Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Pearline Hood v. Fresno Count District Attorney

March 14, 2012

PEARLINE HOOD,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
FRESNO COUNT DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sheila K. Oberto United States Magistrate Judge

FIRST SCREENING ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM UNDER SECTION 1983(Doc. 1) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

First Screening Order

I. Screening Requirement and Standard

Plaintiff Pearline Hood, a prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on February 15, 2012.*fn1 The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity and/or against an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Plaintiff's complaint, or any portion thereof, is subject to dismissal if it is frivolous or malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

A complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief. . . ." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, __, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). While a plaintiff's allegations are taken as true, courts "are not required to indulge unwarranted inferences." Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are still entitled to have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor, but the pleading standard is now higher, Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted), and to survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must be facially plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged, Iqbal, 556 U.S. at __, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The sheer possibility that a defendant acted unlawfully is not sufficient, and mere consistency with liability falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at __, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quotation marks omitted); Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

II. Discussion

A. Allegations

Plaintiff, who is currently incarcerated at the Fresno County Jail, brings this suit against the Fresno County Superior Court, Judge Penner, and the Fresno County District Attorney. Plaintiff alleges that her bail was set at $480,000.00 for petty theft with a prior, and she does not have access to the law library. Plaintiff seeks a bail reduction and access to the law library.

B. Excessive Bail

Section 1983 provides a cause of action for the violation of Plaintiff's constitutional or other federal rights by persons acting under color of state law. Nurre v. Whitehead, 580 F.3d 1087, 1092 (9th Cir 2009); Long v. County of Los Angeles, 442 F.3d 1178, 1185 (9th Cir. 2006); Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). To state a claim, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendantpersonally participated in the deprivation of her rights. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at __, 129 S.Ct. at 1949; Simmons v. Navajo County, Ariz., 609 F.3d 1011, 1020-21 (9th Cir. 2010); Ewing v. City of Stockton, 588 F.3d 1218, 1235 (9th Cir. 2009); Jones, 297 F.3d at 934.

While under certain narrow circumstances excessive bail may violate the Constitution, Galen v. County of Los Angeles, 477 F.3d 652, 659-61 (9th Cir. 2007), the Eleventh Amendment bars any claim by Plaintiff brought in federal court against the State of California, which precludes Plaintiff from suing the Fresno County Superior Court, Wolfson v. Brammer, 616 F.3d 1045, 1065-66 (9th Cir. 2010).

Further, Judge Penner is entitled to absolute immunity from damages for judicial acts, absent very limited exceptions not presented here. Cleavinger v. Saxner, 474 U.S. 193, 199-200, 106 S.Ct. 496 (1985); Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 355-56, 98 S.Ct. 1099 (1978); Crowe v. County of San Diego, 608 F.3d 406, 430 (9th Cir. 2010); Simmons v. Sacramento County Superior Court, 318 F.3d 1156, 1161 (9th Cir. 2003); Schucker v. Rockwood, 846 F.2d 1202, 1204 (9th Cir. 1988). While judicial immunity does not bar claims for prospective relief generally, Pulliam v. Allen, 466 U.S. 522, 536-42, 104 S.Ct. 1970 (1984), section 1983 bars claims for injunctive relief against a judicial officer for actions taken in his judicial capacity, again absent very limited exceptions not presented here, 42 U.S.C. § 1983; Wolff v. Strankman, 392 F.3d 358, 366 (9th Cir. 2004). This leaves the District Attorney, who is not linked to any actions or omissions which violated Plaintiff's federal rights. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at __, 129 S.Ct. at 1949; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.

In light of the aforementioned deficiencies, the Court finds that Plaintiff's claim arising from ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.