United States District Court, D. Montana, Great Falls Division
P. Watters, United States District Judge.
two actions were filed in November and December 2016. They
were consolidated because they involve very similar
allegations. They were stayed pending resolution of Plaintiff
Fourstar's appeals challenging revocation of his federal
contends that his civil rights are violated by ongoing
collateral consequences of his 2003 federal conviction for
aggravated sexual abuse and his 1992 Montana conviction for
sexual intercourse without consent. Fourstar discharged the
state sentence on December 13, 1997, and is no longer in
custody by reason of that conviction. See, e.g., Presentence
Report ¶ 31, United States v. Fourstar, No.
4:02-CR-52-SEH (D. Mont, revised Feb. 10, 2003); Order at 2,
State v. Fourstar, No. DA 13-0658 (Mont. Oct. 30,
2013); Order at 1-2, Fourstar v. Zemyan, No. DA
12-0440 (Mont. Aug. 14, 2012); Maleng v. Cook, 490
U.S. 488, 491-92 (1989) (per curiam).
remains in custody by reason of his federal
conviction. He pursued direct appeal in 2003 and filed
motions under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 and/or common-law
petitions seeking collateral review, but he has yet to
invalidate the federal conviction or sentence. See, e.g.,
United States v. Fourstar, 87 Fed.Appx. 62, 63-65, 2004
WL 193245, No. 03-30121 (9th Cir. Jan. 30, 2004); Order (Doc.
131), United States v. Fourstar, No. 4:02-CR-52-SEH
(D. Mont. Dec. 20, 2005); Order Denying Certificate of
Appealability, United States v. Fourstar, No.
06-35273 (9th Cir. July 25, 2006).
is currently serving a ten-month prison term following
revocation of his supervised release. After he completes the
prison term, he will serve 39 months on supervised release.
See Revocation Judgment (Doc. 260) at 3-4,
Fourstar, No. 4:02-CR-52-DLC (D. Mont. Oct. 18,
Stay and Motion to Amend
these actions were filed in November and December 2016,
Fourstar's supervised release has been revoked three
times. These actions were stayed on March 6, 2017, pending
resolution of the first two revocation proceedings and
appeals. The appeals were concluded on July 12, 2018. But, in
August 2018, a third revocation proceeding began and, on
November 1, 2018, Fourstar filed a notice of appeal against
the third successive revocation judgment. See Notice
of Appeal (Doc. 270), Fourstar, No. 4:02-CR-52-DLC.
moves to lift the stay. See Mot. to Lift Stay
(16-113 Doc. 34). The Court believes it can reach an
appropriate disposition of his claims without awaiting
disposition of Fourstar's most recent revocation appeal.
The stay will be lifted.
March 6, 2017, the Court denied a motion to amend the
complaint "subject to renewal after the resolution of
criminal proceedings." Order (16-126 Doc. 11); see
also Mot. to Am. Compl. (16-126 Doc. 7). The motion to
amend is deemed renewed and is granted. It will be addressed
along with Fourstar's Complaint in 16-126.
Deficiencies in Complaints
was a prisoner when he filed Eliason, the first of
these two actions, but not when he filed Clark, the
second. Compare Compl. (16-113 Doc. 3) at 2 ¶ I
with Compl. (16-126 Doc. 2) at 1; Mot. to Proceed In
Forma Pauperis (16-126 Doc. 1) at 6 ¶ 11. In both
actions, he is proceeding in forma pauperis. The Court must
review his complaint to determine whether it fails to state a
claim on which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C.
is also self-represented. "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) (per curiam) (internal quotation marks and citation
omitted). Courts must briefly explain deficiencies that may
be cured by amendment, see Akhtar v. Mesa, 698 F.3d
1202, 1212 (9th Cir. 2012), but if a claim cannot be cured by
amendment, "the court shall dismiss" it,
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) (emphasis added).
Validity of Prior Convictions
action is not an appropriate vehicle for challenging the
validity of a conviction or sentence. See Edwards v.
Balisok, 520 U.S. 641, 645, 649 (1997); Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486 (1994).
complaint in Eliason alleges that various defendants
failed to disclose exculpatory evidence between 1992 and
1997. See Compl. (16-113 Doc. 3) at 13, 15. The
motion to amend in Clark alleges that Fourstar was
deprived of a right to present evidence in mitigation of his
state sentence. See Mot. to Am. Compl. (16-127 Doc.
7) at 5. If material exculpatory evidence was withheld, or if
Fourstar was unable to present material mitigating evidence,
Fourstar's conviction and/or sentence is invalid, see
Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150, 153-55 (1972),
but that would mean he may not proceed with this action. On
the other hand, if evidence was actually presented, or was
not withheld, or was not material, Fourstar suffered no
constitutional injury. Therefore, whether these allegations
are true or false, they are not cognizable in this action.
also alleges that he was unlawfully detained from September
1, 1992, to December 13, 1997-the duration of his state
sentence for sexual intercourse without consent. See
Compl. (16-113 Doc. 3) at 13 & ¶¶ 2, 3. He
could be entitled to damages for this detention only if ...