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Goods v. Stine

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

June 18, 2013

TERRILL GOODS, SR., Plaintiff,
v.
FRED. A. STINE, V, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

WILLIAM O. BERTELSMAN, District Judge.

Plaintiff Terrill Goods, Sr., who lists his address as 115 Locust Street, Erlanger, Kentucky, has filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights complaint against various individuals[1] who were involved in a 2005 Kentucky state court criminal proceeding in which Goods pleaded guilty to the felony offense of Receiving Stolen Property (a firearem).

The Court must conduct a preliminary review of Goods's complaint because he has been granted permission to proceed in forma pauperis and because he asserts claims against government officials. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A. A district court must dismiss any claim that is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 607-08 (6th Cir. 1997). The Court evaluates Goods's complaint under a more lenient standard because he is not represented by an attorney. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Burton v. Jones, 321 F.3d 569, 573 (6th Cir. 2003). At this stage, the Court accepts Goods's factual allegations as true, and liberally construes his legal claims in his favor. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007).

Having reviewed the complaint, the Court will dismiss it because several of the defendants are immune from liability and/or because Goods has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under § 1983.

BACKGROUND

On March 11, 2005, Goods was charged in the Kenton County Circuit Court with two offenses, First Degree Possession of a Controlled Substance (a felony) and Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon (a misdemeanor). Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Terrill Goods, No. 05-CR-00142 (Sixteenth Judicial Circuit, Kenton Circuit Court, First Division) ("the State Court Case"). Goods pleaded not guilty to those offenses and the Commonwealth subsequently provided Goods' attorney with discovery.

In May 2005, a third criminal count was filed against Goods, charging him with Receiving Stolen Property (a firearm); the Commonwealth withdrew the two original criminal charges, and Goods pleaded guilty to receiving a stolen firearm. On June 15, 2005, Goods was sentenced to a two-year prison term to be served in the Kentucky State Reformatory, but his sentence was probated for four years, conditioned on Goods maintaining employment, providing proof that he obtained his G. E. D. diploma, undergoing a substance abuse evaluation and any other recommended treatment, and paying court costs and a $1, 000 fine in monthly payments of $100. According to the docket sheet of the State Court Case, Goods did not appeal the June 15, 2005, "Judgment and Sentence on Plea of Guilty." One year later, on May 16, 2006, a warrant was issued charging Goods with committing a felony offense and violating the terms of his probation, and on May 17, 2006, the State Court Case was reopened.

During the next two years, Goods was transferred among the Roederer Correctional Complex, the Bell County Forestry Camp, and a facility identified as "KCDC." On April 23, 2007, Goods filed a motion under Kentucky Rule of Civil Procedure 60.02 to vacate or set aside the Judgment entered on June 15, 2005. Between August 2006 and April 2008, several probation revocation hearings were scheduled then continued, and on July 23, 2007, Fred A. Stine, V, was appointed special judge to preside over the State Court Case. On April 15, 2008, an Order revoking Goods' probation was entered. Goods appealed, but on September 25, 2008, the Kentucky Court of Appeals granted the Commonwealth's motion to dismiss the appeal. Goods v. Commonwealth of Kentucky, No. 2008-CA-000809 (Ky. Ct. App. 2008) [R. 14, therein]

On February 5, 2013, Goods filed this § 1983 civil rights action against Stine, Jaeger, Meadows, Emerson, and Pisacano. On March 7, 2013, Goods filed another motion in the State Court Case asking that the Judgment be vacated or set aside pursuant to Kentucky Rule of Civil Procedure 60.02. An order denying that motion was entered on the same day.

PRIOR CIVIL FEDERAL LITIGATION

In October 2006, while confined in the Bell County Forestry Camp, Goods filed a prior civil rights action against Kenton Circuit Court Judge Gregory M. Bartlett, Kenton County Police Officer Brian Valenti, Attorney Dean Pisacano, and Public Advocates Mike Hummel and Trisha M. Brunk.[2] Goods v. Barlett, No. 2:06-CV-196-DLB (E.D. Ky. 2006) Goods alleged that the defendants violated his constitutional rights during the State Court Case, and he sought monetary damages and an order removing them from their respective offices. [R. 1, therein]

On November 7, 2006, the Court screened Goods' § 1983 complaint and entered an Order and Judgment dismissing it sua sponte. [R. 6, 7 therein] The Court determined that Goods could not recover damages from any of his attorneys because neither privately retained nor public defender attorneys qualified as "state actors" under § 1983; that the Court lacked authority either to remove state court judges or police officers from their positions or to direct state officials to prosecute them for alleged wrong-doing; that Goods' claims seeking damages from Judge Bartlett were barred by the doctrine of judicial immunity; that Goods' claims against Officer Valenti alleging racial discrimination lacked factual substance; and that Goods' claim that Valenti violated his constitutional rights by arresting him and testifying against him at trial were premature, based on Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). [R. 6, pp. 2-6 therein] Goods did not appeal the dismissal of his 2006 civil rights action.

CLAIMS ASSERTED IN THIS CASE

Goods alleges that the criminal judgment entered in the State Court Case was obtained in violation of the U.S. Constitution and various Kentucky statutes, and that between June 15, 2005, and February 5, 2013, the defendants violated his right to due process of law, violated his right to be indicted by a grand jury, committed malfeasance of ...


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