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Handlon v. United States

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division

May 26, 2017

QUINTON PAUL HANDLON, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, STATE OF FLORIDA, CHARLOTTE COUNTY, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, CHARLOTTE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, SEAN M. DAVOLI, KEVIN T. CONNOLLY, JOSEPH SOUSA, CHRISTOPHER TISSOT, MICHELLE A. THIBEAULT, BRITTNEY THIBEAULT, JODIE PAGE, JODY A. PAGE, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, TAMA CALDARONE, LINDA MCNAMARA, JAMES LAPPAN, and MARTIN DEROVANESIAN, Defendants.

          ORDER OF DISMISSAL

          JOHN E. STEELE, Judge

         This matter comes before the Court upon the civil rights complaint filed by Quinton Paul Handlon (“Plaintiff”), an inmate at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman, Florida pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971)[1] (Doc. 1, filed May 18, 2017).

         Plaintiff seeks to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 5). Therefore, this Court must review his complaint to determine whether it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii). Upon review, the Court concludes that Plaintiff does not state a cognizable federal civil rights claim against any defendant. Therefore, his complaint is dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), (iii).

         I. Complaint

         Plaintiff asserts, without elaboration, that he raises claims under the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the United States Constitution (Doc. 1 at 3). Plaintiff also asserts that he raises a claim under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) (holding that the prosecution must turn over all exculpatory evidence to the defense). He names as defendants the United States of America, the State of Florida, Charlotte County, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Charlotte County Sheriff's Department, Deputy Sean Davoli, Detective Kevin Connolly, Detective Joseph Sousa, Detective Christopher Tissot, Michelle A. Thibeault, Brittney Thibeault, FBI-TFO Jodie Page, FBI-TFO Jody A. Page, the United States Attorney General's Office, U.S. Attorney Tama Caldarone, U.S. Attorney Linda McNamara, Federal Public Defender James Lappan, and Public Defender Martin DerOvanesian (Doc. 1 at 2-5).

         Plaintiff does not actually set forth the substance of his constitutional civil rights claims in his complaint.[2] Rather, he directs the Court to numerous attached documents and emails that he believes prove his innocence of the crimes for which he was convicted: producing child pornography, coercing and enticing a minor for the production of child pornography, and possession of child pornography. See criminal case number 2:13-cr-145-FtM-29CM.

         Notably, Plaintiff has already challenged his criminal conviction by filing a virtually identical pleading and these same supporting documents in a 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion, which is currently pending before this Court. See Case Number 2:16-cv-813-FtM-29CM (“Habeas Petition”). In his Habeas Petition, Plaintiff raises the following claims:

In Ground One, Plaintiff asserts that an illegal search and seizure occurred because law enforcement had photographs of messages from two Facebook accounts, but pursued a Gmail account where none of the photographs were found in the nearly 300 emails collected. Plaintiff argues that no effort was made to trace the IP address for the origin of the emails. Plaintiff further argues that he tried to raise the issue earlier but his trial and appellate attorneys refused to do so.
In Ground Two, Plaintiff argues that there was a bad faith destruction of relevant evidence because the real Gmail user deleted the emails after finding out that law enforcement would read them, and law enforcement failed to collect the IP address to prove who really sent the emails, claiming they only made printed copies of the emails and not the page providing the sender's information. Plaintiff argues that he tried to raise this earlier but his trial attorneys refused to raise the issue.
In Ground Three, Plaintiff asserts that trial counsel and appellate counsel were ineffective because they refused to raise certain issues, or “check alibis, etc.” Plaintiff asserts that his attorneys effectively aided the government, and were parties to a conspiracy to commit fraud upon the Court. Plaintiff asserts that he has vital exculpatory evidence that was kept out of trial and withheld from the jury.
In Ground Four, Plaintiff asserts a Brady violation, arguing that there must have been additional emails with attachments that were not turned over. Plaintiff argues that there are at least two emails that were withheld by the government that would have shown that he was innocent and not the author of the other emails.

         Habeas Petition at 4-9. Presumably, these are the same claims raised in the instant civil rights complaint.

         As compensation for his allegedly unconstitutional arrest and conviction, Plaintiff seeks damages in the amount of $7, 826.09 per minute per defendant, starting from May 8, 2013 at 7:30 a.m. (Doc. 1 at 7).[3]

         II. Legal Standards

         A federal district court is required to review a civil complaint filed in forma pauperis and dismiss any such complaint that is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915. The mandatory language of 28 U.S.C. § 1915 applies to all proceedings in forma pauperis. Section 1915 provides:

Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that-(A) the allegation of poverty is untrue; or
(B) the action or appeal-(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune ...

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