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McKinney v. Cheatham

United States District Court, District of Columbia

June 10, 2014

DUANE McKINNEY, Plaintiff,
v.
VIRGINIA CHEATHAM, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

BERYL A. HOWELL, District Judge.

Plaintiff is a prisoner who currently incarcerated at a federal penitentiary in Inez, Kentucky. He appears to allege that, but for advice he received from counsel, he would not be in prison. See generally Compl. at 2-5. He "comes before this Honourable Court respectfully requesting[] punitive damages and a[]n order for release" from custody. Id. at 2; see id. at 5 (demanding "punitive damages of the amount of twenty four million and a million... after every day of service go unheard from the disposition of this case").

Ordinarily, a prisoner challenging the fact or duration of his confinement must do so by filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. See Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 484 (1973) ("[T]he essence of habeas corpus is an attack by a person in custody upon the legality of that custody, and... the traditional function of the writ is to secure release from illegal custody."). This Court cannot entertain a petition for a writ of habeas corpus for plaintiff's immediate release from custody because neither plaintiff nor his custodian is within the Court's territorial jurisdiction. See Stokes v. U.S. Parole Comm'n, 374 F.3d 1235, 1239 (D.C. Cir. 2004). Furthermore, plaintiff may not obtain his release from custody by means of a civil action demanding a declaratory judgment or injunctive relief. See Williams v. Hill, 74 F.3d 1339, 1340 (D.C. Cir. 1996) (per curiam) ("As to [appellant's] claim for injunctive and declaratory relief, it is well-settled that a prisoner seeking relief from his conviction or sentence may not bring such an action."). Nor may a prisoner plaintiff collect damages arising from his incarceration without first showing "that [his] 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." Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 487 (1994). Here, plaintiff has made no such showing.

The complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and, accordingly, the Court will dismiss the complaint and this civil action. See 28 U.S.C. ยงยง 1915(e)(2)(B), 1915A(b)(1). An Order is issued separately.


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