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.

Allen v. County of Douglas

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

September 12, 2016

CORY T. ALLEN, Plaintiff,
v.
THE COUNTY OF DOUGLAS, is to be sued in Official Capacity, PAUL LATSCHER, O.P.D. Officer, is to sued Individually and in he Official Capacity, JERRY SWANSON, O.P.D. Officer, is to be sued Individually and in his Official Capacity, THE CITY OF OMAHA, a Municipality, is to be sued in its Official Capacity, and DONALD KLEINE, Douglas County District Attorney, is to be sued Individually and in his Official Capacity, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge

         This matter is before the court on initial review of Plaintiff's Complaint. (Filing No. 1.) For the reasons that follow, the court finds Plaintiff's pleadings do not state any claims on which relief may be granted. However, the court will allow Plaintiff to file an amended complaint.

         I. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff's Complaint sets forth multiple causes of action, including (1) conspiracy; (2) violation of civil rights; (3) negligent supervision; (4) aiding and abetting; (5) intentional infliction of emotional distress; and (6) negligent hiring. (Filing No. 1.) Defendant's Complaint names Douglas County, Nebraska, the City of Omaha, the Douglas County District Attorney, and several Omaha police officers as defendants. The employee defendants are sued in their official and individual capacities. Plaintiff seeks monetary relief.

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Latscher and Swanson, who are Omaha police officers, pulled him over while he was driving a white Cadillac DeVille without probable cause. Latscher and Swanson subsequently reported that Plaintiff shot them during the traffic stop. Plaintiff claims that Latscher and Swanson “submitted fraudulent police reports in a conspiracy to cover up an accidental shooting of one police officer by another police officer.” (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 7.)

         II. STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW

         The court is required to review prisoner and in forma pauperis complaints seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or employee of a governmental entity to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e) and 1915A. The court must dismiss a complaint or any portion of it that states a frivolous or malicious claim, that fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         Pro se plaintiffs must set forth enough factual allegations to “nudge[] their claims across the line from conceivable to plausible, ” or “their complaint must be dismissed.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 569-70 (2007); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”).

         “The essential function of a complaint under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is to give the opposing party ‘fair notice of the nature and basis or grounds for a claim, and a general indication of the type of litigation involved.'” Topchian v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 760 F.3d 843, 848 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting Hopkins v. Saunders, 199 F.3d 968, 973 (8th Cir. 1999)). However, “[a] pro se complaint must be liberally construed, and pro se litigants are held to a lesser pleading standard than other parties.” Topchian, 760 F.3d at 849 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).

         III. DISCUSSION

         1. Claims Relating to Criminal Conviction

         Plaintiff alleges, in part, that Defendants conspired against him to ensure he was convicted of a crime. Specifically, Plaintiff claims that Latscher and Swanson “submitted fraudulent police reports in a conspiracy to cover up an accidental shooting of one police officer by another police officer.” (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 7.) Because this claim relates entirely to the validity of Plaintiff's conviction, it cannot be brought in a civil rights case.

         In Heck v. Humphrey, the Supreme Court held a prisoner may not recover damages in a § 1983 suit where the judgment would necessarily imply the invalidity of his conviction, continued imprisonment, or sentence unless the conviction or sentence is reversed, expunged, or called into question by issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994); Schafer v. Moore, 46 F.3d 43, 45 (8th Cir. 1995). Although Heck, on its face, addresses only actions brought under § 1983, courts have expanded the contours of Heck to reach 42 U.S.C. § 1985 and other civil rights statutes. See, e.g., Poston v. Shappert, 222 Fed. Appx. 301 (4th Cir. 2007); Cook v. City of Philadelphia, 179 Fed.Appx. 855, 859 (3d Cir. 2006); Browdy v. Karpe, 131 Fed.Appx. 751, 753 (2d Cir. 2005); McQuillion v. Schwarzenegger, 369 F.3d 1091, 1097 n. 4 (9th Cir. 2004); Lanier v. Bryant, 332 F.3d 999, 1005-06 (6th Cir. 2003).

         Here, the facts demonstrate that the Heck bar is properly invoked. Plaintiff maintains that Defendants tampered with evidence, altered investigative reports, fabricated evidence, and committed other acts of misconduct in connection with his criminal case. (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 15.) The court cannot find in Plaintiff's favor based on such arguments without calling into question the legitimacy of his criminal conviction. Heck makes clear that Plaintiff may not use a civil rights action to cast doubt on the legality of his conviction or confinement. Heck, 512 U.S. at 486-87. Rather, he must first find a favorable outcome in a habeas corpus or other ...


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.