United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is plaintiff's motion to reopen this matter, as
well as his motion to waive the initial partial filing fee.
After review of plaintiff's motions, as well as judicial
records relating to plaintiff's state court criminal
matters, the Court will decline to reopen the present action.
Moreover, plaintiff's request to waive the $1.00 initial
partial filing fee will be granted.
filed this action on March 14, 2018, pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, alleging violations of his Fourth Amendment
rights. Plaintiff asserted that he was being falsely
imprisoned and maliciously prosecuted for the alleged crime
of tampering with his friend's carwithout his
permission and threatening another acquaintance with an
automatic weapon after getting into a verbal altercation with
the acquaintance. Plaintiff additionally asserted that the
prosecutors in the case, Angel Woodruff and Chris Limbaugh,
assisted Officer Yoder in falsely accusing plaintiff and
imprisoning him on these charges. Plaintiff's claims in
this lawsuit included: lack of probable cause; false arrest;
false imprisonment; and malicious prosecution.
to this case being filed, an underlying criminal case was
filed against plaintiff in Missouri State Court. In that
case, plaintiff was charged with tampering with a motor
vehicle, unlawful possession of a firearm, and unlawful use
of a weapon. State v. Overbey, No. 17CG-CR01703-01
(32nd Judicial Circuit, Cape Girardeau County).
on the pendency of the underlying criminal cases against
plaintiff that arose out of the same facts, the Court stayed
the § 1983 action pursuant to Wallace v. Kato,
549 U.S. 384 (2007). At the time it stayed the present
action, plaintiff had not yet pled guilty or been sentenced
to the underlying state crime. Plaintiff was instructed that
he could seek to reopen the present matter after culmination
of the underlying state case. The Court has reviewed the
pendency of the state criminal proceedings on
Missouri.Case.Net and found that the proceedings are still
ongoing. Jury trial in plaintiff's criminal proceedings
is currently scheduled for July 30, 2018. State v.
Overbey, No. 17CG-CR01703-01 (32nd Judicial
Circuit, Cape Girardeau County).
admits in his motion to reopen that his state criminal
proceedings are still ongoing, but he claims that this Court
must intervene in the criminal proceedings because he
believes his rights are being violated in his state
proceedings. Plaintiff has not indicated exactly how he
believes his rights are being violated, and there is no
indication that his criminal attorney cannot bring his claims
to the state court Judge currently assigned to his criminal
this Court is authorized to issue writs of mandamus or other
extraordinary writs only in aid of its jurisdiction, either
existing or potential. See 28 U.S.C.A. §
1651(a); Middlebrooks v. Thirteenth Judicial Dist.
Circuit Court, Union County, 323 F.2d 485, 486 (8th
Cir.1963). And this Court has no jurisdiction over
plaintiff's state court action.
Court has already explained to plaintiff that his § 1983
claims for relief against defendants must be stayed pending
the outcome of his criminal proceedings and post-conviction
relief. And if plaintiff is convicted in his criminal
proceedings, plaintiff will not be able to seek damages in
this action against the current defendants for violations of
his constitutional rights. See, e.g., Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994); Schafer v.
Moore, 46 F.3d 43, 45 (8thCir. 1995);
Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641, 648 (1997)
(applying rule in § 1983 suit seeking declaratory
relief). Furthermore, to the extent plaintiff can be
understood to ask this Court to dismiss, enjoin, or otherwise
intervene in his ongoing state criminal proceeding, his
claims are barred under the abstention doctrine set forth in
Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971). See also,
Gillette v. N. Dakota Disc. Bd. Counsel, 610 F.3d
1045, 1046 (8th Cir. 2010) (“[F]ederal courts may not
enjoin pending state court criminal proceedings absent a
showing of bad faith, harassment, or any other unusual
circumstance that would call for equitable relief.”).
As such, plaintiff's request to reopen this matter must
Court will, however, grant plaintiff's request to waive
the initial partial filing fee of $1.00 given his negative
account balance in his prisoner account at this time.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's
motion to reopen this matter [Doc. #7] is
IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiffs motion to waive
the initial partial filing fee of $1.00 [Doc. #6] is
GRANTED. Plaintiff will not be required to
pay a filing fee in this action at this time.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that all proceedings in this case
are STAYED pending final disposition of the
criminal charges pending against plaintiff in State v.
Overbey, No. ...