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Cottonham v. San Francisco Superior Court

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


July 23, 2008

MARK A COTTONHAM, PLAINTIFF(S),
v.
SAN FRANCISCO SUPERIOR COURT, ET AL, DEFENDANT(S).

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Vaughn R Walker United States District Chief Judge

ORDER OF DISMISSAL

Plaintiff, a prisoner at the San Francisco County Jail, has filed a pro se complaint under 42 USC § 1983 alleging that he is being wrongfully detained on pending probation revocation charges. He seeks an order compelling the San Francisco superior court and district attorney to grant him an immediate hearing and pay him damages. Plaintiff's claim for injunctive relief must be dismissed because it is well-established that a federal court should not interfere with ongoing state criminal proceedings by granting injunctive or declaratory relief. See Younger v Harris, 401 US 37, 43-54 (1971). There is an exception to Younger abstention if there is evidence of bad faith or harassment on the part of the state, but there is no such evidence (or even indication) here. See id at 46, 53-54.

Plaintiff's claim for damages against the San Francisco superior court and district attorney must also be dismissed. The Eleventh Amendment bars suit against the superior court and its employees, Simmons v Sacramento County Superior Court, 318 F3d 1156,1161 (9th Cir 2003), and the district attorney is absolutely immune from damages for his conduct as an advocate in the initiation of a criminal case and its presentation at trial, Buckley v Fitzsimmons, 509 US 259, 272-73 (1993).

For the foregoing reasons, the complaint is DISMISSED under the authority of 28 USC § 1915A(b). The clerk enter judgment in accordance with this order, terminate all pending motions as moot and close the file.

SO ORDERED.

20080723

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