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Black v. Jackson

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Eastern Division

July 10, 2018

ANTHONY BLACK, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE TROOPER JACKSON and PROSECUTOR, Defendants.

          RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          GRAY M. BORDEN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action is before the court on a complaint filed by Anthony Black, an indigent inmate, on June 15, 2018.[1] Black is currently incarcerated in the Lee County Detention Center on a sentence imposed upon him by the Circuit Court of Lee County, Alabama for a 2014 felony conviction for Driving Under the Influence (“DUI”). Specifically, on January 24, 2018, the state trial court issued an order revoking Black's term of probation associated with the DUI conviction and sentencing him to one year of imprisonment. Doc. 1-2 at 6.

         In the instant complaint, Black challenges the constitutionality of his arrest for felony DUI on October 22, 2012 by Daniel Jackson, an Alabama State Trooper, and the actions of an Assistant District Attorney assigned to prosecute the criminal charge arising from this arrest. Doc. 1 at 2-3. Black also challenges the revocation of his probation in the DUI case. Doc. 1-2 at 1 (alleging the imposition of a “1 year [sentence] in the state penitentiary” is not legal). Black seeks his immediate release from incarceration and “max” relief for the alleged violations of his constitutional rights. Doc. 1 at 4. The court construes these requests to include declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief.

         Upon thorough review of the complaint, the court concludes that this case is due to be summarily dismissed pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i), (ii) and (iii).[2]

         I. DISCUSSION

         A. Relevant Facts

         The facts are gleaned from the complaint, the documents submitted in support of the complaint and relevant state court records contained on the Alabama Trial Court System, hosted at www.alacourt.com. See Keith v. DeKalb Cnty, 749 F.3d 1034, 1041 n.18 (11th Cir. 2014) (“We take judicial notice of [the State's] Online Judicial System.”).

         On October 4, 2012, Black was involved in an automobile accident in Lee County, Alabama. Doc. 1-2 at 5. On October 22, 2012, defendant Jackson arrested Black for felony DUI and placed him in the Lee County Detention Center. A Lee County grand jury indicted Black for felony DUI on February 7, 2014. Black entered a guilty plea to felony DUI and the trial court imposed sentence upon him for this conviction on June 13, 2014. Black states that he “pleaded guilty because they said if I go [to trial] they [will] ask for 30 years.” Doc. 1 at 3. The trial court sentenced Black to 10 years of imprisonment, split to serve two years with five years of probation upon completion of the term of incarceration. Black received jail credit on this sentence for the 20 months he remained incarcerated in the Lee County Detention Center from the date of his arrest until entry of his guilty plea, and therefore gained his release on this sentence sometime in 2014. Doc. 1 at 3.

         On December 23, 2017, during the term of probation for his felony DUI conviction, Black was arrested for public intoxication. Subsequently, the trial court issued a warrant for Black's arrest due to violations of the terms of his probation-i.e., his arrest for public intoxication and the failure to report to his probation officer. Doc. 1-2 at 6. On December 29, 2017, law enforcement officials arrested Black for the probation violations. Doc. 1-2 at 5-6. On January 24, 2018, the Circuit Court of Lee County, Alabama revoked Black's probation on his felony DUI case and imposed a one-year sentence of incarceration. Doc. 1-2 at 5-6. The court ordered that Black receive 32 days of jail credit and extended his probation for one year. Doc. 1-2 at 5-6.

         B. Plaintiff's 2012 Arrest

         Black challenges the constitutionality of his arrest on October 22, 2012. Specifically, Black alleges Jackson arrested him “without a warrant.” Doc. 1 at 3. Any claims related to Black's arrest in October 2012 are barred by the statute of limitations applicable to a federal civil action filed by an inmate under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

All constitutional claims brought under § 1983 are tort actions, subject to the statute of limitations governing personal injury actions in the state where the § 1983 action has been brought. Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 261, 275-76, 105 S.Ct. 1938, 1946-47, 85 L.Ed.2d 254 (1985). [The plaintiff's] claim was brought in Alabama where the governing limitations period is two years. Ala. Code § 6-2-38; Jones v. Preuit & Mauldin, 876 F.2d 1480, 1483 (11th Cir. 1989) (en banc). Therefore, in order to have his claim heard, [the plaintiff is] required to bring it within two years from the date the limitations period began to run.

McNair v. Allen, 515 F.3d 1168, 1173 (11th Cir. 2008).

         The arrest about which Black complains occurred on October 22, 2012. By its express terms, the tolling provision of Alabama Code § 6-2-8(a) affords no relief to Black from application of the time bar.[3] The statute of limitations applicable to Black's illegal arrest claim therefore began to run on October 23, 2012.[4] The limitations period ran uninterrupted until its expiration on October 23, 2014. Black filed the instant complaint ...


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