United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
F. Leeson, Jr., United States District Judge
14, 2018, Plaintiff Gregory William Moran, proceeding pro
se, filed a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
in the United States District Court for the Western District
of Louisiana against the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, the
Clerk of Court for Berks County, “Court Clerk, ”
and the Bossier Police Department. He also filed a Motion for
Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis and a
“Motion for $1.5 Million Settlement.” ECF Nos. 2,
4. By Order entered on May 17, 2018, the Western District of
Louisiana granted Moran leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. ECF No. 6. By Order entered on May 29, 2018,
the Western District of Louisiana transferred the case to
this Court. ECF No. 8.
Opinion and Order entered on June 5, 2018, this Court
dismissed Moran's Complaint and denied his “Motion
for $1.5 Million Settlement.” ECF Nos. 11, 12.
Specifically, the Court noted that: (1) pursuant to the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine, it lacked jurisdiction to
review and reverse any rulings entered by the state courts in
Moran's criminal proceedings and dependency proceedings;
(2) the Superior Court of Pennsylvania is not a
“person” subject to liability under § 1983
and also is entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity; (3)
Moran had failed to explain how the Clerk of Court for Berks
County, the “Court Clerk, ” and the Bossier
Police Department were responsible for violating his rights;
and (4) any claims challenging the constitutionality of the
proceedings leading to Moran's convictions, or the
failure of the state courts to vacate those convictions, were
not cognizable at this time pursuant to Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). Opinion 3-6, ECF No. 11.
The Court provided Moran leave to file an amended complaint
to the extent he intended to raise any claims not barred by
Heck. Id. at 7.
has returned with a second Motion for Leave to Proceed In
Forma Pauperis, ECF No. 15, an Amended Complaint, ECF
No. 16, and a “Final Motion, ” in which he seeks
an award of $1.5 million dollars, ECF No. 17. For the
following reasons, the Motion for Leave to Proceed In
Forma Pauperis is denied as unnecessary, his Amended
Complaint is dismissed, and his “Final Motion” is
dockets reflect that on February 13, 2015, in the Court of
Common Pleas for Berks County, Pennsylvania, Moran pled
guilty to one count of criminal mischief-damage property.
See Commonwealth v. Moran, Docket No.
CP-06-CR-003193-2014 (Berks Cty. Common Pleas). He was
sentenced to a year of probation and was directed not to have
any “contact with Amanda Moran except for custody
exchanges and custody matters.” Id. On
September 1, 2015, a Motion and Order for Bench Warrant was
filed, and on January 21, 2016, the Honorable Scott D. Keller
granted the motion to revoke Moran's probation.
Id. Moran was again sentenced to probation.
Id. Subsequently, on February 29, 2016, another
Motion and Order for Bench Warrant was filed. Id. On
April 12, 2016, Moran's probation was revoked and he was
sentenced to no less than forty-eight days to no more than
eighteen months of confinement. Id. The Superior
Court of Pennsylvania affirmed the trial court's judgment
on February 8, 2017. See Commonwealth v. Moran, 657
MDA 2016 (Pa. Super. Ct.).
Amended Complaint, Moran contends that on February 24, 2016,
he was at the Berks County Probation Office. Am. Compl. at 3.
He was arrested by Probation Officer William Schults and his
18-month-old son was taken from him. Id. Tasers
“were drawn on [him] then [he] was taken to Berks
County Prison.” Id. Moran appears to suggest
that he was arrested based upon a drug test performed on
February 22, 2016, which Probation Officer Schults said was
positive for THC. Id. Moran claims that he
“had no levels of THC” and “asked to take
another test.” Id. He asserts that Probation
Officer Schults “locked [him] up without merit or
facts.” Id. Moran contends that Berks County
Clerk of Court Kim Santoro and Assistant District Attorneys
John Adams and Mattew Thren “forged a document from the
post office as if [he] signed a document.” Id.
He states that he was subsequently “convicted of
violations that had no facts just opinions.”
Id. Moran states that Adams and Thren are immune but
“wanted the courts to be aware of [who is]
relief, Moran requests $1.5 million to compensate him for
having been wrongfully convicted. Id. at 4. Moran
attached to his Amended Complaints documents that relate to
his underlying criminal proceeding, including the allegedly
forged document, which indicates that the County of Berks
received delivery confirmation for unidentified documents
related to Moran's criminal case that were sent to an
address in Reading. Id. at 14. Although unclear,
Moran appears to be suggesting that the delivery confirmation
with the alleged forgery shows that he was improperly found
to have waived rights in the course of his criminal
proceedings by virtue of having received documents in the
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Moran has been granted leave to proceed in forma
pauperis, his Amended Complaint is subject to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), which requires the Court to dismiss
the Amended Complaint if it fails to state a claim. Whether a
complaint fails to state a claim under §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is governed by the same standard applicable
to motions to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6), see Tourscher v. McCullough, 184 F.3d 236,
240 (3d Cir. 1999), which requires the Court to determine
whether the complaint contains “sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face, ” Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quotations omitted). “[M]ere
conclusory statements do not suffice.” Id. The
Court may also consider matters of public record. Buck v.
Hampton Twp. Sch. Dist., 452 F.3d 256, 260 (3d Cir.
2006). As Moran is proceeding pro se, the Court
construes his allegations liberally. Higgs v. Att'y
Gen., 655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir. 2011).
Court understands Moran to be raising claims based on alleged
wrongful incarceration on a probation violation and seeking
damages for time spent incarcerated. “To state a claim
under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege the violation of a
right secured by the Constitution and laws of the United
States, and must show that the alleged deprivation was
committed by a person acting under color of state law.”
West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). However,
“to recover damages [or other relief] for allegedly
unconstitutional conviction or imprisonment, or for other
harm caused by actions whose unlawfulness would render a
conviction or sentence invalid, a § 1983 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[.]” Heck v. Humphrey,
512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994) (footnote and citation omitted);
see also Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74, 81-82
(2005) (“[A] state prisoner's § 1983 action is
barred (absent prior invalidation)-no matter the relief
sought (damages or equitable relief), no matter the target of
the prisoner's suit (state conduct leading to conviction
or internal prison proceedings)- if success in that action
would necessarily demonstrate the invalidity of confinement
or its duration.” (emphasis omitted)).
Moran's convictions and sentence have not been reversed,
expunged, or otherwise invalidated, any claims seeking
damages for time spent incarcerated in connection with those
convictions are not currently cognizable under § 1983.
In other words, Moran cannot raise claims challenging the
constitutionality of any aspect of the legal proceedings
leading to his convictions, the convictions themselves, or
the time spent incarcerated as long as his convictions remain