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.

Stark v. Nevada Board Prison Commissioners

United States District Court, D. Nevada

May 28, 2019

ROLAND STARK, Plaintiff
v.
NEVADA BOARD OF PRISON COMMISSIONERS, et al., Defendants

          ORDER SCREENING COMPLAINT AND DISMISSING WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

          Jennif r Dorsey, U.S. District Judge

         Plaintiff Roland Stark brings this civil-rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that his rights to due process and equal protection and against ex post facto laws were violated and that defendants conspired to violate these rights. Because Stark applies to proceed in forma pauperis, [1] I screen his complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. I find that Stark has not alleged facts sufficient to show that a court previously has invalidated the duration of his confinement on the sentences at issue in his complaint, so I dismiss his claims without prejudice and give him until June 28, 2019, to amend his complaint.

         Background

         A. Plaintiff's factual allegations [2]

         Stark has been an inmate of the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) since before 2007.[3] In February of 2002, Stark was sentenced under a plea agreement for multiple offenses he had committed in 2001 and 2002.[4] In 2005, under another plea agreement, Stark was sentenced for multiple offenses he committed in 2004 and 2005.[5] He alleges that NRS § 209.4465, which contemplates certain credits in calculating prison sentences, was applied to his sentences incorrectly and that, as a result, his terms of incarceration automatically were extended, causing Stark to overserve his sentences.[6]

         B. Stark's causes of action

         Based on these factual allegations, Stark sues the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners, the Nevada Department of Corrections, Governor K. Guinn, Governor B. Sandoval, Director of Corrections Glen Whorton, Director of Corrections Howard Skolnik, Director of Corrections G. Cox, Director of Corrections James Dzurenda, Warden Skomig, Warden Dwight Neven, Warden Brian Williams, Sr., and Associate Warden I. Baca.[7] He alleges that his rights to due process and equal protection and against ex post facto laws were violated and that defendants conspired to violate these rights.[8] He seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief.[9]

         Discussion

         A. Screening standard

         Federal courts must conduct a preliminary screening in any case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or an officer or employee of a governmental entity.[10]In its review, the court must identify any cognizable claims and dismiss any claims that are frivolous or malicious, or that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.[11] All or part of the complaint may be dismissed sua sponte if the prisoner's claims lack an arguable basis in law or fact. This includes claims based on legal conclusions that are untenable, like claims against defendants who are immune from suit or claims of infringement of a legal interest which clearly does not exist, as well as claims based on fanciful factual allegations or fantastic or delusional scenarios.[12]

         Dismissal for failure to state a claim is proper only if it is clear that the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of the claim that would entitle him or her to relief.[13] In making this determination, the court takes all allegations of material fact as true and construes them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.[14] Allegations of a pro se complainant are held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, [15] but a plaintiff must provide more than mere labels and conclusions.[16] “While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported with factual allegations.”[17] “Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief . . . [is] a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.”[18]

         B. Stark's claims are Heck-barred as pled.

         In Heck v. Humphrey, the United States Supreme Court held that “in order to recover damages for [an] 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.”[19]“A claim for damages bearing that relationship to a conviction or sentence that has not been . . . invalidated is not cognizable under § 1983.”[20] “Thus, when a state prisoner seeks damages in a § 1983 suit, ” as plaintiff does here, “the district court must consider whether a judgment in favor of the plaintiff would necessarily imply the invalidity of his conviction or sentence.”[21] “If it would, the complaint must be dismissed unless the plaintiff can demonstrate that the conviction or sentence has already been invalidated.”[22] In short, Heck preserves the rule that a successful claim that would necessarily imply the invalidity of a conviction or sentence must be brought by filing a petition for writ of habeas corpus-not as a § 1983 claim-after exhausting appropriate avenues for relief.[23]

         Here, for every count, Stark alleges that his terms of incarceration automatically were extended, causing Stark to overserve his sentences.[24] This necessarily implies that the duration of his sentences or terms of confinement were invalid. Therefore, for Stark's ยง 1983 claims to be cognizable and proceed, he must show that the ...


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.