January 29, 2014
KEVIN RASHAAN HORSEY, SR., Plaintiff,
SALISBURY POLICE DEPARTMENT, et al., Defendants.
ELLEN LIPTON HOLLANDER, District Judge.
On January 17, 2014, the clerk received for filing Kevin Rashaan Horsey, Sr.'s civil rights complaint seeking "declaratory, anxiety, harassment & injunctive & punitive, nominal damages of $150, 000.00 & the officers to be punished." ECF No. 1. Horsey, who is self represented, is currently detained at the Wicomico County Department of Corrections ("WCDC") in Salisbury, Maryland. Horsey's allegations pertain to the lawfulness of his detention. Horsey references a systematic scheme of harassment by law enforcement, including unlawful searches, verbal abuse, and the planting of evidence, all resulting in his continued detention in violation of Maryland Rules and the U.S. Constitution. ECF No. 1 at p. 3 & Attachments.
Horsey appears indigent. Therefore, his motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis shall be granted. His complaint, however, may not proceed.
A civil rights claim which raises challenges to the constitutionality of incarceration is not appropriate unless and until Horsey's charges have been dismissed or declared invalid by a tribunal authorized to make such a determination. See Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994). Horsey's allegations against defendants are barred by the rule announced in Heck as a judgment in his favor would necessarily imply the invalidity of his criminal charges. The Heck bar applies whether Horsey is still a pre-trial detainee or whether he has already been convicted of the charges for which he is currently incarcerated. See Smith v. Holtz, 87 F.3d 108, 113 (3rd Cir. 1996) ("In terms of the conflicts which Heck sought to avoid, there is no difference between a conviction which is outstanding at the time the civil rights action is instituted and a potential conviction on a pending charge that may be entered at some point thereafter.") Therefore, his complaint for damages as to his continued detention is barred under the rule of Heck.  The instant civil rights action shall be dismissed by separate Order, without prejudice.