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John Alan CONROY, Appellant, v. Hardy L. WILKERSON and the Howard County District Attorney's Office, Appellees.
Appellant John Alan Conroy, a pro se federal inmate, appeals the dismissal of his lawsuit against Appellees Hardy L. Wilkerson (“Wilkerson”) and the Howard County District Attorney's Office (“HCDA's Office”) (collectively, “Appellees”). The trial court granted Appellees' plea to the jurisdiction and dismissed Conroy's claims with prejudice.1
We affirm the trial court's ruling.
A. Factual Background
On July 3, 2010, Conroy was arrested by state officials and transported to the Texas Department of Public Safety (“TDPS”) Office in Fort Stockton, where he was interrogated by three individuals—two Texas Rangers and Investigator Jim Rider from the HCDA's Office. In his briefing on appeal and his pleadings below, Conroy asserts that the interrogation was recorded “by either [TDPS] or Pecos County,” and that the recording is currently in the possession of TDPS.
During the interrogation, Conroy consented to a search of his residence and trailer. Based on evidence discovered during the search, a federal arrest warrant was issued on July 19, 2010, and Conroy was re-arrested the following day. The record before us indicates that Conroy was interrogated for a second time on July 20, 2010, this time by Immigration and Custom Enforcement (I.C.E.) officers; that he again confessed and consented to an additional search, pursuant to which further evidence was obtained; that he acknowledged his prior confession and consent to search the trailer and electronic media and had provided his passwords; and that the July 20, 2010 interrogation was recorded and produced during Conroy's federal criminal proceeding.
Conroy was charged with the federal crimes of Production of Child Pornography and Receiving a Visual Depiction of a Minor Engaging in Sexually Explicit Conduct, to which he pleaded guilty in December 2010. See United States v. Conroy, No. 10-cr-041-C-BG, Doc. 271 (N.D. Tex. 2011). In March 2011, he was sentenced to 405 months in federal prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release. Id. at Doc. 36.
Conroy was also indicted on four state felony counts. However, in light of his federal conviction and incarceration, the four state felony indictments were dismissed in April 2014.
B. Conroy's Public Information Requests
According to Conroy, after he was convicted and sentenced, he discovered for the first time that the July 3, 2010 interrogation video had not been produced to his federal public defender.2 He then embarked on a series of unsuccessful attempts to procure the video via multiple public information requests to several entities, including TDPS, the HCDA's Office, and the Texas Rangers. TDPS and the Texas Rangers declined to process his requests pursuant to Section 552.028 of the Texas Government Code, which provides that entities are not required to comply with information requests from incarcerated individuals or their non-attorney agents. Tex. Gov't Code Ann. § 552.028. The HCDA's Office indicated that it was not the proper recipient of Conroy's request and did not have possession of the video.
After enlisting the assistance of an investigator at the federal public defender's office in approximately August 2015, Conroy was advised that the HCDA's Office, the Fort Stockton TDPS Office, and the Texas Rangers had all conducted searches for the July 3, 2010 interrogation video, and all had confirmed that they were unable to locate any video or audio recording of the interrogation.
In early 2017, Conroy hired an attorney to submit additional public information requests for the video on his behalf. The attorney submitted open records requests to the HCDA's Office, TDPS, and the Big Springs Police Department. The HCDA's Office again responded that the video was not in its possession. TDPS responded that responsive records had been located and were being withheld pending an opinion from the Attorney General regarding whether they should be produced. The Attorney General subsequently issued an opinion that the withholding of the records was proper under Texas law.
C. Conroy's Post-Conviction Litigation
Conroy has also filed numerous pro se legal actions against various defendants in multiple state and federal courts, with the apparent ultimate objective of challenging his federal conviction.3 In virtually all of these lawsuits, as in this case, Conroy has complained that the video recording from his July 3, 2010 interrogation was improperly withheld from disclosure during the federal criminal proceedings, and he sought to compel its production.4
D. Procedural History
Conroy filed this lawsuit against Wilkerson (the current District Attorney for Howard County) and TDPS in October 2016. In his original complaint, Conroy asserted that he had only recently learned of the existence of the July 3, 2010 interrogation video, which had never been provided to him or to his criminal defense counsel. Conroy's complaint claimed that the continued withholding of the alleged video denied him an opportunity to file a proper appeal of his conviction, and generally sought injunctive relief for violations of his due process rights under the Constitution of the United States.
