Jackson v. Barnes

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 04-15-2014
  • Case #: 09-55763
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Reinhardt for the Court; Circuit Judges Wardlaw and Canby
  • Full Text Opinion

A claim brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 is not barred if the second conviction will not be affected, even if the damages are nominal because the prisoner was serving time for an unrelated conviction.

Fredrick Jackson was convicted in 1995 of rape and first-degree murder. After his arrest, Jackson was not read his Miranda rights by the arresting officer, Sergeant Michael Barnes (“Barnes”) of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department. Jackson was convicted using his statements. The court later reversed his conviction because his Miranda rights were violated. Jackson was convicted in a second trial without the use of the statements. Between the first and second trial, Jackson brought a § 1983 suit against Sergeant Barnes, the Ventura County Sherriff’s Office, and the Ventura District Attorney’s Office for violation of his Fifth Amendment rights. The district court dismissed Jackson’s claim on the grounds that the claim was barred by Heck v. Humphry and the suit was time barred. On appeal, the panel found that Jackson’s case was not barred under Heck because if Jackson won his § 1983 suit it would not affect his second conviction. The panel also found that the claim was not time barred because Jackson filed his claim 6 months after his conviction was overturned, well within the statute of limitations. Under his § 1983 suit, Jackson could receive nominal damages, even though he was still in prison for the rape charge. Next, Jackson, in his pleading, was able to show that the Sheriff’s Department was liable under Monell because the Sheriff’s Department knew or should have known about the sergeant’s routine conduct of violating apprehended suspect’s Fifth Amendment rights to obtain a confession. Lastly, the court upheld the district court’s dismissal of Jackson’s claim against the District Attorney’s Office for taking illegal actions during his first prosecution, but instructed the court to allow Jackson time to amend his complaint. REVERSED and REMANDED

Advanced Search