United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER OF DISMISSAL
C. SPERO CHIEF MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
who consented to magistrate judge jurisdiction (Dkt. No. 7),
alleges in this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action that his defense
attorney and the trial judge are conspiring to deprive him of
his constitutional rights to a fair trial. He asks this Court
to remove his “lawyer from the case” and transfer
his proceedings to a district in which his rights will be
asks this Court to interfere in ongoing state proceedings.
Because precedent commands otherwise, this Court must deny
plaintiff's request and dismiss his suit.
Standard of Review
initial review of this pro se complaint, this Court must
dismiss any claim that is frivolous or malicious, or fails to
state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). Pro se
pleadings must be liberally construed. See Balistreri v.
Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir.
“complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). Furthermore, a court
“is not required to accept legal conclusions cast in
the form of factual allegations if those conclusions cannot
reasonably be drawn from the facts alleged.” Clegg
v. Cult Awareness Network, 18 F.3d 752, 754-55 (9th Cir.
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by
the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated,
and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person
acting under the color of state law. See West v.
Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
alleges his attorney is conspiring with the trial court
“to have a hearing for public safety, but they are
really go[ing] to have a bench trial, violating my right to a
jury trial.” (Compl. at 3.) From these allegations, the
Court infers that plaintiff is facing ongoing criminal
proceedings in state court.
are at least two reasons to dismiss this suit.
his claims for injunctive relief, the only relief he seeks,
cannot proceed. 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 (1971). More specifically,
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.” Id. at 46,
53-54. Younger abstention is required when (1) state
proceedings, judicial in nature, are pending; (2) the state
proceedings involve important state interests; and (3) the
state proceedings afford adequate opportunity to raise the
constitutional issue. See Middlesex County Ethics Comm.
v. Garden State Bar Ass'n, 457 U.S. 423, 432 (1982).
relief is available only upon “showing irreparable
injury.” Younger, 401 U.S. at 46. However,
“[c]ertain types of injury, in particular, the cost,
anxiety, and inconvenience of having to defend against a
single criminal prosecution, could not by themselves be
considered 'irreparable' in the special legal sense
of that term. Instead, the threat to the plaintiff's