Conroy later filed an amended complaint (his live pleading on file at the time of dismissal), in which he repeated and expanded upon his allegations against Wilkerson, asserted claims against the HCDA's Office, and dropped his claims against TDPS. The amended complaint alleged multiple federal and state constitutional violations arising out of Investigator Rider's alleged conduct during the July 3, 2010 interrogation, along with violations arising from an alleged failure to disclose to Conroy the existence of the interrogation video, which Conroy asserted was in the possession of TDPS. The amended complaint again sought to compel the production of the interrogation video, along with a total of $80 million in compensatory and punitive damages for the alleged violations of Conroy's constitutional rights.
Wilkerson and the HCDA's Office filed an original answer and a plea to the jurisdiction, contending that Conroy's claims were barred as a matter of law under Heck v. Humphrey,5 asserting absolute prosecutorial and governmental immunity, and raising the defense of limitations. As an exhibit to their plea, Appellees attached an order from another case filed by Conroy,6 in which the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois recounted Conroy's extensive post-conviction litigation history, dismissed his claims, and assessed him a fourth “strike” under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
Conroy filed a response to the plea to the jurisdiction, asserting his belief that he had “pending” or “forthcoming” state criminal charges against him and needed to obtain discovery through this case in order to prepare a defense; that prosecutorial immunity is limited for investigative functions; and that the statute of limitations should be tolled.
After a non-evidentiary hearing (in which Conroy participated telephonically), the trial court granted Appellees' plea to the jurisdiction and entered judgment dismissing all of Conroy's claims with prejudice. Conroy filed a motion for reconsideration, again asserting that his lawsuit was an attempt to “see[k] the production of all discovery in preparation for a def[e]nse to criminal charges brought by the [S]tate of Texas.” The record before us does not indicate whether the motion was expressly ruled upon or denied by operation of law.
Conroy appealed to the Eleventh Court of Appeals, and the Texas Supreme Court subsequently transferred the appeal to this Court.
II. Issue on Appeal
Although Conroy's briefing does not include a section stating the issue(s) presented for review as required by Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 38.1(f), we are mindful of our duty to construe appellate briefs “reasonably, yet liberally, so that the right to appellate review is not lost by waiver” and to “reach the merits of an appeal whenever reasonably possible.” Perry v. Cohen, 272 S.W.3d 585, 587 (Tex. 2008) (per curiam). Accordingly, we will construe the arguments made by Conroy in the body of his brief as presenting his appellate issue(s).
The argument section of Conroy's brief is divided into seven sections, as follows: (I) District Court Failed to File Entire Record; (II) Failure to Issue any Subpoenas; (III) Failure to Allow Deposition of Christine Everette; (IV) Dismissal of Discovery and Evidence With Prejudice Violates Due Process; (V) Lack of State Laws or Resources; (VI) Lack of Communication or Cooperation From the Court; and (VII) Using Threat of Death to Elicit a Confession. As we explain below, it appears that several of these sections—specifically, sections (I), (II), (III), (V), and (VI)—attempt to raise issues that are either beyond the scope of this Court's review or are otherwise immaterial to this appeal, and therefore cannot be considered by the Court.
Construing Conroy's pleadings liberally,7 we interpret the arguments in sections (IV) and (VII) of his brief as raising a single valid appellate issue; namely, whether the trial court had subject-matter jurisdiction over his lawsuit. Conroy's arguments on this issue generally appear to be that the trial court had subject-matter jurisdiction because (1) all his state and federal constitutional claims are framed as arising out of the investigation and prosecution of only state criminal charges (both the actual charges that were brought against him in the past and dismissed in 2014, and hypothetical charges that could potentially be brought in the future), and therefore should be viewed as entirely unrelated to his federal conviction; (2) his claims against Investigator Rider are not barred by prosecutorial immunity because they implicate conduct that occurred during an investigation; and (3) he is entitled to compel the production of the interrogation video in this civil case in order to prepare a defense for state criminal charges that he believes to be either “pending” or potentially “forthcoming[.]”
