United States District Court, District of Columbia
January 30, 2014
Reginald Woods, Plaintiff,
U.S. Department of Justice, Defendant.
This matter is before the Court on its initial review of the plaintiff spro se complaint and application to proceed in forma pauperis. The application will be granted and the complaint will be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires the Court to screen and dismiss a prisoner's complaint upon a determination that it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
The plaintiff, a prisoner at the Federal Correctional Institution in Talladega, Alabama, purports to be "a 'private' Attorney General." Civil Rights Complaint Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 at 3. He sues the U.S. Department of Justice but his allegations are far from clear. The plaintiff "files this complaint [to contest] the unequal application of the same law to different racial groups or peoples under the stacking provision of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), which is a mandatory minimum that is statutorily required by operation federal law." Id. Claiming that he "[has] been subjected to such unconstitutional and racially discriminatory operational procedures, " the plaintiff seeks monetary damages in excess of $10 million. Id. at 3-4.
As a pro se litigant, the plaintiff can represent only himself in this matter. See 28 U.S.C. § 1654; U.S. ex rel. Rockefeller v. Westinghouse Elec. Co., 274 F.Supp.2d 10, 15-16 (D.D.C. 2003) (examining cases). At best, the plaintiff is seeking monetary damages for an alleged unconstitutional sentence that he does not claim has been invalidated via a writ of habeas corpus or some other recognized authority. See Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994). (holding "that, in order to recover damages for [an] alleged unconstitutional conviction or imprisonment. . ., 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"). Therefore, this action will be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.