Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Fourstar v. Clark

United States District Court, D. Montana, Great Falls Division

March 6, 2017

VICTOR CHARLES FOURSTAR, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
MELVIN CLARK, BRUCE BAUER, MICHAEL ELIASON, and TOM HOLTER, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Timothy J. Cavan United States Magistrate Judge

         This matter is pending on Plaintiff Victor Fourstar's Complaint (Doc. 2); Motions to Recuse (Docs. 5, 8) and Motion to Amend and Motion to Stay pending Exhaustion of Tribal Court Remedies (Doc. 7).[1] Mr. Fourstar is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis and without counsel.

         I. BACKGROUND

         After being found guilty of aggravated sexual abuse, Mr. Fourstar was sentenced by Judge Haddon on February 27, 2003 to 188 months custody, followed by 60 months supervised release. He began his term of supervised release on December 9, 2016.

         On December 16, 2017, Michael Eliason, United States Probation Officer prepared a request to modify the terms of supervision with consent of offender. Mr. Eliason indicated that the modified conditions were necessary to conform with Ninth Circuit case law. Mr. Fourstar refused to sign the form. He was directed to register as a sex offender, and was given until December 21, 2016 to complete registration. He refused to do so. (Mtn to Amend, Doc. 7; Criminal Action No. 4:02cr52-DLC Petition for Warrant, Doc. 163.) Mr. Fourstar was arrested on January 23, 2017. (Mtn to Amend, Doc. 7 at 3.) A final revocation hearing was held on February 22, 2017 before Judge Morris. During the hearing, Mr. Fourstar asked to recuse Judge Morris. (Criminal Action No. 4:02cr52-DLC, Minute Entry, Doc. 178.) This matter and the criminal case were both reassigned to Judge Christensen on February 23, 2017. (Doc. 10; Criminal Action No. 4:02cr52-DLC, Order Reassigning Case, Doc. 179.) Mr. Fourstar's revocation remains pending.

         II. INITIAL SCREENING

         A. Standard

         Mr. Fourstar is proceeding in forma pauperis so the Court must review his Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Section 1915(e)(2)(B) requires the Court to dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis and/or by a prisoner against a governmental defendant before it is served if 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.

         A complaint is frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A complaint is malicious if not pleaded in good faith. Kinney v. Plymouth Rock Squab. Co., 236 U.S. 43, 46 (1915). A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if a plaintiff fails to allege the "grounds" of his "entitlement to relief." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quotation omitted). Rule 8(a)(2) requires a complaint to "contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quotations omitted).

         "A document filed pro se is 'to be liberally construed, ' and 'a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.' " Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Cf. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(e) ("Pleadings must be construed as to do justice.").

         B. Analysis

         In Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), the United States Supreme Court held that to recover damages for an allegedly unconstitutional conviction or imprisonment, or for other harm caused by actions whose unlawfulness would render a conviction or sentence invalid, a plaintiff must prove that the conviction or sentence has been reversed on direct appeal, expunged by executive order, declared invalid by a state tribunal authorized to make such determination, or called into question by a federal court's issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. Heck, 512 U.S. at 486-487; see also Martin v. Sias, 88 F.3d 774, 775 (9th Cir. 1996) (applying Heck rule to Bivens action).

         The United States Supreme Court in Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384 (2007), held that the "Heck rule for deferred accrual is called into play only when there exists 'a conviction or sentence that has not been . . . invalidated, ' that is to say, an 'outstanding criminal judgment.'" Id. at 1097-98 (quoting Heck, 512 U.S. at 486-87). The Court specifically rejected the contention that "an action which would impugn an anticipated future conviction cannot be brought until that conviction occurs and is set aside, " stating that such a proposition goes "well beyond Heck. " Id. at 1098 (italics in original). Thus, if a plaintiff files a false arrest claim before he is convicted, or files any other claim related to rulings that likely will be made in a pending or anticipated criminal trial, it is within the power, and accords with common practice, to stay the civil action until the criminal case or the likelihood of a criminal case is ended. Id. If the plaintiff is then convicted, and if the stayed civil suit would impugn that conviction, Heck requires dismissal; otherwise, the case may proceed. Id.

         In the current action, Mr. Fourstar challenges whether he was properly arrested for failing to register as a sex offender because it was not a requirement of his underlying conviction and sentence. (Cmplt., Doc. 2.) The issue of whether Mr. Fourstar's supervised release should be revoked for failing to register as sex ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.