Countering, Appellees contend that the trial court did not have jurisdiction because (1) Conroy's claims are barred as a matter of law by the favorable termination rule as set forth in Heck v. Humphrey; (2) Appellees are protected from Conroy's claims by prosecutorial and governmental immunity; and (3) Conroy's claims are barred by limitations.
We address each of these arguments in turn below.
III. Standard of Review
We review a trial court's ruling on a plea to the jurisdiction de novo. Texas Dept. of Parks and Wildlife v. Miranda, 133 S.W.3d 217, 226 (Tex. 2004). Whether a court has jurisdiction over a particular case is a question of law. Id. The plaintiff has the burden of alleging facts that affirmatively demonstrate the trial court's jurisdiction. Tex. Ass'n of Bus. v. Tex. Air Control Bd., 852 S.W.2d 440, 446 (Tex. 1993). In reviewing a ruling on a plea to the jurisdiction, we do not consider the merits of the case; our review is limited to the pleadings and evidence that are pertinent to the jurisdictional inquiry. Miranda, 133 S.W.3d at 227.
We begin with the live pleadings. Heckman v. Williamson Cty., 369 S.W.3d 137, 150 (Tex. 2012). We may also consider evidence submitted to negate the existence of jurisdiction—and we must consider such evidence when necessary to resolve the jurisdictional issue. Id.; Bland Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Blue, 34 S.W.3d 547, 555 (Tex. 2000). We construe the plaintiff's pleadings liberally, taking all factual assertions as true. Heckman, 369 S.W.3d at 150; Miranda, 133 S.W.3d at 226. We must grant the plea to the jurisdiction if the plaintiff's pleadings affirmatively negate the existence of jurisdiction. Heckman, 369 S.W.3d at 150; Miranda, 133 S.W.3d at 227. And we must grant the plea if the defendant presents undisputed evidence that negates the existence of the court's jurisdiction. Heckman, 369 S.W.3d at 150; Miranda, 133 S.W.3d at 227.
As a preliminary matter, we note that although Conroy has attempted to artfully frame this case as a suit for monetary damages arising out of constitutional violations, it is fairly clear from his pleadings that his primary objective in this lawsuit is to obtain the July 3, 2010 interrogation video. It is also apparent from Conroy's pleadings that his ultimate goal is to use the video as the basis for further challenges to his federal criminal conviction.8 After repeated admonishments from multiple courts that he cannot circumvent the rules by using a civil action to compel the production of evidence for the purpose of a collateral attack on his federal criminal conviction, Conroy now claims that he needs the video in order to prepare a defense in a hypothetical state criminal case that may be brought against him in the future if his federal charges are overturned. His theory appears to be as follows: If he can obtain a copy of the interrogation video, he believes he will be able to use it to successfully challenge his federal conviction. Once he has been cleared of his federal charges and released from prison, his dismissed state charges could potentially be reinstated against him.9 Therefore, he contends that he is entitled to compel production of the interrogation video through this civil action, so that he can begin to prepare his defense for the hypothetical, future state criminal case.
A. Matters beyond the scope of this appeal.
Before proceeding to the merits, we briefly turn to Conroy's arguments found in sections (I), (II), (III), (V), and (VI) of his brief. All of these arguments are either outside the scope of the Court's review or are otherwise immaterial to this appeal.
In sections (I), (II), (III), and (VI), Conroy complains that the trial court, the court clerk, or both have failed to file a supplemental clerk's record that included his motion seeking a deposition 10 and a hearing transcript from a separate lawsuit in a different court; failed to issue requested subpoenas; failed to order a deposition requested by Conroy; and failed to “cooperat[e]” with Conroy regarding these requests. None of these complaints have any impact on the issue of jurisdiction. Discovery-related complaints are not relevant to a jurisdictional inquiry, and the hearing transcript is unnecessary in light of our duty to construe Conroy's pleadings liberally and treat all factual assertions therein as true. As a result, there is no need for the Court to address these complaints here. See Tex. R. App. P. 47.1.
In section (V), Conroy complains that his lack of access to resources for researching Texas state law while in federal prison in Illinois is unconstitutional. This Court does not have jurisdiction over the internal policies of a federal penitentiary, and therefore cannot consider this claim.
To the extent the arguments described above were intended to raise appellate issues, they are all overruled.
