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Matthew Staszak v. United States
Case Number: 20-3069
Judge: Before SHEPHERD, GRASZ, and KOBES, Circuit Judges.
Court: United States Court of Appeals
For the Eighth Circuit
St. Louis, MO - Criminal defense lawyer represented Plaintiff - Appellant with appealing the district court’s adverse judgment in his action under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) charge.
Federal inmate Matthew Staszak appeals the district court’s1
in his action under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) and Bivens v. Six Unknown
Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). Upon de novo
review, we affirm. See Smith v. Toyota Motor Corp., 964 F.3d 725, 728 (8th Cir.
2020); Montin v. Moore, 846 F.3d 289, 292 (8th Cir. 2017). We agree with the
district court that Gallardo was not a proper defendant for the FTCA claims, see
Duncan v. Dep’t of Labor, 313 F.3d 445, 447 (8th Cir. 2002) (per curiam) (United
States is proper defendant in FTCA claim); and that Staszak’s lack of physical injury
barred the FTCA claims against the United States, see 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b)(2) (person
incarcerated while serving sentence for felony conviction may not bring civil action
against United States for mental injury suffered in custody without showing prior
We also agree that the Bivens claims failed. Sovereign immunity barred the
Bivens claims against the United States, and against Gallardo in her official capacity.
See Buford v. Runyon, 160 F.3d 1199, 1203 (8th Cir. 1998) (sovereign immunity bars
Bivens action against United States). As to the individual-capacity claims against
Gallardo, even assuming a Bivens remedy exists for violations of the Sixth
Amendment, Staszak had no right to counsel in his 28 U.S.C. § 2255 proceeding, see
Abdullah v. Hedrick, 392 F.3d 957, 964 (8th Cir. 2004) (there is no Sixth Amendment
right to counsel in 28 U.S.C. § 2255 proceedings); and the due process claim was
premised on the alleged Sixth Amendment violation, see Bishop v. Tice, 622 F.2d
349, 353 (8th Cir. 1980) (to state Fifth Amendment due process claim, plaintiff must
allege deprivation of property or liberty interest).
Outcome: The judgment is affirmed. See 8th Cir. R. 47B. We deny Staszak’s motions