United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER FOR PLAINTIFF TO: (1) FILE A SECOND AMENDED
COMPLAINT; OR (2) NOTIFY THE COURT THAT HE WISHES TO STAND ON
HIS FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT, SUBJECT TO FINDINGS AND
RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE DISTRICT JUDGE CONSISTENT WITH THIS
ORDER (ECF NO. 1) THIRTY (30) DAY DEADLINE
Owens (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se
and in forma pauperis, commenced this civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by the filing of a
Complaint on January 29, 2018. (ECF No. 1). On February 23,
2018, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint
(“FAC”), alleging that the Fresno Police
Department, Community Regional Medical Center, and the Fresno
County District Attorney violated his constitutional rights
by taking his blood, offering false testimony in open court,
and presenting misleading information to a judge. (ECF No.
4). Plaintiff also alleges his attorney, Wagner & Jones
Law Office, breached his trust by failing to advise him that
his constitutional rights had been violated. Id.
Court has screened the FAC, and has concluded that it fails
to state any cognizable claim under section 1983.
Specifically, Plaintiff's claims are barred by the
Younger abstention doctrine and the favorable
termination rule, and the allegations fail to show that the
named defendants are liable under section 1983. The Court
will provide Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint
within thirty days, if he believes that additional facts will
establish a claim under the applicable legal standards.
Plaintiff also has the option of standing on the FAC, in
which case this Court will issue findings and recommendations
to the assigned district judge, recommending that the case be
dismissed for the reasons described in this order.
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
or detainees seeking relief against a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or
portion thereof if the prisoner or detainee has raised claims
that are legally “frivolous or malicious, ” that
fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or
that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2).
“Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion
thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the
case at any time if the court determines that the action or
appeal fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).
complaint is required to contain “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief . . . .” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Detailed
factual allegations are not required, but “[t]hreadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). While a plaintiff's allegations are taken as
true, courts “are not required to indulge unwarranted
inferences.” Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.,
572 F.3d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks
and citation omitted). Plaintiff must set forth
“sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (internal quotation marks and
citation omitted). While factual allegations are accepted as
true, legal conclusions are not. Id. The mere
possibility of misconduct falls short of meeting this
plausibility standard. Id. at 678-79; Moss v.
U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009).
appears to be a pretrial detainee currently detained at Fresno
County Jail. Plaintiff contends that he has been deprived of
life, liberty, and property without due process of law, and
that his property has been taken for public use without just
alleges that an officer from the Fresno Police Department
(“FPD”) took his blood without performing a
thorough investigation. Plaintiff also alleges that in open
court on January 25, 2018, an officer contradicted
information disclosed in discovery by testifying that a
Community Regional Medical Center (“CRMC”) staff
member is a man who can be identified by personal
information, as opposed to a woman who cannot be identified.
officer was coached by the Fresno County District Attorney
(the “District Attorney”) in his entire
testimony, which will not match any hospital records or
police investigation. The District Attorney presented
misleading information to the judge by having the officer
testify that the officer's actions in his investigation
were appropriate. The judge detained Plaintiff and set an
excessive bail based on this information.
further alleges that CRMC staff took his blood and submitted
statements to the FPD that are inconsistent with discovery
filed with the court. On January 24, 2018, “someone
other than an unidentified female in the discovery gave
statements over a phone conversation to the [FPD, ]
identifying themselves as a man.”
also alleges that his attorney breached his trust by failing
to inform him that his rights had been violated and by
advising him to take a plea on all charges.
courts “may not interfere with pending state criminal
or civil proceedings.” Aiona v. Judiciary of State
of Haw., 17 F.3d 1244, 1248 (9th Cir. 1994). This
doctrine, called “Younger abstention, ” is rooted
in the “desire to permit state courts to try state
cases free from interference by federal courts.”
Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 43 (1971)
(“[T]he underlying reason for restraining courts of
equity from interfering with criminal prosecutions is
reinforced by an even more vital consideration, the notion of
‘comity, ' that is, a proper respect for state
functions . . . .”). “Abstention is appropriate
in favor of state proceedings if (1) the state proceedings
are ongoing, (2) the proceedings implicate important state
interests, and (3) the state proceedings provide the
plaintiff an adequate opportunity to litigate ...