B. The favorable termination rule bars all of Conroy's federal constitutional claims.
Conroy argues that the trial court had subject-matter jurisdiction over his case because all of his claims are framed as arising out of state criminal charges only, and therefore should be viewed as entirely unrelated to his federal conviction. We find that Conroy's claims—regardless of how they are framed—are inherently inconsistent with the validity of his federal criminal conviction, and are thus precluded by federal case law.
Conroy's lawsuit raises several federal constitutional claims, including allegations that the failure to disclose potentially exculpatory evidence (i.e., the interrogation video) deprived him of due process, and that his confession and consent to search were the product of unlawful coercion.11
Civil rights claims for federal constitutional violations by state actors, such as both Appellees here, are governed by 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Section 1983 allows individuals to sue state government officials and others acting under color of state law for civil rights claims arising out of violations of federal law. 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
However, an individual who has been convicted of a crime cannot bring a section 1983 case that involves allegations which are inconsistent with the validity of his criminal conviction, unless he proves that the conviction or sentence “has been reversed on direct appeal, expunged by executive order, declared invalid by a state tribunal authorized to make such determination, or called into question by a federal court's issuance of a writ of habeas corpus.” Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87, 114 S.Ct. 2364, 129 L.Ed.2d 383 (1994).12 Originally set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in Heck v. Humphrey, this doctrine has also come to be known as the “favorable termination” rule. 512 U.S. 477, 114 S.Ct. 2364; see Sappington v. Bartee, 195 F.3d 234, 235 (5th Cir. 1999) (per curiam). It applies to all claims for “harm caused by actions whose unlawfulness would render a conviction or sentence invalid․” Sappington, 195 F.3d at 235. Although some jurisdictions limit the application of the doctrine to claims for money damages only, in the Fifth Circuit and Texas federal courts it is applied to claims for injunctive relief as well. See, e.g., Kutzner v. Montgomery County, 303 F.3d 339, 340-41 (5th Cir. 2002); Mauro, 735 F.Supp.2d at 618.
Conroy contends that he is only seeking relief for his federal constitutional claims in the context of his state criminal charges. According to Conroy, this distinction makes it impossible for the relief sought to implicate his federal conviction, thereby rendering the Heck doctrine “inapplicable and irrelevant” to his claims. We disagree. A plaintiff cannot circumvent the favorable termination rule through artful pleading, or by simply asserting that he does not intend to challenge his underlying conviction. Aucoin v. Cupil, 958 F.3d 379, 383 (5th Cir. 2020), cert. denied, ––– U.S. ––––, 141 S.Ct. 567, 208 L.Ed.2d 183 (2020) (citing Okoro v. Callaghan, 324 F.3d 488, 490 (7th Cir. 2003) (“It is irrelevant that [a plaintiff] disclaims any intention of challenging his conviction; if he makes allegations that are inconsistent with the conviction's having been valid, Heck kicks in and bars his civil suit.”)). The only relevant inquiry is whether the allegations in the section 1983 claim are based on conduct that would undermine the validity of the conviction if the conduct was found to be unlawful. Id.; Sappington, 195 F.3d at 235. If so, the section 1983 claim is Heck-barred. Sappington, 195 F.3d at 235; Aucoin, 958 F.3d at 383.
All of Conroy's section 1983 allegations in this case are inconsistent with the validity of his underlying federal conviction. Conroy's federal due process claim for failure to disclose the interrogation video is a Brady claim.13 Brady claims cannot be raised in a section 1983 action because they inherently attack the integrity of the underlying criminal proceedings. Skinner v. Switzer, 562 U.S. 521, 536-37, 131 S.Ct. 1289, 179 L.Ed.2d 233 (2011) (noting that “a Brady claim, when successful postconviction, necessarily yields evidence undermining a conviction: Brady evidence is, by definition, always favorable to the defendant and material to his guilt or punishment”). And Conroy's allegations that the July 3, 2010 confession and consent were unlawfully coerced are also necessarily inconsistent with the validity of his conviction—indeed, Conroy has already made repeated attempts to challenge his conviction on this very basis, through his myriad collateral attacks. See, e.g., Conroy v. Henry, No. 16-CV-750-JPG, 2017 WL 1346636, at *6 (S.D. Ill. Apr. 12, 2017) (reaching same conclusion about similar allegations by Conroy against other defendants, including claim for failure to produce the July 3, 2010 interrogation video).
