United States District Court, Northern District of California
April 23, 2003
ALFREDO DELGADO, PLAINTIFF, VS. CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: William Alsup, United States District Judge
ORDER OF DISMISSAL; DENIAL OF LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS
Plaintiff, an inmate at Mule Creek State Prison, has filed a pro se civil rights complaint in which he contends that his constitutional rights were violated in the course of his parole revocation.
A. Standard of Review
Federal courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review the court must identify any cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims which are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id. at 1915A(b)(1), (2).
B. Legal Claims
The United States Supreme Court has held that to recover damages for an 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. Heck v. Humphrey, 114 S.Ct. 2364, 2372 (1994).
"Heck applies to proceedings [that] call into question the fact or duration of parole." Jackson v. Vannoy, 49 F.3d 175, 177 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 516 U.S. 851 (1995). A plaintiff in a section 1983 suit may not question the validity of the confinement resulting from a parole-revocation hearing if he does not allege that the parole board's decision has been reversed, expunged, set aside or called into question. Littles v. Bd. of Pardons and Paroles Div., 68 F.3d 122, 123 (5th Cir. 1995); see also McGrew v. Texas Bd. of Pardons & Paroles, 47 F.3d 158, 161 (5th Cir. 1995) (Heck bars § 1983 action challenging revocation of supervised release).
When a state prisoner's section 1983 suit implicates the length of his or her incarceration, the complaint must be dismissed unless the plaintiff can demonstrate that the decision establishing the length of incarceration (here, the decision to revoke parole) has already been invalidated. Heck, 512 U.S. at 487. A judgment in favor of the plaintiff here would implicate the revocation decision, which has not already been invalidated; therefore, this complaint fails to state a cognizable claim under § 1983 and must be dismissed.*fn1
Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (doc 2) is DENTED. No fee is due. Plaintiff may disregard the April 17, 2003, clerk's notice regarding his in forma pauperis application. For the foregoing reasons plaintiff's claims are DISMISSED without prejudice to reasserting them if a cause of action ever accrues*fn2.
The clerk shall close the file.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
The court has dismissed this prisoner in forma pauperis compliant. A judgment of dismissal without prejudice is entered in favor of defendants. Plaintiff shall take nothing by way of his complaint.