United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff Paris
McPeters, formerly an inmate at Missouri Eastern Correctional
Center, for leave to commence this action without payment of
the required filing fee. Plaintiffs motion will be granted.
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 that arises out of the same facts.
42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims arise out of his arrest for
domestic assault on June 6, 2018. He names as defendants
Rochelle Bacon (private party); Unknown Officer Weiland
(O'Fallon Police Department); Amy Cope and Mark Smith
(Missouri Probation and Parole); the Missouri Board of
Probation and Parole; and three unknown officers present for
plaintiffs parole revocation hearing. Plaintiff alleges
defendants violated his constitutional rights to equal
protection and due process during his June 6, 2018 arrest and
his subsequent parole revocation hearing.
states that on June 6, 2018, while driving his company
vehicle, he became engaged in a physical altercation with his
passenger, defendant Rochelle Bacon. Plaintiff pulled his
vehicle over twice during this argument, and eventually Bacon
got out of the vehicle. The altercation continued outside,
and witnesses called 911. Officers from the O'Fallon
Missouri Police Department responded to the call. Officer
Weiland arrested plaintiff. Meanwhile, officers allowed Bacon
to retrieve some of plaintiff s property from his vehicle,
despite plaintiffs protestations, and drove Bacon to her
destination. Plaintiff alleges the O'Fallon police
officers violated his equal protection rights by arresting
him but protecting Bacon.
plaintiffs allegations against the Missouri Board of
Probation and Parole and the three unknown officers presiding
over his parole hearing, plaintiff alleges these defendants
violated his due process rights by not contacting his witness
at his parole hearing and revoking his parole.
relief, plaintiff seeks the removal of defendants from their
official positions and compensatory and punitive damages of
more than $1.5 million.
stated in terms of defendants' violation of plaintiffs
Fourteenth Amendment rights to equal protection and due
process, the crux of plaintiff s complaint is his belief that
Bacon should have been arrested for domestic assault as the
aggressor, and not plaintiff. Plaintiff alleges police did
not do an adequate investigation because they did not
question Bacon's identification or her story. Plaintiff
believes that if the police had conducted an appropriate
investigation into the facts, he would not have been arrested
and his probation would not have been revoked.
plaintiffs § 1983 claims against defendant Bacon will be
dismissed for failure to state a claim. Section 1983 actions
may not be brought against private actors, only against those
acting "under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State." 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Because plaintiff cannot allege any plausible
claim that defendant Bacon was acting under color of state
law, the Court will dismiss his §1983 claim against
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 . . . 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).
case, plaintiff asserts claims for illegal search and
seizure, unlawful arrest, and unlawful incarceration. The
principles of Wallace v. Kato dictate that further
consideration of plaintiffs § 1983 claims should be
stayed until the underlying criminal matter currently pending
in St. Charles County against plaintiff has been resolved
through criminal appeals and postconviction processes.
to the extent plaintiff alleges his parole hearing was
unconstitutional, "Heck applies to proceedings
[that] call into question the fact or duration of
parole." Jackson v. Vannoy, 49 F.3d 175, 177
(5th Cir.), cert, denied, 516 U.S. 851 (1995). A
plaintiff in a § 1983 suit may not question the validity
of the confinement resulting from a parole revocation hearing
if he does not allege that the parole board's decision
has been reversed, expunged, set aside or called into
question. Littles v. Bd. of Pardons and Paroles
Div., 68 F.3d 122, 123 (5th Cir. 1995); see also
McGrew v. Texas Bd. of Pardons & Paroles, 47 F.3d
158, 161 (5th Cir. 1995) (Heck bars § 1983
action challenging revocation of supervised release).
Plaintiff has not made any showing that the decision to
revoke his probation has been reversed, expunged, set aside
or called into question. As a result, the complaint will be
dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs
application to proceed in district court without prepaying