United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Humberto Castillo-Alvarez, pro se plaintiff.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER ADOPTING REPORT &
R. TUNHEIM CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Humberto Castillo-Alvarez brings this 42 U.S.C. § 1983
action alleging that his extradition from Iowa to Minnesota
and ongoing detention violate his constitutional rights and
seeking release and $5 million in damages. (Compl., Sept. 7,
2016, Docket No. 1.) Magistrate Judge Leo I. Brisbois issued
a Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) that the
action be dismissed without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A because the claims are barred by Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). (R&R, Sept. 25, 2017,
Docket No. 25.) Castillo-Alvarez objected, arguing that
Heck allows his claims because his earlier Iowa
conviction on the same facts was overturned and Iowa and
Minnesota acted as a single sovereign with regard to his
initial extradition from Mexico. (Objs., Oct. 13, 2017,
Docket No. 28.) Because this argument is unavailing, the
Court will overrule the objections, adopt the R&R, and
dismiss the case without prejudice.
2006, Juan Humberto Castillo-Alvarez was extradited from
Mexico to Iowa to stand trial for second-degree murder and
kidnapping based on events that took place in Iowa and
Minnesota in 1997. Castillo-Alvarez v. Smith
(Castillo-Alvarez), No. 14-542, 2015 WL 6445479, at
*1-2 (D. Minn. Oct. 23, 2015). His subsequent conviction was
overturned by the Iowa Court of Appeals on speedy trial
grounds. State v. Castillo-Alvarez, No. 08-0868,
2009 WL 2960419, at *6 (Iowa Ct. App. Sept. 2, 2009).
thereafter, Castillo-Alvarez was charged with and convicted
of the same crimes in Minnesota. State v.
Castillo-Alvarez, 836 N.W.2d 527, 530 (Minn. 2013). As
part of that process, he was extradited from Iowa, where he
was still in custody on an unrelated charge.
Castillo-Alvarez, 2015 WL 6445479, at *2. Minnesota
courts, followed by this Court, have consistently rejected
arguments that the second extradition violated the
Extradition Treaty between the United States and Mexico and
that the second prosecution violated the Double Jeopardy
Clause. Id. at *2-3.
now brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on
two underlying claims that are substantively identical to
those rejected by this Court in the course of considering his
petition for writ of habeas corpus. See Id. at *6-8.
SECTION 1915A SCREENING
Prison Litigation Reform Act requires screening of civil
actions brought by prisoners against a government entity,
officer, or employee to determine whether the claims are
frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim, or seek monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28
U.S.C. § 1915A. Upon receiving this case for screening,
the Magistrate Judge recommended dismissal because
Castillo-Alvarez's claims “call into question the
lawfulness of conviction or confinement” and are
therefore not cognizable under § 1983. Heck,
512 U.S. at 483, 486-87. In short:
[A] state prisoner's § 1983 action is barred (absent
prior invalidation)-no matter the relief sought (damages or
equitable relief), no matter the target of the prisoner's
suit (state conduct leading to conviction or internal prison
proceedings)-if success in that action would necessarily
demonstrate the invalidity of confinement or its duration.
Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74, 81-82 (2005)
(citing Heck and Edwards v. Balisok, 520
U.S. 641, 648 (1997)). The fact that Castillo-Alvarez filed
this action from prison and seeks release and damages would
ordinarily make this case open-and-shut.
agrees that Heck controls, but submits that he has
met its requirement that he “prove that the conviction
or sentence has been reversed on direct appeal” with
his victory in the Iowa Court of Appeals. (Objs. at 12
(quoting Heck, 512 U.S. at 486-87).) The Magistrate
Judge anticipated this objection and rejected it on the
grounds that Castillo-Alvarez is challenging the Minnesota
conviction. (R&R at 4-5.) Attempting to add a wrinkle,
Castillo-Alvarez argues that the Iowa reversal should be
imputed to his Minnesota sentence because the two states are
a single sovereign with regard to the Treaty, which is the
supreme law of the land. (Objs. at 10-12.) But this wrinkle
is merely unfolded from Castillo-Alvarez's earlier
argument that the Treaty prohibited his extradition from Iowa
Framers split the atom of sovereignty. It was the genius of
their idea that our citizens would have two political
capacities, one state and one federal, each protected from
incursion by the other.” U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v.
Thornton, 514 U.S. 779, 838 (1995) (Kennedy, J.,
concurring). It is true that the United States has the
exclusive power to make treaties, which bind the states. U.S.
Const. art. II, § 2, cl. 2. But, within those bounds,
the states have separate sovereign authority to enforce their
own criminal laws. Heath v. Alabama, 474 U.S. 82, 93
(1985). As such, the Iowa speedy trial violation has nothing
to do with whether the Treaty allowed Castillo-Alvarez's
extradition from Iowa to Minnesota (it did, see
Castillo-Alvarez, 2015 WL 6445479, at *8), which is
unrelated to whether the Double Jeopardy ...