United States District Court, D. North Dakota
ORDER OF DISMISSAL
Charles S. Miller, Jr., Magistrate Judge
Lance Sabot (“Sabot”) is an inmate at the North
Dakota State Penitentiary. He initiated the above-entitled
action pro se and in forma pauperis. At the
court's direction he filed additional material in an
effort to show cause why the action should not be dismissed.
Having now reviewed all of Sabot's submissions to date,
the court dismisses this action without prejudice for the
reasons set forth below.
was convicted in state district court of the offense of
terrorizing, a Class C felony, and sentenced on February 17,
2017, to a term of imprisonment of five years with two years
suspended. He filed a direct appeal, which the North Dakota
Supreme Court denied on December 7, 2017. State v.
Sabot, 2017 ND 289. While his appeal to the North Dakota
Supreme Court was still pending, he initiated the instant
action with the submission of a Complaint in which he accused
the state and local officials of conspiring to steal his
handgun. (Doc. No. 5). In his prayer for relief he demanded
dismissal of his state charges, the restoration of his
firearm privileges, the return of his handgun, and the
criminal prosecution of everyone who had conspired against
undersigned conducted an initial review of Sabot's
complaint as mandated by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. It
thereafter issued an order directing Sabot to either show
case why the above-entitled action should not be dismissed as
Heck-barred or to file an Amended Complaint by
January 22, 2018. (Doc. No. 9).
January 5, 2018, Sabot filed what the court construes as his
response to the order to show cause. (Doc. No. 11). Therein
he reiterated his claim that defendants had conspired to
steal his handgun and further asserted that he had been
defamed by local law enforcement officers insofar as they had
referred to him as convicted felon in reports.
(Id.). Along with his response, he submitted 252
pages of documents from which the court was able to glean the
following about the events forming the basis for his claim(s)
against defendants. (Doc. No. 11).
contacted the Bismarck Police Department multiple times to
report that his handgun had been stolen. (Doc. No. 11-1 at p.
16). He subsequently filed a complaint with the Bismarck
Police Department, asserting that a Bismarck Police officer
had intentionally misrepresented him as a convicted felon in
a police report and that his reports to police regarding the
theft of his handgun had been ignored. (Id. at pp.
73-74). Chief of Police Dan Donlin issued the following
response to Sabot in correspondence dated January 26, 2016:
1) Officer Luke Senger “lied” by putting in his
police report that you are a felon.
In looking through the court records there are two times
where you are charged with a felony. Once in 2008 where you
were charged with a felony Aggravated Assault and one in 2014
where you were charged with felony Terrorizing. In both
instances you eventually plead guilty to a misdemeanor level
Officer Senger writes in the last sentence of a police report
you filed, “I have also attached Eric's criminal
history which shows he was convicted of a felony in
2014.” Although this statement is inaccurate I do not
find that Officer Senger intentionally “lied”
about it as you state. Officer Senger simply misread the
court documents in the area where it was showing felony
activity. Officer Senger acted in good faith with the
information, but did not, with intent, lie. The fact that
this misstatement is in a police report had no bearing on the
case or on the decision from the State's Attorney's
Office, which was that your reported theft was actually a
civil matter between you and your father. I have instructed
Lt. Ternes to ensure that Officer Senger adds a supplement to
your report correcting the statement that is in error. Other
than this being a misinterpretation of a court record, you
have not been wronged and this error has no bearing on your
main issue, which brings me to your next point of contention.
2) You claim your father “stole your handgun and should
be charged with Theft of Property.” You claim your
father “stole” your handgun and refuses to return
it to you. Your father advised you gave him your handgun as
partial payment for your lawyer fees. Your father states you
owe him over $6, 000 of lawyer fees and that were not paying
him back. Your father went on to say you gave him the handgun
one month as a payment.
So, we have you saying one thing and your father saying
another thing. With this information the Burleigh County
States Attorney's Office was consulted and they advised
that this was a “civil” matter, to be decided in
a “civil” court, not a criminal court. You have
every right to file paperwork in Small Claims Court to try
and get the handgun from your father. The police cannot prove
one way or another whether your version or your father's
version is the true story, so that's what the
“civil” court is there for.
(Id. at p. 74).
thereafter filed an action against his father in small claims
court, seeking to recover the handgun he claimed his father
had stolen from him. (Doc. No. 11-1, p 88). Sabot's
father counterclaimed. (Id. at p. 90). Judicial
Officer Wayne Goter convened a hearing on September 25, 2015.
(Id. at pp. 91). Finding in favor of Sabot's
father, he dismissed Sabot's claim and entered judgment
against Sabot. (Id.). He soon ...