Attorney(s) appearing for the Case
Anthony Boyd, New York City, pro se.
John Albert Smith, III, Corpus Christi, TX, for Defendants-Appellees.
Before HIGGINBOTHAM, SMITH and SOUTHWICK, Circuit Judges.
Anthony Boyd, a federal prisoner, filed a Bivens1 action against numerous prison employees alleging that they initiated criminal charges against him based on two October 2004 assaults between Boyd and prison staff. Boyd reported the assaults to the Bureau of Prisons Regional Office claiming that he was the victim and that video evidence corroborates his view and shows that he was handcuffed. After Boyd's report, prison employees gave statements regarding the assaults that resulted in an indictment against Boyd. He was tried and acquitted in federal court.
Boyd's instant complaint alleges that prison employees committed perjury at his assault trial and destroyed and tampered with video evidence showing he was the victim of the assaults. He labels his cause of action as a "malicious prosecution conspiracy."
The district court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss. It ruled that Boyd could not show that the criminal action was brought against him without probable cause because records indicating that Boyd was administratively disciplined for one of the assaults, along with the fact that Boyd was indicted by a grand jury, sufficiently established the probable cause element of malicious prosecution.2
We review a district court's grant of a motion to dismiss de novo.3 While we disagree with the district court's use of documents "outside of the pleadings," in deciding to grant the motion to dismiss,4 we need not elaborate on that point as the malicious prosecution claim fails nonetheless. Because "the assertion of malicious prosecution states no constitutional claim," that claim alone does not support a Bivens action.5
However, Boyd's handwritten pro se complaint includes allegations supporting a direct due process claim.6 Boyd claims that prison employees gave perjured testimony at his criminal trial and destroyed and tampered with video evidence of the alleged assaults. While a malicious prosecution claim does not inevitably entail constitutional deprivation, the government's "manufacturing of evidence and knowing use of that evidence along with perjured testimony to obtain a wrongful conviction deprives a defendant of his long recognized right to a fair trial secured by the Due Process Clause."7 The allegations in Boyd's complaint give rise to claims of direct constitutional deprivation that support a Bivens action. We express no view on the validity of any of Boyd's claims, on the accuracy of his factual allegations, or on what decisions the district court should make on remand.
AFFIRMED in part; REVERSED and REMANDED in part.