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Williams v. Chesapeake Circuit Court

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

February 20, 2018



          John A. Gibney, Jr.United States District Judge

         Antonio Eric Williams, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this "Petition of Writ Mandamus." ("Petition, " ECF No. 6).[1] The matter is before the Court for evaluation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.


         Pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA") this Court must dismiss any action filed by a prisoner if the Court determines the action (1) "is frivolous" or (2) "fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); see 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. The first standard includes claims based upon '"an indisputably meritless legal theory, '" or claims where the "'factual contentions are clearly baseless.'" Clay v. Yates, 809 F.Supp. 417, 427 (E.D. Va. 1992) (quoting Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989)). The second standard is the familiar standard for a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).

         "A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of a complaint; importantly, it does not resolve contests surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the applicability of defenses." Republican Party of KC. v. Martin, 980 F.2d 943, 952 (4th Cir. 1992) (citing 5A Charles A. Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1356 (1990)). In considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a plaintiffs well-pleaded allegations are taken as true and the complaint is viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari, 7 F.3d 1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993); see also Martin, 980 F.2d at 952. This principle applies only to factual allegations, however, and "a court considering a motion to dismiss can choose to begin by identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure "require[ ] only 'a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ' in order to 'give the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" Bell Ail. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (second alteration in original) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). Plaintiffs cannot satisfy this standard with complaints containing only "labels and conclusions" or a "formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action." Id. (citations omitted). Instead, a plaintiff must allege facts sufficient "to raise a right to relief above the speculative level, " id. (citation omitted), stating a claim that is "plausible on its face, " id. at 570, rather than merely "conceivable." Id. "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Bell Ail. Corp., 550 U.S. at 556). In order for a claim or complaint to survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, the plaintiff must "allege facts sufficient to state all the elements of [his or] her claim." Bass v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 324 F.3d 761, 765 (4th Cir. 2003) (citing Dickson v. Microsoft Corp., 309 F.3d 193, 213 (4th Cir. 2002); Iodice v. United States, 289 F.3d 270, 281 (4th Cir. 2002)). Lastly, while the Court liberally construes pro se complaints, Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978), it will not act as the inmate's advocate and develop, sua sponte, statutory and constitutional claims that the inmate failed to clearly raise on the face of his complaint. See Brock v. Carroll, 107 F.3d 241, 243 (4th Cir. 1997) (Luttig, J., concurring); Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985).


         In his Petition, Williams states:[2]

Petitioner [was] arrested on (1) count of grand larceny in July of 2007 and spent from 9-2-2008 to 9-29-2008 locked up on that charge, and the original sentence from 2007 were imposed as follows. The court imposed a sentence of (5) years with (5) years suspended. Indeterminate supervised probation (3) years good behavior.
[In] March of 2010 the original sentence [was] revoked, and up that violation Judge Brown re-suspended the (5) years and ordered that the petitioner successfully complete a minimum of fourteen months in the youth challenge program and the petitioner spent from 3-10-2010 to 7-01-2010 locked up awaiting trial for that probation violation.
On March 8, 2011, the original sentence was revoked again and up on that violation Judge Smith imposed a sentence of (5) years and suspended (1) year which left petitioner (4) years to serve upon successful completion of the behavioral correctional program, in which the petitioner ended up serving the whole (4) year[] sentence and [was] released from prison on June 9, 2014, from Indian Creek Prison, with (2) year supervised probation.
The petitioner is still contesting that he shouldn't still be on a (5) year probation sentence from 2008 in 2017, since when [was] time (stopped) or (halted). Petitioner thought that all time spent in confinement supposed to be credited pursuant to Code 53.1-187. And if it is legal to keep petitioner on a (5) year probation from (2008), the petitioner's probation [was] revoked in 2016 and Chesapeake Circuit Court is trying to impose a (1) year sentence.
But how is that so when the petitioner [was] incarcerated from 9-2-2008 to 9-29-2008 on the original sentence and 3-10-2010 to 7-01-2010, and 3-08-2011 to 6-9-2014. The petitioner is again contesting that if it is legal to have petitioner on a (5) year probation from (2008) without adding any extra time on sentence that he shouldn't owe Chesapeake Circuit Court a (1) [year] of active time because of all the time that [was] spent in confinement on the probation violation ...

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