United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS
JEFFREY ALKER MEYER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Stephen Miller brings this action against defendants Charles
Stallworth and East End Baptist Tabernacle for what the Court
construes to be claims for false arrest and malicious
prosecution in violation of the Fourth Amendment pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. Defendants have moved to dismiss this
Court will grant defendants' motion to dismiss for three
reasons. First, plaintiff has not alleged facts that give
rise to plausible grounds for relief. Second, because the
complaint alleges that plaintiff pleaded no contest to
charges stemming from his arrest, the Court may not grant
money damages under the rule of Heck v. Humphrey,
512 U.S. 477 (1994). Third, because plaintiff has not alleged
a favorable termination of the charge or charges stemming
from his arrests, he cannot sustain a claim for false arrest
or malicious prosecution.
has filed a complaint titled “Damages for False
Charges.” Doc. #1 at 1. The complaint names two
defendants: Rev. Charles Stallworth and the East End Baptist
Tabernacle Church. It states that plaintiff “brings
this action seeking damages following a no contest plea due
to the payment by defendants to off duty Bridgeport police
officer Roger Reid hired to arrest the plaintiff if he came
to church services” at the East End Baptist Tabernacle
Church. Ibid. (¶ 1).
complaint goes on to describe how plaintiff went to the
church on June 21, 2015, after having attended a service at
the church one week before without incident. Plaintiff
appeared at the church wearing a T-shirt stating: “5
COPS MURDERED ERIC GARNER, ” which “induced
friendly comments by many African Americans.”
Ibid. (¶ 2).
Reid (who is not named as a defendant) was standing in front
of the church when plaintiff arrived. Plaintiff was in the
lobby of the church speaking with two church members when
Officer Reid approached him with a piece of paper and asked
to speak to him outside. Officer Reid then spoke to plaintiff
about allegedly harassing emails, and plaintiff denied
sending emails. Officer Reid called for back-up and then
arrested plaintiff, and plaintiff's car was towed away.
six weeks later, Officer Reid arrested plaintiff again on
August 2, 2015, at a Stop and Shop supermarket in Bridgeport.
According to plaintiff, “[t]he surveillance film in the
store was altered in spite of a court order to preserve the
film proving these charges false too.” Id. at
2 (¶ 7).
In both cases witnesses lied for the police story. These lies
were voluntary which concerned me for the integrity of a jury
regardless of the evidence. With the court's disregard of
the speedy trial motions and the destruction of the
exculpatory film I decided a trial was too risky; pleading no
Id. at 2 (¶ 8).
complaint goes on to describe plaintiff's “PURPOSE
TO ATTEND THIS AFRICAN AMERICAN CHURCH” and his
“concern for the endless injustice of African Americans
being murdered by police officials without any charges filed
by district attorneys or United State's attorneys
regardless of glaring proof was being protested in an absurd,
ineffective manner.” Id. at 3. “I
don't know these churches or their pastors so I
approached Bishop John Diamond to explain a better strategy,
” and “Rev. Diamond referred me to defendant Rev.
Stallworth explaining Stallworth was a political
leader.” Ibid. The complaint concludes with
the following two paragraphs:
Recently the Kaepernick protest was reversed by the media
never using the accurate work “murder” replaced
by “brutality”. Each black victim is dead none
were alive from brutality but black leaders ignore this
Never using the word “murder” by anybody proves
the power of the media putting the entire country in a deep
trance. Being shoved or ...