CA6: Ptf’s guilty plea after losing suppression motion wasn’t collateral estoppel to § 1983 and Heck not implicated

Plaintiff sued over his body cavity search that was part of his state case. He litigated and lost in state trial court then pled guilty. His federal action does not implicate his conviction, and it can proceed under Heck v. Humphrey. Moreover, this case is not barred by collateral estoppel. The district court erred in dismissing. Remanded. Wiggins v. Metro. Gov’t of Nashville & Davidson County, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 21913 (6th Cir. May 8, 2017) (this is an order not an opinion, so it doesn’t appear on court’s opinion search):

Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), also does not bar Wiggins’s § 1983 and § 1985 claims alleging that the body-cavity search violated his constitutional rights. Heck bars “§ 1983 damages actions that necessarily require the plaintiff to prove the unlawfulness of his conviction” unless the conviction has already been declared invalid by a state or federal tribunal. 512 U.S. at 486-87. In this case, Wiggins does not raise any § 1983 (or §1985) claims that attack the validity of his conviction for selling drugs. Instead, he alleges that he was forced to undergo a body-cavity search without his consent and in violation of his constitutional rights. The charges stemming from the drugs recovered during the alleged body-cavity search, possession with intent to distribute cocaine (Count One), did not result in a conviction. As a result, Wiggins’s challenge to the constitutionality of the body-cavity search does not “require him to prove the unlawfulness of his conviction” and does not run afoul of Heck. Id.; see also Muhammad v. Close, 540 U.S. 749 (2004) (per curiam) (holding that if a plaintiff raises a claim on which habeas relief could not have been granted, Heck does not bar the claim); Butler v. Compton, 482 F.3d 1277, 1280-81 (10th Cir. 2007) (“Mr. Butler’s § 1983 action seeks compensatory and punitive damages based on conduct that occurred during an arrest by Officer Compton that resulted in two burglary charges. Mr. Butler was not convicted on those charges because they were dismissed as part of a plea agreement. There is no related underlying conviction therefore that could be invalidated by Mr. Butler’s § 1983 action. Moreover, the purpose behind Heck is not implicated here because there is no attempt by Mr. Butler to avoid the pleading requirements of habeas. He cannot bring a habeas action because he has no conviction to challenge. Mr. Butler’s conviction on unrelated charges may not form the basis for the application of Heck where there is no challenge to that conviction in Mr. Butler’s § 1983 action.”).

Therefore, neither collateral estoppel nor Heck bar Wiggins’s § 1983 or § 1985 claims. The district court erred when it held that it lacked subject-matter jurisdiction as a result of collateral estoppel and Heck. Having dismissed Wiggins’s federal claims for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, the district court also dismissed Wiggins’s state-law claims without prejudice “for lack of supplemental jurisdiction.” Because we determine that the district court has subject-matter jurisdiction over Wiggins’s federal claims, on remand the district court should also consider Wiggins’s state-law claims.

For these reasons, we REVERSE the district court’s judgment dismissing Wiggins’s claims for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and REMAND for further proceedings consistent with this order.

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