The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT (Document 1)
Plaintiff Keith Seriales ("Plaintiff"), appearing pro se and proceeding in forma pauperis, filed the instant complaint on January 17, 2013, alleging civil rights violations. (Doc. 1). He names the Tulare County Public Defender's Office ("public defender's office"), Jay Powell, a supervising attorney at the Public Defender's Office, and Steven Girardot, a public defender as Defendants. Plaintiff alleges violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. Upon a review of the pleading, the Court recommends that the complaint be dismissed without leave to amend.
Pursuant to Title 28 of the United States Code section 1915(e)(2), the Court must conduct an initial review of the complaint for sufficiency to state a claim. The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the Court determines that the action is legally "frivolous or malicious," fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). If the Court determines that the complaint fails to state a claim, leave to amend may be granted to the extent that the deficiencies of the complaint can be cured by amendment.
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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While legal conclusions can provide a framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1950. While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusion are not. Iqbal at 1949.
In reviewing a complaint under this standard, the Court must accept as true the allegations of the complaint in question, Hospital Bldg. Co. V. Trustees of Rex Hospital, 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976), construe the pro se pleadings liberally in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff, Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000), and resolve all doubts in the Plaintiff's favor, Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1969).
B. Plaintiff's Allegations
Plaintiff alleges violations of the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. More specifically, Plaintiff contends that during his criminal trial, his public defender, Steven Girardot, was experiencing health problems resulting in ineffective assistance of counsel. More particularly, Plaintiff asserts, inter alia, that Mr. Girardot failed to cross examine witnesses under oath, did not provide appropriate jury instructions, and failed to devise an effective trial strategy.
Plaintiff alleges that as a result of the above, he was improperly sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole plus ten years.*fn1 Plaintiff advises that has already filed a writ of habeas corpus and that the case is pending at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition, however, he has also filed the instant section 1983 action against the Tulare County Public Defender's Office, Mr. Girardot, and Jay Powell, one of the supervisors at the Tulare County Public Defender's Office based on the alleged misconduct. Plaintiff seeks 1.5 million dollars in damages, costs, fees and any other just relief.
The Civil Rights Act under which this action was filed provides as follows:
Every person who, under color of [state law] . . . subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States . . . to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution . . . shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress.
42 U.S.C. § 1983. Thus, to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that (1) the defendant acted under color of state law, and (2) the defendant deprived him of rights secured by the Constitution or federal law. ...