United States District Court, Northern District of California
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS
William Alsup, United States District Judge.
Pro se plaintiff is accused of forgery in an ongoing state criminal prosecution. He seeks to enjoin that state proceeding. Defendant moves to dismiss the complaint. For the reasons stated herein, defendant's motion is Granted.
In 2013, a criminal complaint was filed in state court against Damon Williams and another, alleging forgery in connection with an assignment of a deed of trust.
Mr. Williams then purportedly requested copies of the oaths of office of various individuals in the district attorney's office, employee files, and "bonding information" via California public record requests. He also requested various records, including "grand jury transcripts, " a "list of all persons present during each day of grand jury proceedings, " the "Superior Court's answers to grand juror's questions, " and so forth.
An arrest warrant issued based on his failure to appear at the arraignment. He surrendered, posted bail, moved to dismiss the criminal complaint, and filed a "demurrer to information and request for dismissal." All motions to dismiss the criminal charges were denied.
In September 2014, while the prosecution was underway, Mr. Williams commenced this federal action under Section 1983 alleging, inter alia, that certain County of Alameda personnel violated his constitutional rights in the prosecution of his ongoing state criminal proceeding. Although Mr. Williams named numerous parties as defendants, only the County of Alameda has appeared. The certificate of service for the complaint stated it was personally served to Ronda Bailey at "1221 Oak Street 5th Floor / Board of Supervisors, Oakland, CA 94612" in October 2014 (Dkt. No. 5). Mr. Williams seeks declaratory relief as well as a permanent injunction barring the County from "interfering in any way with Plaintiffs lawful right to negotiate and enter into contracts" (Amd. Compl. ¶¶ 4, 19).
In October 2014, Mr. Williams filed herein a motion for a temporary restraining order seeking to enjoin the state prosecution. The motion was denied. It was unnecessary to wait for plaintiff to properly serve all of the named defendants before ruling on the motion plaintiff brought. He was then given the opportunity to explain why this action should not be dismissed. No response was timely filed. Instead, Mr. Williams filed a "writ of error quae coram nobis resident: FRCP Rule 60, " a request for judicial notice, and proposed "findings of fact." His motion was denied (Dkt. Nos. 7, 11-15).
On November 3, Mr. Williams moved for entry of default, which was denied by the Clerk of the Court. Defendant County of Alameda then moved to dismiss.
Mr. Williams next filed a motion for contempt seeking to find the undersigned judge "to be in either civil contempt or criminal contempt or both" with regards to the denial of Mr. Williams' motion for a temporary restraining order. That specific motion was referred to a randomly assigned judge. Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers denied Mr. Williams' motion (Dkt. No. 26).
Mr. Williams then failed to timely file an opposition to the pending motion to dismiss. Nevertheless, an extension was granted. He filed an opposition brief and the County filed a reply. This order follows full briefing and oral argument. Mr. Williams appeared in person and was heard.
The County argues that this Court should abstain from exercising jurisdiction under Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 54 (1971). There is "a strong federal policy against federal-court interference with pending state judicial proceedings absent extraordinary circumstances." Middlesex County Ethics Committee v. Garden State Bar Association, 457 U.S. 423, 431 (1982). Younger abstention is appropriate if (1) the state proceedings are ongoing; (2) the proceedings implicate ...