United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER: (1) GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA
PAUPERIS PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915(a); AND(2) SUA SPONTE
DISMISSING CIVIL ACTION FOR FAILING TO STATE A CLAIM PURSUANT
TO 28 U.S.C. Â§Â§ 1915(e)(2) & 1915A(b)
ALAN BURNS, District Judge.
Rhine ("Plaintiff"), a state inmate currently
incarcerated at the California Rehabilitation Center, has
filed a civil rights complaint ("Compl.") pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983. (ECF No. 1.) He seeks an injunction from
"further suppression of evidence damaging my right to
release from prison, parole." (Compl. at 7.) Plaintiff
also seeks $35, 000, 000 in compensatory damages, $4, 500,
000 in punitive damages, and a jury trial in this Court. (
has not paid the civil filing fees required by 28 U.S.C. Â§
1914(a) to commence a civil action; instead he has filed a
Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
("IFP") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915(a). (ECF No.
Motion to Proceed IFP
parties instituting any civil action, suit or proceeding in a
district court of the United States must pay a filing fee.
See 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1914(a). An action may proceed
despite a plaintiff's failure to prepay the entire fee
only if he is granted leave to proceed IFP pursuant to 28
U.S.C. Â§ 1915(a). Rodriguez v. Cook, 169 F.3d 1176,
1177 (9th Cir. 1999). However, if the plaintiff is a
prisoner, as Plaintiff is here, even if he is granted leave
to proceed IFP, he remains obligated to pay the full entire
fee in "increments, " see Williams v.
Paramo, 775 F.3d 1182, 1185 (9th Cir. 2015), regardless
of whether his action is ultimately dismissed. See
28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915(b)(1) & (2).
28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915, as amended by the Prison Litigation Reform
Act ("PLRA"), prisoners seeking leave to proceed
IFP must submit a "certified copy of the trust fund
account statement (or institutional equivalent) for the...
six-month period immediately preceding the filing of the
complaint." 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915(a)(2); Andrews v.
King, 398 F.3d 1113, 1119 (9th Cir. 2005). From the
certified trust account statement, the Court assesses an
initial payment of 20 percent of (a) the average monthly
deposits in the account for the past six months, or (b) the
average monthly balance in the account for the past six
months, whichever is greater, unless the prisoner has no
assets. See 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915(b)(1); 28 U.S.C. Â§
1915(b)(4). The institution having custody of the prisoner
then collects subsequent payments, assessed at 20 percent of
the preceding month's income, in any month in which the
prisoner's account exceeds $10, and forwards those
payments to the Court until the entire filing fee is paid.
See 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915(b)(2).
support of his IFP Motion, Plaintiff has submitted a
certificate attesting to his trust account balance and
activity for the six-month period prior to the filing of his
Complaint as required by 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915(a)(2) and S.D. Cal.
CivLR 3.2. The certificate shows Plaintiff has $0.00 in
available funds to his credit at the time of filing. The
Court GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed IFP. Because
Plaintiff has insufficient funds to pay a partial filing fee,
the Court assesses no initial partial filing fee per 28
U.S.C. Â§ 1915(b)(1). See 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915(b)(4)
(providing that "[i]n no event shall a prisoner be
prohibited from bringing a civil action or appealing a civil
action or criminal judgment for the reason that the prisoner
has no assets and no means by which to pay the initial
partial filing fee."); Taylor v. Delatoore, 281
F.3d 844, 850 (9th Cir. 2002) (finding that 28 U.S.C. Â§
1915(b)(4) acts as a "safety-valve" preventing
dismissal of a prisoner's IFP case based solely on a
"failure to pay... due to the lack of funds available to
him when payment is ordered.") However, the entire $350
balance of the filing fees due for this case must be
collected by the CDCR and forwarded to the Clerk of the Court
pursuant to the installment payment provisions set forth in
28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915(b)(1).
Sponte Screening per 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915(e)(2) and Â§ 1915A
Court shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any
event, as soon as practicable after docketing, "
complaints filed by all persons proceeding IFP, and by those,
like Plaintiff, who are "incarcerated or detained in any
facility [and] accused of, sentenced for, or adjudicated
delinquent for, violations of criminal law or the terms or
conditions of parole, probation, pretrial release, or
diversionary program." See 28 U.S.C. Â§Â§
1915(e)(2) and 1915A(b). The Court must sua sponte dismiss
complaints, or any portions thereof, which are frivolous,
malicious, fail to state a claim, or which seek damages from
defendants who are immune. See 28 U.S.C. Â§Â§
1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A; Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d
1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc).
1983 creates a private right of action against individuals
who, acting under color of state law, violate federal
constitutional or statutory rights." Devereaux v.
Abbey, 263 F.3d 1070, 1074 (9th Cir. 2001). Section 1983
"is not itself a source of substantive rights, but
merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights
elsewhere conferred." Graham v. Connor, 490
U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989) (internal quotation marks and
citations omitted). "To establish Â§ 1983 liability, a
plaintiff must show both (1) deprivation of a right secured
by the Constitution and laws of the United States, and (2)
that the deprivation was committed by a person acting under
color of state law." Tsao v. Desert Palace,
Inc., 698 F.3d 1128, 1138 (9th Cir. 2012).
not entirely clear, it appears that Plaintiff is seeking this
Court's intervention with his state criminal proceedings.
However, federal courts may not interfere with ongoing state
criminal proceedings absent extraordinary circumstances.
Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 45-46 (1971);
see Middlesex County Ethics Comm. v. Garden
State Bar Ass'n, 457 U.S. 423, 431 (1982) (
Younger "espouse[d] a strong federal policy
against federal-court interference with pending state
judicial proceedings.") Absent extraordinary
circumstances, abstention under Younger is required
when: (1) state judicial proceedings are ongoing; (2) the
state proceedings involve important state interests; and (3)
the state proceedings afford an adequate opportunity to raise
the federal issue. Columbia Basin Apartment Ass'n v.
City of Pasco, 268 F.3d 791, 799 (9th Cir. 2001).
is no question Plaintiff's criminal proceedings involve
important state interests. In addition, Plaintiff's
claims are the type of claims the state courts afford an
adequate opportunity to raise on direct appeal. Thus, because
Plaintiff's criminal proceedings appear to be currently
ongoing in the form of his appeal of his conviction, the
injunctive relief he seeks is unavailable. See Huffman v.
Pursue, Ltd., 420 U.S. 592, 608 (1975) (holding that
Younger applies to state appellate proceedings as
well as ongoing proceedings in state trial court); see
alsoDrury v. Cox,457 F.2d 764, 764-65 (9th
Cir. 1972) ("[O]nly in the most unusual circumstances is
a defendant ...