United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING DISMISSING
PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND FOR FAILURE
TO STATE A CLAIM (ECF NO. 1)
Deshavier Williams (“Plaintiff”), proceeding
pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently before
the Court is Plaintiff's complaint, signed on June 6,
2019, and docketed with the Court on June 14, 2019. (ECF No.
any filing fee, the court shall dismiss a case if at any time
the Court determines that the complaint “(i) is
frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which
relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against
a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2); see Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d
1122, 1129 (9th Cir. 2000) (section 1915(e) applies to all
in forma pauperis complaints, not just those filed
by prisoners); Calhoun v. Stahl, 254 F.3d 845 (9th
Cir. 2001) (dismissal required of in forma pauperis
proceedings which seek monetary relief from immune
defendants); Cato v. United States, 70 F.3d 1103,
1106 (9th Cir. 1995) (district court has discretion to
dismiss in forma pauperis complaint under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)); Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193
(9th Cir. 1998) (affirming sua sponte dismissal for failure
to state a claim). The Court exercises its discretion to
screen the plaintiff's complaint in this action to
determine if it “(i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii)
fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune
from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
determining whether a complaint fails to state a claim, the
Court uses the same pleading standard used under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 8(a). A complaint must 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)).
reviewing the pro se complaint, the Court is to
liberally construe the pleadings and accept as true all
factual allegations contained in the complaint. Erickson
v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Although a court must
accept as true all factual allegations contained in a
complaint, a court need not accept a plaintiff's legal
conclusions as true. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
“[A] complaint [that] pleads facts that are
‘merely consistent with' a defendant's
liability . . . ‘stops short of the line between
possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.'
” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at
557). Therefore, the complaint must contain sufficient
factual content for the court to draw the reasonable
conclusion that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
Court accepts Plaintiff's allegations in the complaint as
true only for the purpose of the sua sponte
screening requirement under 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
filed this complaint while incarcerated however Plaintiff is
not challenging his conditions of confinement. Plaintiff
brings this action against Defendants Robert H. Stover
(“Stover”), identified as a public defender for
Kings County, Thomas Snyder (“Snyder”),
identified as a district attorney for Kings County, Jason D.
Taylor (“Taylor”), identified as a public
defender for Kings County, and a “K. vanbindsbergin,
” identified as a Kings County sheriff. (Compl. 1, ECF
No. 1.) Plaintiff's complaint is largely based on events
that Plaintiff alleges are part of an effort by police
officers in the Hanford police department, in coordination
with Kings County prosecutors and public defenders, to frame
him. Plaintiff has filed multiple lawsuits in this Court
including actions relating to the February 2017 incidents
involved in this action.
Fifth Amendment Claim against Public Defender Stover and
District Attorney Snyder
first claim is for violation of the Fifth Amendment and is
brought against public defender Robert Stover and district
attorney Thomas Snyder for aiding in the commission of
perjury. (Compl. 4.) On May 3, 2017, Plaintiff had a
preliminary hearing in the Kings County Superior Court as a
criminal defendant for charges relating to an alleged animal
cruelty event on February 21, 2017. (Compl. 4.) Public
defender Robert Stover represented Plaintiff at the time of
the hearing. (Id.) After reading the officer
reports, Plaintiff saw they were full of lies and states
there was a miscommunication between him and public defender
Stover. (Id.) Plaintiff wrote his own motion to
compel production of police officer Larry Leeds'
testimony in order to challenge the false reports.
(Id.) The state court judge informed Plaintiff that
he must use a subpoena to obtain the officers' testimony,
not a motion to compel. (Compl. 5.) Plaintiff states that he
was already in court by the time he was informed of this and
emphasizes that all the district attorney or public defender
had to do was ask officer Leeds what he saw in the back yard
the day of the incident but did not do so. (Compl. 5.)
Because of this, Plaintiff charges that public defender
Stover and district attorney Snyder helped the officers
commit perjury. (Compl. 6.) Plaintiff claims because of this
failure, he was forced to remain in jail longer, and thus was
subject to false imprisonment in violation of the Fifth
Amendment. (Compl. 4-6.)
then describes at length why he believes the testimony was
false and why it would have proven him innocent if the
officers were forced to testify, mainly based on the issue of
whether the officer in fact viewed the injured or dead animal
prior to further investigation at the residence. (Compl. 6.)
Plaintiff charges the facts show a conspiracy to keep him
imprisoned, and appears to cite the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871
as a basis for a cause of action against Defendants in this
conspiracy to take away his rights and privileges. (Compl.
Fourteenth Amendment Claim for Retaliation against Public
second claim is for violation of the Fourteenth Amendment
brought against Defendant Robert Stover for retaliation.
(Compl. 11.) Plaintiff alleges that on May 6, 2018 Stover
filed a false report stating Plaintiff threatened him but
Plaintiff states that if you read the reports, he did not
actually threaten him. (Compl. 11.) Plaintiff states Stover
filed the false report in retaliation because Plaintiff
threatened him with a lawsuit based on Stover taking part in
a conspiracy to commit perjury. (Compl. 11.) It appears
Plaintiff's allegations relate to the incident with
Hanford police officers on February 21, 2017, and
Plaintiff's ongoing issue with public defender Stover
relating to Plaintiff's desire to get the police body
camera videos from that incident. (Compl. 11.) Plaintiff also
avers to another incident on February 5, 2017. (Compl. 11,
13.) Plaintiff states “there is video footage to prove
a perjury by officers, ” that Plaintiff has “been
chaseing [sic] Stover down about these videos, ” and
Stover “has given me the run around.” (Compl.
11.) Plaintiff states that “by threatening Stover with
this lawsuite [sic] he retaliated against me getting charges
filed on me which resulted me [sic] being in jail.”
(Compl. 11.) Plaintiff refers repeatedly to another action
filed in this Court, which appears to be Williams v.
Kings County District Attorney's Office, No.
1:18-cv-00416-DAD-SKO, described above, in stating that this
effort to obtain the video has been ongoing for an extended
states he met with Stover at the Kings County Courthouse on
May 6 2018, and Stover told Plaintiff he wanted to give the
body camera video to Plaintiff through an email, but
Plaintiff did not agree for multiple reasons including
because Plaintiff was afraid of the threat of tracking
software which would invade his privacy, stating “they
have already invaded my privacy facebook, ” and have
“stolen emails to try and find error they believe in my
pravicy [sic] to humiliate me.” (Compl. 12.) Plaintiff
alleges this is part of a pattern of Stover not standing up
for Plaintiff's rights, citing the fact that on March 26,
2017, Stover waived Plaintiff's right to appear in court,
despite Plaintiff wanting to go to the court to explain he
was framed by the Hanford Police Department for the events on
February 21, 2017. (Id.) Plaintiff states that he
was treated badly by court officials, appearing to reference
an incident on May 15, 2018, when Plaintiff argued with the
court officers regarding searching his items, and such events
would not have happened if Stover had fought and ...