Williams v. The State of Texas Department of Criminal Justice, No. 4:2017cv01150 - Document 5 (S.D. Tex. 2017)

Court Description: MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER dismissing with prejudice 1 Complaint, granting 2 APPLICATION to Proceed In Forma Pauperis Email sent to Manager of Three Strikes List. (Signed by Judge Sim Lake) Parties notified. (aboyd, 4)

Download PDF
Williams v. The State of Texas Department of Criminal Justice Doc. 5 United States District Court Southern District of Texas ENTERED April 18, 2017 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS HOUSTON DIVISION CRAIG GERARD WILLIAMS, TDCJ #787217, David J. Bradley, Clerk § § § § § Plaintiff, v. CIVIL ACTION NO. H-17-1150 § § § § § § STATE OF TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE, Defendant. MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER The plaintiff, Craig Gerard Williams (TDCJ #787217), is presently incarcerated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Correctional Institutions Division ("TDCJ"). a Prisoner ("Complaint") continued conviction. Forma Civil Rights Complaint under Williams has filed 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Docket Entry No. 1) , challenging the validity of his confinement pursuant to a state court judgment of Williams has also filed an Application to Proceed In Pauperis (Docket Entry No. 2). Because Williams is incarcerated, the court is required to scrutinize the claims and dismiss the Complaint, in whole or in part, if it determines that the Complaint "is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted" or "seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). After reviewing all of the pleadings, the court concludes that this case must be dismissed for the reasons explained below. Dockets.Justia.com I . Background Williams is currently serving four concurrent 50-year terms of imprisonment as the result of several convictions entered against him on May 13, 1997, (three and counts) for aggravated sexual assault of a indecency with a child (one child count) . 1 Those convictions were affirmed on appeal in an unpublished opinion. 2 2012, Williams sought habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. § In 2254, but his petition was dismissed with prejudice as barred by the governing one-year statute of limitations on federal review. 3 The Fifth Circuit denied a certificate of appealability from that decision in 2014. 4 On April 4, U.S.C. § 1983, 2017, Williams executed his Complaint under 42 challenging his continued confinement validity of the convictions entered against him in 1997. 5 and the Williams appears to claim that he is "innocent" and would not have been convicted but for the fact that a "crucial" witness for the defense 1 0ffender Information Detail, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, available at http: //offender. tdcj. texas. gov (last visited April 17, 2017) . 2 Williams v. State, Nos. 14-97-00569-CR, 9700575-CR, 14-97-00576-CR, 1999 WL 966647 [14th Dist. Oct. 21, 1999), pet. ref'd). 3 Williams v. Thaler, Dec . 5 , 2 0 12 ) . 4 No. H-12-0558, 14-97-00572-CR, 14(Tex. App. - Houston 2012 WL 12871880 (S.D. Tex. Williams v. Stephens, 555 F. App'x 439 (5th Cir. Feb. 20, 2014). 5 Complaint, Docket Entry No. 1, pp.5-6. -2- was a "no show" at trial. have been 6 Alleging that his constitutional rights "intentionally and blatantly violated to keep him incarcerated," Williams seeks $9, 500, 000. 00 in compensatory damages and his immediate release from custody. 7 Discussion II. Williams plainly seeks monetary damages under 42 U.S.C. for his wrongful conviction and imprisonment. It 1983 § is well established that a civil rights plaintiff may not recover damages based on allegations imprisonment, or for unlawfulness would of "unconstitutional other render a harm caused conviction or conviction by actions sentence or whose invalid," without first proving that the challenged conviction or sentence has been "reversed on direct appeal, expunged by executive order, declared invalid determinations, by or a state called tribunal into authorized question by issuance of a writ of habeas corpus [under] Heck v. 2372 Humphrey, 114 S. Ct. 2364, a to make federal 28 U.S. C. (1994). such court's § 2254." A claim for damages that bears a relationship to a conviction or sentence that has § not been 1983. Id. so invalidated is In other words, not if cognizable a judgment under in 42 U.S. C. favor of the plaintiff would "necessarily imply the invalidity of his conviction 6 Id. at 6. 7 Id. at 4. -3- or sentence," then the complaint must be dismissed unless the plaintiff can demonstrate that already been invalidated. the conviction or sentence has Id. As Williams appears to concede in his pleadings, his federal habeas corpus convictions Williams proceeding have does not not was been unsuccessful set demonstrate aside that or his and the challenged Because invalidated. convictions have been invalidated, his civil rights claims are not cognizable under 42 U.S.C. See § 1983 and his Complaint must be dismissed with prejudice. Johnson (explaining v. that McElveen, 101 F.3d claims barred by 423, 424 (5th Cir. 1996) Heck are "dismissed with prejudice to their being asserted again until the Heck conditions are met") . Accordingly, this case will be dismissed as legally frivolous for purposes of 28 U.S.C. III. § 1915A(b). Conclusion Based on the foregoing, the court ORDERS as follows: 1. The Complaint filed by Craig Gerard Williams (Docket Entry No. 1) legally frivolous. The dismissal will count as a "strike" for is DISMISSED with prejudice as purposes of 28 U.S.C. 2. The Application to § 1915(g). Proceed In Forma Pauperis Entry No. 2) is GRANTED. -4- (Docket 3. The TDCJ Inmate Trust Fund is ORDERED to deduct funds from the trust account of Craig Gerard Williams #787217) basis, § and forward them to the Clerk on a (TDCJ regular in compliance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. 1915(b), until the entire filing fee ($350.00) has been paid. The Clerk is directed to provide a copy of this Memorandum Opinion and Order to the plaintiff. The Clerk will also provide a copy by regular mail, facsimile transmission, or e-mail to: (l) the TDCJ - Office of the General Counsel, P.O. Box 13084, Austin, Texas, 78711, Fax Number (512) 936-2159; (2) the Inmate Trust Fund, P.O. Box 629, Huntsville, Texas 77342-0629, fax: 936-437-4793; and (3) the Manager of the Three-Strikes List for the Southern District of Texas. SIGNED at Houston, Texas, on this /9-ll.day of A )0 \'~I SIM LAKE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE -5- ' 2017.

Some case metadata and case summaries were written with the help of AI, which can produce inaccuracies. You should read the full case before relying on it for legal research purposes.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.