United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division
MICHAEL P. MILLS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the court on the pro se prisoner
complaint of Carlos Foxx, who challenges the conditions of
his confinement under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. For the purposes
of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the court notes that the
plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed this suit. The
plaintiff has brought the instant case under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, which provides a federal cause of action against
“[e]very person” who under color of state
authority causes the “deprivation of any rights,
privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and
laws.” 42 U.S.C. § 1983. For the reasons set forth
below, the instant case will be dismissed for failure to
state a claim upon which relief could be granted.
plaintiff alleges that: (1) his parole was improperly
revoked, (2) his convictions are invalid, (3) his release
date has been improperly calculated, (4) the defendants have
violated the prohibition against double jeopardy, as he has
received multiple prison Rule Violation Reports (#01633496
and #01615561) for the same behavior, and (5) the defendants
violated his right to due process during disciplinary
proceedings as to those Rule Violation Reports in 2015, which
led to his placement in segregation for a period of 13 days.
Challenging Foxx's Convictions and Sentences Are Improper
in a Suit Filed Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 114 S.Ct. 2364, 129
L.Ed.2d 383 (1994), the Supreme Court clarified the
relationship between actions under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and
habeas corpus proceedings. There is no requirement
of “exhaustion” of habeas corpus
remedies in order to proceed on a claim under § 1983.
Rather, a § 1983 damage claim that calls into question
the lawfulness of conviction or confinement, or otherwise
demonstrates the invalidity of the conviction or confinement,
is not cognizable under § 1983 until such time as the
plaintiff is able to
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.
Heck v. Humphrey, 114 S.Ct. at 2372 (emphasis
added); see also Boyd v. Biggers, 31 F.3d 279, 283
(5th Cir. 1994). Only if the court finds that the
plaintiff's § 1983 suit, even if successful,
“will not demonstrate the invalidity of any outstanding
criminal judgment against the plaintiff, ” should the
§ 1983 action be allowed to proceed. See Mackey v.
Dickson, 47 F.3d 744, 746 (5th Cir. 1995).
Foxx's claims regarding parole revocation, the validity
of his convictions, and the calculation of his release date
would necessarily draw into question the validity of his
convictions or sentences. Therefore, the plaintiff must
“demonstrate that his convictions or sentences have
already been invalidated, ” Heck, 114 S.Ct. at
2372, in order for the § 1983 cause of action to accrue.
Mr. Foxx has made no such showing; as such, these allegations
will be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which
relief could be granted. Neitzke v. Williams, 490
U.S. 319, 326 (1989).
Jeopardy Clause Does Not Apply to Prison Disciplinary
Foxx also argues that he was punished twice through the
prison disciplinary process in violation of the prohibition
of placing someone twice in jeopardy for the same offense.
First, as discussed above, to the extent that Mr. Foxx
intends this to be a claim for habeas corpus relief,
such relief is barred in a § 1983 action under the
holding of Heck, supra. In addition, prison
disciplinary proceedings cannot form the basis for a double
jeopardy claim. The Double Jeopardy Clause, contained in the
Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, states that no person
shall “be subject for the same offense twice to be put
in jeopardy of life or limb.” U.S. CONST. amend. V.
This clause protects against a second prosecution for the
same offense after acquittal, a second prosecution for the
same offense after conviction, and multiple punishments for
the same offense. United States v. Usery, 518 U.S.
267, 273, 116 S.Ct. 2135, 135 L.Ed.2d 549 (1996). Prison
disciplinary proceedings do not constitute criminal
prosecutions. See Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539,
556, 94 S.Ct. 2963, 2975, 41 L.Ed.2d 935 (1974). Because
prison disciplinary proceedings are not criminal
prosecutions, they do not implicate the protections found in
the Double Jeopardy Clause. See Turner v. Johnson,
46 F.Supp.2d 655, 667-68 (S.D.Tex.1999); see also Fogle
v. Pierson, 435 F.3d 1252, 1261-62 (10th
Cir.2006) (“‘[I]t is well established that prison
disciplinary sanctions' ... ‘do not implicate'
double jeopardy protections”) (quotation omitted);
United States v. Galan, 82 F.3d 639, 640
(5th Cir.1996) (“prison disciplinary
proceedings do not bar future criminal prosecutions”
for purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause) (citations
omitted). As prison disciplinary proceedings do not implicate
double jeopardy, these allegations fail to state a
Process in the Prison Context
Foxx alleges that the defendants did not afford him due
process in the handling of two prison Rule Violation Reports.
Under the ruling in Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472
(1995), the plaintiff has not set forth a valid claim for
violation of the Due Process Clause or any other
constitutional protection. Though
[s]tates may under certain circumstances create liberty
interests which are protected by the Due Process Clause, . .
. these interests will be generally limited to freedom from
restraint which, while not exceeding the sentence in such an
unexpected manner as to give rise to protection by the Due
Process Clause of its own force . . . nonetheless imposes