United States District Court, E.D. California
KENDALL J. NEWMAN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a county prisoner, proceeding without counsel, with a
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff has consented to the jurisdiction of the
undersigned. (ECF No. 5.)
2, 2016, the undersigned granted plaintiff thirty days to
show cause why his claim for injunctive relief should not be
dismissed pursuant to the Younger Abstention
Doctrine. (ECF No. 6.) Thirty days passed, and plaintiff did
not respond to the June 2, 2016 order. Accordingly, for the
reasons stated herein, plaintiff’s claim for injunctive
relief is dismissed, and his claim for damages is stayed.
action proceeds on the original complaint filed May 6, 2016.
Named as defendants are Shasta County, the Shasta County
Sheriff’s Office, and Shasta County Sheriff Tom
Bosenko. Plaintiff alleges that defendants conspired to
violate his constitutional rights. Plaintiff alleges that
defendants illegally searched and seized his property,
falsified warrants, and entered his private property for no
good reason. Plaintiff alleges that defendants wrongfully
brought charges against him and his brother. Plaintiff
alleges that he is now falsely imprisoned, apparently based
on those allegedly false charges. Plaintiff alleges that he
is being maliciously prosecuted.
relief, plaintiff seeks money damages and injunctive relief.
With respect to his claim for injunctive relief, plaintiff
requests “relief” from “all fictitious
charges.” The undersigned first addresses
plaintiff’s claim for injunctive relief.
Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971), the Supreme
Court held that a federal court was prohibited from enjoining
a state criminal proceeding without a valid showing of
“extraordinary circumstances” that warrant
federal intervention. Id. at 43-54. Under the
Younger Abstention Doctrine, federal courts may not
stay or enjoin pending state criminal court proceedings.
Mann v. Jett, 781 F.2d 1448, 1449 (9th Cir. 1986).
Younger abstention is appropriate when: (1) the
state court proceedings are ongoing; (2) the proceedings
implicate important state interests; and (3) the state
proceedings provide an adequate opportunity to raise the
constitutional claims. Middlesex County Ethics Comm. v.
Garden State Bar Ass'n, 457 U.S. 423, 432 (1982).
June 2, 2016 order, the undersigned directed plaintiff to
file briefing addressing the Middlesex factors. As
discussed above, plaintiff failed to respond to the June 2,
2016 order. Accordingly, the undersigned herein applies the
Middlesex factors based on the allegations in the
clear from plaintiff’s complaint that state criminal
proceedings are ongoing. It is also clear that these state
criminal proceedings implicate state important interests.
Finally, the undersigned finds that the state court
proceedings provide plaintiff with an adequate opportunity to
raise his constitutional claims. For these reasons,
plaintiff’s claim for injunctive relief is barred by
the Younger Abstention Doctrine.
undersigned next turns to plaintiff’s claim for money
damages. As discussed in the June 2, 2016 order, in Heck
v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994), the Supreme
[T]o recover damages for an allegedly unconstitutional
conviction or imprisonment, or for other harm caused by
actions whose unlawfulness would render a conviction or
sentence invalid, a § 1983 plaintiff must prove that the
conviction or sentence has been reversed on direct appeal,
expunged by executive order, declared invalid by a state
tribunal authorized to make such determination, or called
into question by a federal court's issuance of a writ of
512 U.S. at 487-87.
extends beyond claims challenging convictions to bar a
prisoner’s claims for wrongful arrest and malicious
prosecution, i.e., the claims presented by plaintiff in this
action. See, e.g., Guerrero v. Gates, 442
F.3d 697, 703 (9th Cir. 2006) (holding that Heck
bars plaintiff’s civil rights claims alleging wrongful
arrest, malicious prosecution and conspiracy among police
officers to bring false charges against him); Cabrera v.
City of Huntington Park, 159 F.3d 374, 380 (9th Cir.
1998) (explaining that Heck bars plaintiff’s
false arrest and imprisonment claims until conviction is
invalidated); Smithart v. Towery, 79 F.3d 951, 952
(9th Cir. 1996) (Heck bars plaintiff’s civil
rights claims alleging that defendants lacked probable cause
to arrest and brought unfounded criminal charges).
does not, however, bar a plaintiff from bringing an action
asserting these claims during the pendency of the criminal
action. Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 393-94
(2007), explains that such action should instead be stayed:
[i]f a plaintiff files a false-arrest claim before he [or
she] has been convicted (or files any other claim related to
rulings that likely will be made in a pending or anticipated
criminal trial), it is within the power of the district
court, and in accord with common practice, to stay the civil