Because Conroy's federal constitutional claims are clearly inconsistent with the validity of his underlying conviction and Conroy has not shown that his conviction has been reversed, expunged, invalidated, or called into question by a federal habeas writ, these claims are barred by the favorable termination rule and the trial court does not have jurisdiction to consider them.14 The trial court did not err in granting Appellees' plea to the jurisdiction as to these claims.
C. Money damages are not available for state constitutional violations.
Section 1983 does not authorize claims for state constitutional violations, and Texas does not have an equivalent state statute. There is neither a private right of action nor a common-law cause of action for money damages arising out of violations of the Texas Constitution. City of Beaumont v. Bouillion, 896 S.W.2d 143, 148-49 (Tex. 1995); City of Elsa v. M.A.L., 226 S.W.3d 390, 391 (Tex. 2007) (per curiam); Favero v. Huntsville Ind. Sch. Dist., 939 F.Supp. 1281, 1296 (S.D. Tex. 1996) (citing cases finding Bouillion's holding not limited to the specific state constitutional provisions at issue in that case); Haynes v. City of Beaumont, 35 S.W.3d 166, 182 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2000, no pet.) (same); Jackson v. Houston Indep. Sch. Dist., 994 S.W.2d 396, 400-01 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1999, no pet.) (same).
All of Conroy's state constitutional claims except his claim for failure to disclose the interrogation video are claims for money damages. Because money damages are not available for state constitutional violations, the trial court had no authority to consider any of these claims, and therefore did not err in granting Appellees' plea to the jurisdiction on each of Conroy's claims for money damages arising out of state constitutional violations.15
D. Conroy has failed to state a justiciable claim for injunctive relief that will remedy an actual or imminent harm.
Conroy's only remaining claim is for injunctive relief based on the alleged deprivation of due process arising out of the failure to disclose the July 3, 2010 interrogation video. Claims for injunctive relief to remedy state constitutional violations are permitted. City of Elsa, 226 S.W.3d at 392 (citing Bouillion, 896 S.W.2d at 149). However, in order to establish jurisdiction, the plaintiff must still prove that a live, justiciable controversy exists between the parties, and that the relief sought will remedy an “actual or imminent harm” and not merely a hypothetical injury. Garcia v. City of Willis, 593 S.W.3d 201, 206 (Tex. 2019).
Conroy has failed to demonstrate the existence of a live, justiciable controversy between himself and Appellees that will actually be resolved by the relief he seeks, and has also failed to demonstrate that the relief he seeks will remedy an actual or imminent harm. Therefore, he has failed to establish the trial court's jurisdiction over his claim for injunctive relief.
Even a liberal construction of Conroy's pleadings compels the conclusion that there is no live controversy between the parties on this claim. At no point does Conroy allege that the interrogation video is—or ever has been—in the possession, custody, or control of either Appellee. To the contrary, he repeatedly insists that the video is in the possession, custody, and control of TDPS, and admits that he has been informed on multiple occasions, dating back to 2015, that Appellees do not have the video and thus cannot produce it. Conroy's primary complaint of “prosecutorial misconduct” appears to be that “the United States Attorney's office failed to hand over the video” during the discovery process in his federal criminal proceedings. It therefore appears that any live controversy on this matter is between Conroy and either TDPS or possibly the U.S. Attorney's office. To the extent Conroy seeks injunctive relief against TDPS or the U.S. Attorney's office, we are unable to grant it, as neither of those entities is a party to this case.
Conroy has also failed to show that the relief he seeks will remedy an “actual or imminent” harm. Conroy contends that he has been harmed in two ways: (1) the inability to use the interrogation video to challenge the validity of his federal criminal conviction; and (2) the inability to prepare a defense for a hypothetical, future state criminal trial. Neither of these constitutes “actual or imminent” harm. The former is expressly foreclosed under the favorable termination rule, as stated above, and the latter is unquestionably a hypothetical injury. And to the extent Conroy may claim that the video should have been produced to him as part of his state criminal case, he cannot show any “actual or imminent” harm, as all state charges against him were dismissed in 2014.
