United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Eastern Division
ZYRELL HORTON, #253522, a.k.a. Darrell Matthews, Plaintiff,
RAY D. MARTIN; LARRY CLARK; SUSAN K. HARMON; E. PAUL JONES; ROLAND L. SLEDGE; LANETT POLICE DEPARTMENT; and MATT YOUNG, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
KEITH WATKINS, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Zyrell Horton is an indigent state inmate serving twenty-five
years for attempted murder. Horton was arrested for that
crime in 2005 and convicted in the Circuit Court of Chambers
County, Alabama, in 2007. In August 2018, Horton filed this
42 U.S.C. § 1983 action challenging various acts and
omissions related to his arrest and conviction. (Docs. # 1,
9.) He names these defendants: Ray D. Martin, the circuit
judge who presided over his state court proceedings; Larry
Clark, a detective for the Lanett Police Department; Matt
Young, an officer of the Lanett Police Department; Susan K.
Harmon, his trial attorney; Roland L. Sledge, his appellate
counsel; E. Paul Jones, the Chambers County District Attorney
at the time of his trial; and the Lanett Police Department.
(Docs. # 1, 9.)
Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge concludes that
Horton's claims should be dismissed under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B). (Doc. # 11.) Horton objected to that
Recommendation. (Doc. # 14.) The court has reviewed de
novo the portions of the Recommendation to which Horton
objected. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b).
Recommendation is due to be adopted. Horton's claims
about his 2005 arrest are barred by the statute of
limitations. McNair v. Allen, 515 F.3d 1168, 1173
(11th Cir. 2008). A violation of Miranda v. Arizona,
384 U.S. 436 (1966), does not lead to a cause of action under
§ 1983. Jones v. Cannon, 174 F.3d 1271, 1291
(11th Cir. 1999). A witness cannot be sued under § 1983
based on his or her testimony at trial, even if the witness
commits perjury. Rehberg v. Paulk, 611 F.3d 828, 839
(11th Cir. 2010). Judge Martin is immune from suit because he
acted in his judicial capacity and did not act “in the
complete absence of all jurisdiction.” Mireles v.
Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11 (1991). District Attorney Jones is
immune from suit for any actions he took as an advocate for
the government. Jones, 174 F.3d at 1281; see Van
de Kamp v. Goldstein, 555 U.S. 335, 343 (2009). Horton
cannot sue his attorneys under § 1983 because they did
not act under color of law. Polk Cty. v. Dodson, 454
U.S. 312, 325 (1981). Horton's claims against the Lanett
Police Department fail because “police departments are
generally not considered legal entities subject to
suit.” Johnson v. Andalusia Police Dep't,
633 F.Supp.2d 1289, 1301 (M.D. Ala. 2009); see Ex parte
Dixon, 55 So.3d 1171, 1172 n.1 (Ala. 2010). Horton
cannot challenge the validity of his conviction and sentence
under § 1983. Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641,
648 (1997); Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87
(1994). And because each of Horton's federal claims is
due to be dismissed, the court will not exercise supplemental
jurisdiction over his state claims. 28 U.S.C. §
1367(c)(3); Estate of Owens v. GEO Grp., 660
Fed.Appx. 763, 775-77 (11th Cir. 2016).
therefore ORDERED that:
1. Horton's objections (Doc. # 14) are OVERRULED.
2. The Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge (Doc. # 11) is
3. Horton's claims challenging actions that resulted in
his arrest on December 25, 2005, are DISMISSED with prejudice
as untimely under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i).
4. Horton's Miranda and perjury claims are
DISMISSED with prejudice under 28 U.S.C. §
5. Horton's claims against Ray D. Martin, E. Paul Jones,
Susan K. Harmon, and Roland L. Sledge seeking relief for
actions that occurred during state criminal proceedings
before the Circuit Court of Chambers County, Alabama, are
DISMISSED with prejudice under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and (iii).
6. Horton's claims against Larry Clark, Matt Young, and
the Lanett Police Department are DISMISSED with prejudice
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i).
7. Horton's claims which go to the validity of his
attempted murder conviction and the resulting sentence
imposed upon him by the Circuit Court of Chambers County,
Alabama, are DISMISSED without prejudice under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) as such claims are not properly
before the court.
8. Horton's pendent state ethical claims are DISMISSED
without prejudice to any rights he may have to seek relief on
these claims ...