, the district court must consider whether a
judgment in favor of the plaintiff would necessarily imply
the invalidity of his conviction or sentence; if it would,
the complaint must be dismissed unless the plaintiff can
demonstrate that the conviction or sentence has already been
invalidated. But if the district court determines that the
plaintiff's action, even if successful, will not
demonstrate the invalidity of any outstanding criminal
judgment against the plaintiff, the action should be allowed
to proceed, in the absence of some other bar to the suit.
Id. at 486-87 (footnotes omitted; emphasis added).
Here, given the allegations in the Complaint, a judgment in
Plaintiff's favor would necessarily imply the invalidity
of his conviction or sentence. Plaintiff, however, has not
alleged that his conviction has been reversed or otherwise
invalidated. Therefore, his claims are barred by