United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. Russell, Senior Judge United States District Court
matter is before the Court on initial screening of the
complaint (DN 1) and amended complaint (DN 4) pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons that follow, the Court
will order Plaintiff to provide additional information
concerning the state charges against him.
by counsel, Plaintiff Patrick Blewett, a prisoner
incarcerated at the Kentucky State Penitentiary (KSP), sent a
letter to this Court alleging that he has “a criminal
case with the Department of Corrections due to the fact three
correction officers jump on me beating me and spraying me
with OC (Oleoresin Capsicum)” (DN 1). The matter was
assigned the instant case number,  and by Order entered
February 23, 2018 (DN 3), the Court construed the letter as a
civil-rights complaint brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 and directed Plaintiff to re-file his complaint on a
Court-supplied form. Plaintiff re-filed his complaint on the
form, and it was docketed as an amended complaint (DN 4).
Plaintiff named no defendant in the letter/complaint (DN 1),
in the amended complaint (DN 4), he sues, in both their
individual and official capacities, Kentucky Department of
Corrections Commissioner James Erwin and the following KSP
officers: Sgt. James Beeler, Sgt. Malissa Rogers, C.O.
Marlene Sheets, C.O. Sonja Bowers, C.O. Anthony Hale, C.O.
Jon Rush, Lt. Jesse Jenkins, C.O. Terry Gritney, Unit
Administrator Troy Belt, and Warden Randy White.
alleges physical abuse by KSP Defendants while Defendants
were moving him to a different section of the institution. He
alleges that at one point, Defendant Bowers “came to
assist the situation and jumped on the Plaintiff and lied on
the record by saying the Plaintiff, ‘elbowed her in the
nose and chest.'” Plaintiff states that he
“is still facing criminal charges in Lyon County Court
No. 17-CR-00077 due to this incident, were no officer were
seriously injuryed due to the Plaintiff.” He alleges
cruel and unusual punishment, “racial profile and
brutality, ” and physical abuse.
relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages and
release on parole.
prisoner initiates a civil action seeking redress from a
governmental entity, officer, or employee, the trial court
must review the complaint and dismiss the complaint, or any
portion of the complaint, if the court determines that it 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. See §
1915A(b)(1), (2); McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d
601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by
Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007).
Wallace v. Kato, the Supreme Court held as follows:
If a plaintiff files a false arrest claim before he has been
convicted (or files any other claim related to
rulings that will likely be made in a pending or anticipated
criminal trial), it is within the power of the
district court, and in accord with common practice, to stay
the civil action until the criminal case or the likelihood of
a criminal case is ended. If the plaintiff is ultimately
convicted, and if the stayed civil suit would impugn that
conviction, Heck will require dismissal; otherwise,
the civil action will proceed, absent some other bar to suit.
Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 393 (2007) (emphasis
added). In light of Wallace v. Kato, if Plaintiff
has a pending criminal case stemming from his allegations, it
may be necessary for the Court to stay the instant action
until completion of the criminal matter. Alternatively, if
Plaintiff has been convicted of the charges which he claims
were brought illegally, his claims may be barred by the
doctrine announced in Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S.
477, 486-87 (1994). Under the Heck doctrine, a state
prisoner may not file a § 1983 suit for damages or
equitable relief challenging his conviction or sentence if a
ruling on his claim would render the conviction or sentence
invalid, until and unless the conviction or sentence has been
reversed on direct appeal, expunged by Executive Order,
declared invalid by a state tribunal, or has been called into
question by a federal court's issuance of a writ of
habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Heck, 512
U.S. at 486-87; Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74,
81-82 (2005) (“[A] state prisoner's § 1983
action is barred (absent prior invalidation) - no matter the
relief sought (damages or equitable relief), no matter the
target of the prisoner's suit . . . - if success in that
action would necessarily demonstrate the invalidity of
confinement or its duration.”).
alleges that he was charged in state court for actions
arising out of the alleged excessive-force incident at KSP.
Accordingly, before screening Plaintiff's claims pursuant