United States District Court, C.D. California
ORDER OF DISMISSAL
S. FISCHER United States District Judge.
October 16, 2017, Plaintiff, a pro se state inmate, filed a
civil rights complaint. On November 14, 2017, the Court
dismissed the complaint with leave to amend. On February 9,
2018, Plaintiff filed the First Amended Complaint
to the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the Court has screened
the FAC to determine whether it fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A; 42
U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(1).
survive dismissal, "a 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) (citation omitted).
"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. The plausibility standard is not akin to
a ‘probability requirement, ' but it asks for more
than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully." Id. (citations omitted).
se complaint is to be liberally construed. Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam). Before
dismissing a pro se civil rights complaint for failure to
state a claim, the plaintiff should be given a statement of
the complaint's deficiencies and an opportunity to cure
them unless it is clear the deficiencies cannot be cured by
amendment. Eldridge v. Block, 832 F.2d 1132, 1135-36
(9th Cir. 1987).
STATE-COURT EFFORTS TO OBTAIN POSTCONVICTION
the second civil rights action filed by Plaintiff on the same
subject. He again seeks relief from this court in the wake of
his unsuccessful efforts to obtain postconviction discovery
in the state courts. See Pryor v. Los Angeles County
District Attorney's Office, CV 17-0633-DSF (AGR)
("Pryor I"). In that case, the Court
denied the request to proceed without prepayment of filing
fees and dismissed the action for lack of jurisdiction. (Dkt.
No. 7 in Pryor I.)
to a hearing transcript attached to the initial complaint,
Plaintiff was sentenced to life without the possibility of
parole after a conviction in 1988 based on a murder committed
in June 1986 in Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No.
A915615. (Dkt. No. 1 at 27-28, 33 (Exh. H), 51, 53 (Exh. J).)
On December 28, 1989, the California Court of Appeal affirmed
the judgment with sentence modifications. (Case No. B036280.)
2012, Plaintiff apparently sent a California Public Records
Act request to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's
Office. (Compl. at 2, 10 (Exh. B).) Plaintiff does not
disclose what he requested. The response stated that, to
receive the 2, 865 pages, Plaintiff had to pay the costs and
fees pursuant to Cal. Gov't Code § 6253(b).
Alternatively, Plaintiff could confer with his counsel to
determine whether he was entitled to post-conviction
discovery pursuant to Cal. Penal Code § 1054.9.
(Id. at 10.)
subsequently filed a request for post-conviction discovery
pursuant to Cal. Penal Code § 1054.9. On April 13, 2016,
pursuant to direction from the California Supreme Court, the
California Court of Appeal issued an alternative writ that
required the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Case No.
A915615 to conduct a full hearing pursuant to Cal. Penal Code
§ 1054.9 and Rubio v. Superior Court, 244
Cal.App.4th 459 (2016), or else show cause why a peremptory
writ of mandate should not issue. (Dkt. No. 1 at 21-22 (Exh.
13, 2016, the Superior Court conducted a hearing after
appointing counsel for Plaintiff. At the hearing,
Plaintiff's counsel read into the record the nine
categories of items requested by Plaintiff. Counsel for
Plaintiff and the District Attorney's Office discussed
the disposition of each category. (Id. at 26-36
(Exh. H).) The court set a further hearing on September 7,
2016 to address open issues. (Id. at 40.) On
September 7, 2016, the Superior Court issued an order that is
not attached to the complaint. (Id. at 57 n.4 (Exh.
to the California Court of Appeal's online docket in Case
No. B269919, the petition was dismissed as moot on October
13, 2016 after receipt of a Superior Court order dated
September 28, 2016.
November 3, 2016, Plaintiff filed a petition for review in
the California Supreme Court in Case No. S238192. The Court
requested an answer. On December 8, 2016, Plaintiff's
counsel signed an acknowledgment of receipt of evidentiary
materials from the District Attorney's file in the
categories discussed at the hearing. (Dkt. No. 1 at 44-49
(Exh. I).) On December 13, 2016, the People filed an answer.
On December 27, 2016, Plaintiff filed a reply. On January 11,
2017, the California Supreme Court denied the petition for
review. Pryor v. Superior Court, 2017 Cal. LEXIS 307
meantime, on August 22, 2016, Plaintiff apparently filed a
motion for protective order pursuant to Cal. Penal Code
§ 1054.7/1054.6 and a motion for post-conviction DNA
testing and appointment of an independent serologist expert
in Superior Court Case No. A915616. (Dkt. No. 1 at 55-56
(Exh. K).) On November 28, 2016, the People served a response
that opposed appointment of an independent serologist expert
on the grounds that the biological evidence had not been
shown to exist based on the July 12, 2016 hearing and
requested an extension of time to file an opposition to
Plaintiff's motion for DNA testing. (Id. at
58-60.) Plaintiff does not attach the Superior Court's
rulings on his motions.
January 26, 2017, Plaintiff filed the complaint in Pryor
I in this court. He requested the same relief sought in
this action. (Pryor I, Compl. at 6.) On February 7,
2017, the Court ordered Plaintiff to show cause why the court
should not dismiss the action without prejudice for lack of
jurisdiction. Plaintiff responded on March 9, 2017. He
conceded that his claims relating to the still-ongoing state
court proceedings were barred by the doctrine of Younger
v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 45 (1971). However, he argued
that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, discussed further
below, did not bar review of his claims regarding state court