United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
Carlton W. Reeves UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Patrick has moved to dismiss this suit. The motion is fully
briefed and ready for adjudication.
Factual and Procedural History
2010, Donna Sturkin began to participate in the Drug Court
for the Eighth Judicial District of Mississippi. Her parole
officer was Vicky Patrick, who was appointed by Circuit Judge
participant in the Drug Court, Sturkin claims that Patrick
grossly abused her authority. “Plaintiff was subjected
to regular and repeated harassment, coercion, punishment, and
false reporting by Defendant Patrick, ” states her
Complaint. More particularly, Patrick allegedly went to
Sturkin's places of employment and demanded that Sturkin
look the other way while Patrick stole goods or otherwise
defrauded Sturkin's employers. When Sturkin worked at a
hotel, for example, Patrick demanded and received free hotel
rooms for herself, friends, and family.
most serious abuse of power happened when Sturkin refused to
comply with Patrick's demands. Patrick subsequently told
the Judge presiding over the Drug Court that Sturkin had
tested positive for alcohol consumption. Patrick was lying to
the Judge-to maintain control over Sturkin and perpetuate her
fraudulent scheme-but the Judge ordered Sturkin to be
suit followed. Sturkin seeks monetary damages for
Patrick's violations of rights secured by the Fourth,
Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States
now argues that the case cannot proceed because it would
imply that Sturkin's criminal conviction was invalid.
Patrick also contends that Sturkin's state-law tort
claims are untimely.
considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
the Court accepts the plaintiff's factual allegations as
true and makes reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's
favor. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
To proceed, the complaint “must contain a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Id. at 677-78 (quotation
marks and citation omitted). This requires “more than
an unadorned, the defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation,
” but the complaint need not have “detailed
factual allegations.” Id. at 678 (quotation
marks and citation omitted). The plaintiff's claims must
also be plausible on their face, which means there is
“factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. (citation omitted).
motion suggests that she is invoking the Supreme Court's
ruling in Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). In
that case, the Court held the following:
[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 ...