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.

Perkins v. Cooper

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

February 5, 2018

HAROLD PERKINS, Plaintiff,
v.
OFFICER COOPER, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          CATHERINE D. PERRY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff, Harold Cooper, an inmate at the St. Charles County Department of Corrections, for leave to commence this action without payment of the required filing fee. For the reasons stated below, the Court finds that plaintiff does not have sufficient funds to pay the entire filing fee and will assess an initial partial filing fee of $1.00.[1] See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). Furthermore, based upon a review of the complaint, the Court will stay and administratively close this action pursuant to the Supreme Court case of Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384 (2007), based on the pendency of an underlying criminal case against plaintiff arising out of the same facts.

         Background

         Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 asserting violations of his Fourth Amendment rights against illegal search and seizure. He states that on July 26, 2017, he was driving in the City of St. Louis when he was stopped by the defendant St. Louis City Police Officers and subjected to an unlawful search and seizure of himself and his vehicle in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Plaintiff claims that he was then “seized, ” or unlawfully “arrested, ” without probable cause to believe he had committed a crime.

         On October 18, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted plaintiff on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of being a felon in possession of ammunition. See United States v. Perkins, No. 4:17-CR-474 SNLJ/NCC (E.D. Mo.). On October 31, 2017, plaintiff pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges; a trial date has not been set. Id.

         Plaintiff brings this § 1983 action, alleging defendants Officer Unknown Cooper and Officer Ishmael Tyson violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure; and defendant City of St. Louis has an unconstitutional “stop and frisk” policy allowing officers to stop black men and search them without probable cause. Finally, plaintiff asserts a state law claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress against the officers, as well as a state law claim for conspiracy. Plaintiff seeks damages and injunctive relief.

         Discussion

         In Wallace v. Kato, the United States Supreme Court held that “the statute of limitations upon a § 1983 claim seeking damages for a false arrest in violation of the Fourth Amendment, where the arrest is followed by criminal proceedings, begins to run at the time the claimant is detained pursuant to legal process.” Wallace, 549 U.S. at 397. The Court observed that “[f]alse arrest and false imprisonment overlap; the former is a species of the latter.” Id. at 388. The Court instructed that where “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.” Id. at 393-94. Otherwise, the court and the parties are left to “speculate about whether a prosecution will be brought, whether it will result in conviction, and whether the impending civil action will impugn that verdict, all this at a time when it can hardly be known what evidence the prosecution has in its possession.” Id. at 393 (internal citation omitted).

         Here, plaintiff states he was unlawfully arrested, and he additionally asserts that he was subjected to illegal search and seizure, conspiracy, and a state law claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress. These claims relate to rulings that “will likely be made in a pending or anticipated criminal trial.” Id. The principles of Wallace v. Kato dictate that further consideration of plaintiff's § 1983 claims should be stayed until the underlying criminal matter against plaintiff has been resolved through criminal proceedings. See, e.g., Vonneedo v. Dennis, No. 1:17-CV-183 NAB, 2017 WL 5904005, at *2 (E.D. Mo. Nov. 30, 2017) (staying § 1983 case alleging unconstitutional search and seizure under principles articulated in Wallace v. Kato); Anderson v. Robinson, No. 4:12-CV-967 CAS, 2013 WL 4502598, at *1 (E.D. Mo. Aug. 22, 2013) (same).

         Additionally, a stay or abstention until resolution of the criminal matter would be appropriate because a prisoner may not recover damages in a § 1983 suit where the judgment would necessarily imply the invalidity of his conviction, continued imprisonment or sentence unless the conviction or sentence is reversed, expunged or called into question by issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. See Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994); Schafer v. Moore, 46 F.3d 43, 45 (8th Cir. 1995); see also Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641, 648 (1997) (applying rule in § 1983 suit seeking declaratory relief).

         Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. #2] is GRANTED.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiff must pay an initial filing fee of $1.00 within thirty (30) days of the date of this Order. Plaintiff is instructed to make his remittance payable to “Clerk, United States District Court, ” and to include upon it: (1) his name; (2) his prison registration number; (3) the case number; and (4) that the remittance is for an original proceeding.[2]

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that all proceedings in this case are STAYED pending final disposition of the criminal charges pending against plaintiff in United States v. Perkins, No. 4:17-CR-474 SNLJ/NCC (E.D. Mo.).

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff shall notify the Court in writing concerning the final disposition of the criminal charges pending against him in United ...


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.