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Reed v. Alameda County

United States District Court, N.D. California, Eureka Division

December 12, 2014

JOHN M. REED, Plaintiff,
v.
ALAMEDA COUNTY, Defendant

John M. Reed, Plaintiff, Pro se, Dublin, CA.

ORDER OF DISMISSAL

NANDOR J. VADAS, United States Magistrate Judge.

This is a civil rights case filed pro se by a pretrial detainee incarcerated at Santa Rita Detention Facility. Plaintiff is awaiting trial for murder. He seeks to be released from custody and for compensation. The court ordered plaintiff to show cause why this case should not be dismissed pursuant to Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 43-54, 91 S.Ct. 746, 27 L.Ed.2d 669 (1971). Plaintiff has filed a response.

Under principles of comity and federalism, a federal court should not interfere with ongoing state criminal proceedings by granting injunctive or declaratory relief absent extraordinary circumstances. See Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 43-54, 91 S.Ct. 746, 27 L.Ed.2d 669 (1971). Federal courts should not enjoin pending state criminal prosecutions absent a showing of the state's bad faith or harassment, or a showing that the statute challenged is " flagrantly and patently violative of express constitutional prohibitions." Younger, 401 U.S. at 46, 53-54 (cost, anxiety and inconvenience of criminal defense not kind of special circumstances or irreparable harm that would justify federal court intervention; statute must be unconstitutional in every " clause, sentence and paragraph, and in whatever manner" it is applied). Abstention may be inappropriate in the " extraordinary circumstance" that (1) the party seeking relief in federal court does not have an adequate remedy at law and will suffer irreparable injury if denied equitable relief, see Mockaitis v. Harcleroad, 104 F.3d 1522, 1528 (9th Cir. 1997) (citing Younger, 401 U.S. at 43-44), or (2) the state tribunal is incompetent by reason of bias, see Gibson v. Berryhill, 411 U.S. 564, 577-79, 93 S.Ct. 1689, 36 L.Ed.2d 488 (1973).

Plaintiff contends that a police officer is lying, his appointed attorneys keep changing, and they have not filed the appropriate motions. This is insufficient to warrant federal court intervention. See Perez v. Ledesma, 401 U.S. 82, 83-85, 91 S.Ct. 674, 27 L.Ed.2d 701 (1971) (Federal injunctive relief should not be used to test the validity of an arrest or the admissibility of evidence in a state criminal proceeding, for example, absent extraordinary circumstances.) Plaintiff has failed to meet the threshold to warrant such intervention nor has he shown that he will suffer irreparable injury due to the lack of an adequate remedy in state court or that the state court is biased.

CONCLUSION

1. The motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Docket No. 6) is DENIED because plaintiff has already been granted such status.

2. This action is DISMISSED for failure to state a claim for the reasons set forth above.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I, the undersigned, hereby certify that on December 12, 2014, I SERVED a true and correct copy the attached by placing said copy in a postage paid envelope addressed to the person listed below, by depositing said envelope in the U.S. Mail.

JUDGMENT

Pursuant to the order of dismissal signed today, this case is dismissed for failure to state a claim.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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