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WILLIAMS v. CITY OF OAKLAND
March 22, 2004.
CHARLES L. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
CITY OF OAKLAND, et al, Defendants
The opinion of the court was delivered by: MAXINE CHESNEY, District Judge
Plaintiff Reggie Jones, a California prisoner proceeding pro se, has
filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C § 1983. Plaintiff
sues various local government entities for the alleged violation of his
constitutional rights during the course of his prosecution in state
court. He alleges that he has been "`unjustly accused by conspiracy and
coercion," denied "exculpatory evidence" in his favor, and his personal
property has been "illegally searched and seized without a court warrant
or order." He seeks money damages.
A federal court must conduct a preliminary screening in any case in
which a prisoner seeks 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 that
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. See id. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). Prose pleadings must, however, be
liberally construed. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696,
699 (9th Cir. 1988).
In order to recover damages for an allegedly unconstitutional
conviction or term of Imprisonment, or for other harm caused by actions
whose unlawfulness would render a conviction or sentence invalid, a
plaintiff alleging a violation of § 1983 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. See Heck v. Humphrey. 512 U.S. 477, 486-487
(1994). A claim for damages based upon a conviction or sentence that has
not been so invalidated is not cognizable under § 1983. See id at 487.
Plaintiff claims that his constitutional rights have been violated
insofar as the charges against him are unjust, exculpatory evidence has
been withheld from him, and that he has been subjected to illegal
searches and seizure. If proven true, these claims would call into
question the validity of his state court convictions. Accordingly, this
action is barred until plaintiffs state court convictions have been
reversed, expunged, set aside or otherwise called into question.*fn1
For the foregoing reasons, this action is hereby DISMISSED without
prejudice. In light of this dismissal, the application to proceed in
forma pauperis is DENIED and no filing fee is due.
The Clerk shall close the file and terminate any pending motions.
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