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.

Clark v. Alexander

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

April 29, 2013

Raymond Clark
v.
Dawn Alexander, et al.

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

OSWALD PARADA, Magistrate Judge.

I.

Proceedings

On April 10, 2013, Raymond Clark ("Plaintiff") lodged for filing a Civil Rights Complaint pursuant 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Complaint"). (ECF No. 1.) On April 12, 2013, Plaintiff lodged for filing a First Amended Civil Rights Complaint ("FAC"). (ECF No. 2.) However, Plaintiff has failed to pay the full filing fee of $350 and has failed to submit an in forma pauperis application in order to proceed without payment of the full filing fee.

Further, in accordance with the mandate of the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("PLRA"), the Court must examine a complaint for the purpose of determining whether the action is frivolous or malicious fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief, regardless of whether a prisoner prepays filing fees or requests to proceed in forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A(a), (c); 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(1). Review under § 1915(e) for failure to state a claim is governed by the same standard applied in reviewing a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Barren v. Harrington , 152 F.3d 1193, 1194 (9th Cir. 1998). A complaint may be dismissed as a matter of law for failure to state a claim for two reasons: (1) lack of a cognizable legal theory; or (2) insufficient facts under a cognizable legal theory. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't , 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).

II.

Discussion

A. Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations.

In the FAC, Plaintiff names as Defendants Los Angeles County Superior Court clerks Dawn Alexander and Alice M. Thompson, and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department employees Hinton and Caldwell. Plaintiff appears to allege that Defendants Alexander and Thompson improperly rejected for filing a civil rights complaint Plaintiff attempted to file in the superior court. He also appears to allege that Defendants Hinton and Caldwell prevented Plaintiff from filing a habeas corpus petition in the California Supreme Court.

B. Quasi-Judicial Immunity.

Judges are absolutely immune from suit for acts performed in a judicial capacity. See Antoine v. Byers & Anderson, Inc. , 508 U.S. 429, 435 & n.10, 113 S.Ct. 2167, 124 L.Ed.2d 391 (1993); Mireles v. Waco , 502 U.S. 9, 11, 112 S.Ct. 286, 116 L.Ed.2d 9 (1991) (per curiam); Stump v. Sparkman , 435 U.S. 349, 357-60, 98 S.Ct. 1099, 55 L.Ed.2d 331 (1978); Ashelman v. Pope , 793 F.2d 1072, 1075 (9th Cir. 1986) (en banc) ("Judges are immune from damage actions for judicial acts taken within the jurisdiction of their courts."); see also Mullis v. Bankr. Ct. for the Dist. of Nev. , 828 F.2d 1385, 1394 (9th Cir. 1987) ("The judicial or quasi-judicial immunity available to federal officers is not limited to immunity from damages, but extends to actions for declaratory, injunctive and other equitable relief."); but see Pulliam v. Allen , 466 U.S. 522, 541-42, 104 S.Ct. 1970, 80 L.Ed.2d 565 (1984) (state officials enjoy judicial or quasi-judicial immunity from damages only). Importantly, court personnel have absolute quasi-judicial immunity when they perform tasks that are an integral part of the judicial process. Cleavinger v. Saxner , 474 U.S. 193, 200, 106 S.Ct. 496, 88 L.Ed.2d 507 (1985); Mullis v. United States Bankr.Ct. , 828 F.2d 1385, 1390 (9th Cir. 1987) (finding that court clerks have absolute quasi-judicial immunity for filing decisions); see also In re Castillo , 297 F.3d 940, 952 (9th Cir. 2002); Rodriguez v. Weprin , 116 F.3d 62, 66-67 (2d Cir. 1997) (court clerks entitled to quasi-judicial immunity for harms related to scheduling an appeal, even if that discrete task is viewed as administrative, because "court's inherent power to control its docket is part of its [judicial] function.").

As set forth above, the FAC appears to allege that Defendants Alexander and Thompson improperly rejected for filing a civil rights complaint Plaintiff attempted to file in the superior court. Given the nature of the allegations, it appears that Defendants would be entitled to quasi-judicial immunity. Thus, the claims against them would be subject to dismissal.

C. First Amendment Access to Courts Claim.

Prisoners have a constitutional right of access to the courts. See Lewis v. Casey , 518 U.S. 343, 346, 116 S.Ct. 2174, 135 L.Ed.2d 606 (1996); Bounds v. Smith , 430 U.S. 817, 821, 97 S.Ct. 1491, 52 L.Ed.2d 72 (1977); Bradley v. Hall , 64 F.3d 1276, 1279 (9th Cir. 1995) (discussing the right in the context of prison grievance procedures). This right "requires prison authorities to assist inmates in the preparation and filing of meaningful legal papers by providing prisoners with adequate law libraries or adequate assistance from persons trained in the law." Bounds , 430 U.S. at 828; see ...


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.