United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge
matter is before the court on review of Plaintiff's
Amended Complaint. (Filing No. 15.) For the reasons
set forth below, this action will be dismissed.
instituted this action on April 13, 2015, alleging Fourth and
Fourteenth Amendment claims and conspiracy claims against
multiple defendants, including Matt Phillips, Robert
Lindemeier, Jeff Meyer, and unknown county court officials
“John and Jane Doe.” (Filing No. 1.)
Plaintiff's claims were based on incidents that occurred
during state criminal proceedings in the District Court of
Lincoln County, Nebraska.
alleged government officials arrested and charged him with
first-degree murder, use of a weapon to commit a felony, and
felon in possession of a firearm on August 5, 2000. He was
later found guilty of second-degree murder, use of a weapon
to commit a felony, and felon in possession of a firearm.
Plaintiff was sentenced to 30 to 60 years' imprisonment.
31, 2011, the state district court granted Plaintiff's
motion for postconviction relief, in part, by setting aside
Plaintiff's second-degree murder conviction and finding
him guilty of manslaughter. The state district court
determined Plaintiff's trial counsel had been ineffective
during the criminal proceedings because he failed to call
witnesses to testify about Plaintiff's ability to form
the intent necessary to commit second-degree murder. On June
29, 2011, the court re-sentenced Plaintiff to 20 years'
imprisonment, which resulted in Plaintiff's release from
prison on June 30, 2011.
court conducted an initial review of Plaintiff's
Complaint on August 24, 2015. (Filing No. 11.) Upon
initial review, the court, taking judicial notice of the
Nebraska Supreme Court's decision in State v. Keup,
265 Neb. 96, 655 N.W.2d 25 (2003), found that
Plaintiff's Complaint failed to state a claim. (Filing
No. 11.) However, the court granted Plaintiff leave
to file an amended complaint. Plaintiff was advised that any
amended complaint would supersede his initial Complaint.
filed his Amended Complaint on October 9, 2015. (Filing No.
15.) The Amended Complaint only names “John
and/or Jane Doe(s)” as Defendants, and alleges that
these individuals “fraudulently altered county court
records in an effort to cover up the fact that [Plaintiff]
never waived [his] right to transfer to juvenile
court.” (Filing No. 15 at CM/ECF p. 2.)
Plaintiff claims that Defendants' actions prevented him
from being tried as a juvenile. (Filing No. 15 at CM/ECF
p. 5.) Plaintiff asserts that his conviction has been
used against him since his release from custody.
Amended Complaint suggests that Plaintiff was aware of the
alleged falsification of records since at least 2008. (Filing
No. 15 at CM/ECF p. 4.) Therefore, on January 22,
2016, the court directed Plaintiff to show cause why this
action should not be dismissed as barred by the statute of
limitations. (Filing No. 19.) Plaintiff filed his
response on March 21, 2016, asserting that his action is
timely because the four-year statute of limitations did not
begin to run until May 31, 2011, when he received a favorable
outcome on his postconviction motion. (Filing No.
claims that “[u]nknown court officials fraudulently
altered county court records in an effort to cover up the
fact that [he] never waived [his] right to transfer to
juvenile court.” (Filing No. 15 at CM/ECF p.
2.) In purported support of his allegations, Plaintiff
attached two pages of county court records to his Amended
Complaint. The first is a form document dated August 9, 2000,
titled “Misdemeanor Arraignment/Bond
Setting/Judgment.” The document includes handwritten
notations that Plaintiff's parents were present for his
arraignment and that the court appointed a public defender to
represent Plaintiff. (Filing No. 15 at CM/ECF p.
11.) Although the document includes a section for
indicating whether a request for transfer to juvenile court
was waived, the section was not filled out. The second
document, dated August 16, 2000, is titled “Preliminary
Hearing and Order.” (Filing No. 15 at CM/ECF p.
12.) This document contains a notation stating that
Plaintiff waived his right to request transfer to juvenile
for purposes of this Memorandum and Order that
Plaintiff's claims are not time barred, Plaintiff's
allegations against the unknown court officials fail to state
a claim. In Nebraska, a juvenile accused of a criminal
offense may move the county or district court to waive
jurisdiction to the juvenile court for further proceedings.
Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-1816. Thus, even if the
court records were altered to reflect that Plaintiff had, at
the time of his arraignment or preliminary hearing, waived
his right to request a transfer to juvenile court, this does
not mean that Plaintiff was precluded from later seeking such
a transfer pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-1816. In
other words, any changes to these documents had no bearing on
whether Plaintiff could seek a transfer to juvenile court.
has also filed a “Motion for Reinstatement of Initial
Suit.” (Filing No. 26.) Liberally construed,
Plaintiff seeks to have his Amended Complaint construed as
supplemental to his initial Complaint. This request will be
denied. At the time Plaintiff was ordered to file an amended
complaint, he was advised that the amended pleading would
supersede, rather than supplement, his Complaint. (Filing No.