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Melendrez v. New Mexico District Attorney's Office

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

November 1, 2019

SONNY MELENDREZ, Plaintiff,
v.
NEW MEXICO DISTRICT ATTORNIES OFFICE, DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LESLIE WILLIAMS, FLOYD D. “TERRY” HAAKE, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          ROBERT C. BRACK, SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         THIS MATTER is before the Court under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(A), 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) on the Verified Civil Rights Complaint filed by Plaintiff Sonny Melendrez, on March 18, 2019. (Doc. 1.) The Court dismisses the Complaint based on prosecutorial immunity, failure to state a claim for relief, and the bar of the statute of limitations. The Court also declines to grant leave to amend the Complaint on the grounds that amendment would be futile.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         Mr. Sonny Melendrez (Plaintiff) is a prisoner incarcerated at the Northeastern New Mexico Detention Facility. (Id. at 10.) Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis. He states that he is proceeding under 42 U.S.C. §1983 “to redress the deprivation under color of state law of rights secured by the Constitution of the United States.” (Id. at 1.) Although he does not identify, by cause number or caption, any state court criminal case, his claims appear to arise out of criminal proceedings in the state courts of New Mexico.[1] He states that “[o]n June 24, 2002, a guilty plea was entered at a hearing in front of the Honorable Jay W. Forbes and on March 18, 2002, I was convicted pursuant to that plea agreement.” (Id. at 5.) Plaintiff claims that he was sentenced on June 24, 2002, and that the sentence imposed was illegal. (Id. at 6.) He also claims a correction was made to the sentence in 2007. (Id.)

         Plaintiff names as Defendants the New Mexico District Attornies (sic) Office, Deputy District Attorney Leslie Williams, and Floyd D. “Terry” Haake, a prosecutor with the District Attorney's Office. (Id. at 1.) Plaintiff contends:

27.) Upon information and belief, Defendant's NMDA's Office, Williams and Haake had a duty to ensure that they did their job to the best of their ability while maintaining lawfull conduct
28.) Upon information and belief, Defendants NMDA's Office, Williams, and Haake did commit deliberate indifference and negligence resulting in cruel and unusual punishment by making certain charges ‘serious violent offenses' (SVO.) The sentence got extended 15 years when in fact they were not SVO charges.
29.) Upon information and belief, Defendants NMDA's Office, Williams and Haake's reckless disreguard for established sentencing guidelines violated Plaintiff's constitutional right to a fair trial
30.) Upon information and belief, Defendants, NMDA's Office, Williams and Haake consious discsion to ignore the law enabled deliberate indifference and cruel and unusual punishment of Plaintiff, directly and proximately cause the Constitutional deprivation resulting in Plaintiffs mental abuse and psychological problems.

(Id. at 7.[2]) Plaintiff seeks relief in the form of a declaratory judgment that Defendants' actions violated his constitutional rights, modification of his sentence, compensatory damages, and injunctive relief. (Id. at 8.)

         II. Standard for Failure to State a Claim

         Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis. The Court has the discretion to dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint sua sponte for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted under either Rule 12(b)(6) or 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). A claim should be dismissed where it is legally or factually insufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).

         Under Rule 12(b)(6) the Court must accept all well-pled factual allegations, but not conclusory, unsupported allegations, and may not consider matters outside the pleading. Id. at 555; Dunn v. White, 880 F.2d 1188, 1190 (10th Cir. 1989). The Court may dismiss a complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim if “it is ‘patently obvious' that the plaintiff could not prevail on the facts alleged.” Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1109 (10th Cir. 1991) (quoting McKinney v. Okla. Dep't of Human Servs., 925 F.2d 363, 365 (10th Cir. 1991)). A plaintiff must allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.

         Under § 1915(e)(2)(B) the Court may dismiss the complaint at any time if the court determines the action fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(2). The authority granted by § 1915 permits the Court the unusual power to pierce the veil of the complaint's factual allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are clearly baseless. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989); see also Hall, 935 F.2d at 1109. The authority to “pierce the veil of the complaint's factual allegations” means that a court is not bound, as it usually is when making a determination based solely on the pleadings, to accept without question the truth of the plaintiff's allegations. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992). The Court is not ...


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