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Ellington v. Florida

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
Nov 28, 2023
No. 22-12857 (11th Cir. Nov. 28, 2023)

Opinion

22-12857

11-28-2023

JEROME ELLINGTON, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. STATE OF FLORIDA, CRAIG PARNELL CLENDINEN, Assistant State Attorney Hillsborough (Circa) 2000, HARRY LEE COE, III, The Late Former Judge/State Attorney for Hillsborough County, MARK F. LEWIS, Assistant State Attorney Hillsborough (Circa) 2000, Defendants-Appellees.


DO NOT PUBLISH

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida D.C. Docket No. 8:22-cv-00587-MSS-AEP

Before JILL PRYOR, BRANCH, and GRANT, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

PER CURIAM.

Jerome Ellington, a former state prisoner proceeding pro se, appeals the district court's sua sponte dismissal of his § 1983 complaint against the State of Florida, Assistant State Attorneys Craig Clendinen and Mark Lewis, and the late Honorable Harry Lee Coe, III, for failure to state a claim as barred under Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). On appeal, he reasserts that his state convictions and sentences were unconstitutional.

While we hold the allegations of pro se litigants to "less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers," we may not "serve as de facto counsel for a party" or "rewrite an otherwise deficient pleading in order to sustain an action." Campbell v. Air Jamaica Ltd., 760 F.3d 1165, 1168-69 (11th Cir. 2014). An appellant forfeits any argument not briefed on appeal, made in passing, or raised briefly without supporting arguments or authority. Sapuppo v. Allstate Floridian Ins. Co., 739 F.3d 678, 68182 (11th Cir. 2014) (collecting cases); see also United States v. Campbell, 26 F.4th 860, 873 (11th Cir.) (en banc).

Here, Ellington has forfeited any argument that the district court improperly found the claim barred by Heck. Ellington's argument is no more than a recitation of his original civil rights claims below. Under the most liberal construction, Ellington argues that the district court erred by dismissing his complaint because he was wrongfully prosecuted, his state convictions were unconstitutional, and his wrongful convictions caused him injury. His brief passingly mentions that this Court should hear his appeal "in spite of the Technical Reasons" offered below, but this is not sufficient to preserve a challenge to the district court's Heck ruling. Accordingly, we AFFIRM.


Summaries of

Ellington v. Florida

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
Nov 28, 2023
No. 22-12857 (11th Cir. Nov. 28, 2023)
Case details for

Ellington v. Florida

Case Details

Full title:JEROME ELLINGTON, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. STATE OF FLORIDA, CRAIG PARNELL…

Court:United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

Date published: Nov 28, 2023

Citations

No. 22-12857 (11th Cir. Nov. 28, 2023)