Conroy's argument that the Michael Morton Act (Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 39.14) created a statutory duty that compelled Appellees to produce the interrogation video to him before his state charges were officially dismissed in 2014 is misplaced. The Michael Morton Act went into effect on January 1, 2014, and only applies to offenses that were “committed on or after the effective date of this Act.” Act of May 16, 2013, 83d Leg., R.S., ch. 49 (S.B. 1611) (codified at Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 39.14). Conroy's offenses were committed in 2010 at the latest. Therefore, the Michael Morton Act is not applicable to any state criminal case arising out of these offenses.
Conroy's insistence that there are “pending” state charges against him is also incorrect. The record before us unambiguously demonstrates that all state criminal charges were dismissed in April 2014. Conroy places great significance on the following statements made by an Assistant Attorney General at a July 2018 hearing in another case, regarding the basis for the Attorney General's decision on Conroy's public information request: “[I]t's not that there are som[e]how state charges pending; ․ it's the idea that the investigation is open”; and “the investigation is open so that if Mr. Conroy is released from federal prison, the State may bring separate charges[.]” Conroy has somehow concluded from these statements that there are, in fact, currently state charges “pending” against him, and further concludes that these “pending” charges entitle him to seek criminal discovery in a civil case. We cannot agree with either of these conclusions. Hypothetical criminal charges that could potentially be brought in the future are not “pending” charges. And even if Conroy did have pending state charges against him, a civil suit is not a proper vehicle for obtaining discovery in a criminal case.
Because Conroy has failed to state a justiciable claim for injunctive relief that would remedy an actual or imminent harm, the trial court did not have subject-matter jurisdiction over his claim for injunctive relief; and therefore, it did not err in granting Appellees' plea to the jurisdiction on this claim.16
We overrule Conroy's only remaining issue.
We affirm the trial court's order of dismissal.
1. This case was transferred from the Eleventh Court of Appeals, our sister court in Eastland, and we decide it in accordance with the precedent of that court. Tex. R. App. P. 41.3.
2. Although Conroy's original complaint asserts that he only learned of the existence of the interrogation video in September 2016, our record shows that Conroy has been attempting to procure the video since at least 2013, as detailed throughout our discussion.
3. The following litigation history has been compiled from citations in the record below and publicly available court records. Case names are presented in boldface to assist readability by highlighting each individual case. Conroy v. Rider, No. 1:13-CV-149-C, 2013 WL 12092200, at *1 (N.D. Tex. Sept. 5, 2013) (not designated for publication) (dismissing 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim against Investigator Rider and two individual Texas Rangers as frivolous and time-barred); Conroy v. United States, No. 12-cv-015-C (N.D. Tex. Sept. 24, 2013) (not designated for publication) (denying initial petition to vacate sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255); Conroy v. Rider, 575 Fed. Appx. 509 (5th Cir. 2014) (per curiam) (mem. op.) (not designated for publication) (affirming dismissal of section 1983 claim against Investigator Rider and the two individual Texas Rangers, assessing two “strike[s]” under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), and denying certificate of appealability); Conroy v. Barton, No. 14-CV-74-C (N.D. Tex. June 11, 2015) (not designated for publication), motion to reconsider denied, [Doc. 19, 41] (Feb. 9, 2017) (dismissing section 1983 claim against Appellee Wilkerson, the Howard County court clerk, and Texas DPS as frivolous for failure to state a claim, assessing third “strike”); In re John Alan Conroy, No. 14-10643 (5th Cir. Oct. 29, 2014, orig. proceeding) (not designated for publication) (denying first petition for permission to file subsequent section 2255 petition); Conroy v. Walton, No. 15-00528-DRH, 2015 WL 4406984 (S.D. Ill. July 20, 2015, orig. proceeding) (not designated for publication) (dismissing with prejudice Conroy's first petition for writ of habeas corpus, which alleged Brady violations on grounds that the victim's medical exam proved the victim's reported injuries were false and that his consent to search and subsequent confession were coerced); In re John Alan Conroy, No. 16-10027 (5th Cir. Mar. 16, 2016, orig. proceeding) (not designated for publication) (denying second petition for permission to file subsequent section 2255 