United States District Court, D. Nevada
LAWRENCE H. DAVIS, Plaintiff,
STEVEN S. OWENS, et al., Defendants.
M. NAVARRO, DISTRICT JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
before the Court is the Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”) of United States Magistrate Judge
Carl W. Hoffman, (ECF No. 5), which grants Plaintiff Lawrence
H. Davis's (“Plaintiff's”) Application to
Proceed in Forma Pauperis, (ECF No. 4), and
recommends that this case be dismissed with prejudice for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
Plaintiff filed an Objection, (ECF No. 7), and Added
Objections, (ECF No. 8). For the reasons discussed below, the
Court ADOPTS in part Judge Hoffman's
proceeding in this action pro se, alleges that part
of his incarceration in Clark County, Nevada was invalid.
(Compl. at 4-6, ECF No. 6). According to Plaintiff, he earned
various “good time” credits to lessen the length
of imprisonment for a conviction in Nevada state court, but
these credits were not properly applied to his sentence.
(Id.). Accordingly, Plaintiff brings this case
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, requesting monetary
damages amounting to $350.00 for every day that he wrongfully
spent in prison. (Id. at 1, 9).
23, 2018, Judge Hoffman entered the R&R, (ECF No. 5),
recommending dismissal of this case with prejudice for
failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.
Plaintiff then filed Objections, (ECF Nos. 7, 8), to the
may file specific written objections to the findings and
recommendations of a United States Magistrate Judge made
pursuant to Local Rule IB 1-4. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B);
D. Nev. R. IB 3-2. Upon the filing of such objections, the
Court must make a de novo determination of those
portions to which objections are made. Id. The Court
may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the
findings or recommendations made by the Magistrate Judge. 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); D. Nev. R. IB 3-2(b).
Hoffman recommends dismissal of Plaintiff's claim with
prejudice on the ground that it must first be brought through
a habeas petition, not under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (R&R
2:20- 3:4, ECF No. 5). Upon review of Plaintiff's claim
as alleged in the Complaint, (ECF No. 6), the Court agrees,
in part, with Judge Hoffman.
United States Supreme Court has explained that “if
success in [a § 1983 action] would necessarily
demonstrate the invalidity of confinement or its
duration” then “a state prisoner's §
1983 action is barred (absent prior invalidation)-no
matter the relief sought (damages or equitable
relief).” Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74,
81, (2005) (emphasis added). And here, Plaintiff's
Complaint fails to state that a court previously invalidated
any aspect of his incarceration. Thus, because
Plaintiff's Complaint essentially seeks to now
demonstrate the improper duration of his confinement and
sentence in order to secure release and monetary damages, it
creates a claim that must first be presented through a
federal habeas corpus petition rather than under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. (Compl. at 4) (stating that “over a year
later . . . the corrections still haven't been
made.”); see Nettles v. Grounds, 830 F.3d 922,
927 (9th Cir. 2016) (quoting Muhammad v. Close, 540
U.S. 749, 750 (2004)) (“Challenges to the validity of
any confinement or to particulars affecting its duration are
the province of habeas corpus; requests for relief turning on
circumstances of confinement may be presented in a §
1983 action.”). Accordingly, Judge Hoffman correctly
found that Plaintiffs Complaint fails to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted.
the Court departs from Judge Hoffman's R&R to the
extent that it recommends dismissal of Plaintiff s §
1983 claim with prejudice. While the Complaint does not
allege that a court previously found part of Plaintiff s
confinement to be invalid, Plaintiffs Objections appear to
make that contention. Plaintiffs Objection states,
“Judge Douglas Smith granted his motion to be
immediately released as [Plaintiff] had been illegally
incarcerated actually 85 days.” (Obj. 3:6-9, ECF No.
7); (Added Obj. 2:21-23, ECF No. 8). Consequently, it appears
that Plaintiff may be able to amend his § 1983 claim to
allege that the duration of his prior confinement was
previously declared invalid. To allow an opportunity for
amendment, the Court provides Plaintiff twenty-one days from
the date of this Order to file an amended complaint regarding
his § 1983 claim.
IS HEREBY ORDERED that United States Magistrate
Judge Carl W. Hoffman's Report and Recommendation, (ECF
No. 5), is ADOPTED in part. Plaintiffs claim
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 is DISMISSED without
prejudice and with leave to amend.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that, if Plaintiff elects to
amend his § 1983 claim, he has twenty-one days from the
date of this Order to file an amended complaint. Failure to
comply with this deadline will ...