petition); Conroy v. United States, No. 16-CV-00750-SMY, 2016 WL 6610429 (S.D. Ill. Nov. 9, 2016) (not designated for publication) (dismissing Eighth Amendment suit based on harassment by fellow inmate who had accessed publicly available records regarding Conroy's conviction, for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted); Conroy v. Henry, No. 16-cv-750-SMY, 2016 WL 7337979, at *2 (S.D. Ill. Dec. 19, 2016) (not designated for publication) (denying motion to proceed with harassment suit anonymously or to seal entire case record; further noting that amended complaint sought “to relitigate Plaintiff's previous habeas petitions, as well as his § 1983 action”); Conroy v. Henry, No. 16-cv-750-JPG, 2017 WL 1346636 (S.D. Ill. Apr. 12, 2017) (not designated for publication) (dismissing claim against Big Spring Police Department, individual BSPD detective, individual Texas Ranger, Texas Department of Public Safety, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), individual ICE officer, public defender, U.S. Attorney, probation officer, clerk of court, and presiding judge, for allegations including failure to produce the July 3, 2010 interrogation recording); In re John Alan Conroy, No. 17-10402 (5th Cir. May 31, 2017, orig. proceeding) (not designated for publication) (denying third petition for permission to file subsequent section 2255 petition); Conroy v. True, No. 3:17-cv-00671-DRH, 2017 WL 3422055 (S.D. Ill. Aug. 9, 2017) (not designated for publication) (dismissing with prejudice Conroy's second petition for writ of habeas corpus based on alleged failure to produce interrogation video, for failure to state a claim that qualified for habeas relief); Conroy v. Harris, No. 07-18-00381-CV, 2019 WL 1908130 (Tex. App.—Amarillo Apr. 29, 2019, pet. denied) (mem. op.), cert. denied, ––– U.S. ––––, 140 S.Ct. 1147, 206 L.Ed.2d 201 (2020) (affirming dismissal with prejudice of claims against Pecos County Sheriff individually, Pecos County Sheriff's Department, and Pecos County).
4. It is further noted that Conroy has exceeded the federal three-strike limit imposed by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g) on prisoner actions that are found to be frivolous, malicious, or fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, due to his repeated attempts to pursue this objective in the federal courts. See Conroy, 575 Fed. Appx. at 509 (assessing two strikes); Conroy v. Barton, No. 14-cv-74-C, Doc. 1 (assessing third strike); Conroy, 2017 WL 1346636, at *7 (assessing fourth strike).
5. 512 U.S. 477, 486, 114 S.Ct. 2364, 129 L.Ed.2d 383 (1994).
6. Conroy, 2017 WL 1346636.
7. For purposes of this review, we consider the pro se plaintiff's pleadings “by standards less stringent than those applied to formal pleadings drafted by lawyers[.]” Camacho v. Rosales, 511 S.W.3d 82, 86 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2014, no pet.).
8. Conroy's primary complaints appear to be that his July 3, 2010 confession and consent to search were coerced and therefore invalid, and that the video of his interrogation on that date (1) exists and (2) will prove the coercion.
9. We observe that a successful challenge to Appellant's federal criminal conviction is still a necessary prerequisite for his new approach.
10. It appears that this motion was, in fact, included in the clerk's record filed with this Court.
11. Conroy's brief also appears to indicate that he believes there were constitutional violations related to the scope of the search that was conducted on July 3, 2010. However, that issue was not raised in Conroy's pleadings below and has thus been waived. See Tex. R. App. P. 33.1(a)(1).
12. Although the Heck case involved a claim by a state prisoner, its holding has expressly been applied to claims brought by federal prisoners as well. See, e.g., Mauro v. Freeland, 735 F.Supp.2d 607, 617-19 (S.D. Tex. 2009).
13. See Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963) (holding that prosecutors have a duty to disclose evidence favorable to defendants if the evidence is material to either guilt or punishment).
14. Because we find that these claims are barred by the favorable termination rule, we need not address the issues of immunity or limitations with regard to these claims.
15. Because we decide this issue based on the unavailability of the relief sought by Conroy, we need not address the issues of the favorable termination rule or limitations with regard to these claims.
16. Because we find that Conroy has failed to state a justiciable claim for injunctive relief, we need not address the issues of the favorable termination rule, immunity, or limitations with regard to this claim.
GINA M. PALAFOX, Justice
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Docket No: No. 08-19-00160-CV
Decided: May 14, 2021
Court: Court of Appeals of Texas, El Paso.
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