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Raiser v. United States

United States District Court, S.D. California

August 28, 2019

Aaron Raiser, Plaintiff,
v.
United States District Court for the Southern District of California, et al., Defendants.

          1) DISMISSING CIVIL ACTION AS FRIVOLOUS AND FOR FAILING TO STATE A CLAIM PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(E)(2)(B)(I), (II); 2) DENYING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS AND AS MOOT [DOC. NO. 2]; AND 3) DENYING MOTION TO FILE ELECTRONICALLY AS MOOT [DOC. NO. 5]

          HON. CATHY ANN BENCIVENGO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Aaron Raiser (“Plaintiff”), filed this civil action against the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, Chief Judge Larry Burns, Daniel Nanula, and all non-judicial staff of this Court. [Doc. No. 1.] In the complaint, Plaintiff requests a court order that judicial staff not be allowed to perform any work in another pending case (19cv1295-AJB-JLB), and that only “a judge read Plaintiff's filings, do the research and draft the orders in that case.” [Doc. No. 1 at ¶32.]

         Plaintiff did not prepay the civil filing fees required by 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a) at the time of filing; instead he has filed a Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (“IFP”) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). [Doc. No. 2.]

         I. Screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)

         A. Standard of Review

         A complaint filed by any person seeking to proceed IFP is subject to sua sponte dismissal if it is “frivolous, malicious, fail[s] to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seek[s] monetary relief from a defendant immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); Calhoun v. Stahl, 254 F.3d 845, 845 (9th Cir. 2001) (per curiam) (holding that “the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) are not limited to prisoners.”); Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (“[S]ection 1915(e) not only permits, but requires a district court to dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint that fails to state a claim.”); see also Chavez v. Robinson, 817 F.3d 1162, 1167-68 (9th Cir. 2016) (noting that § 1915(e)(2)(B) “mandates dismissal-even if dismissal comes before the defendants are served.”). “When a case may be classified as frivolous or malicious, there is, by definition, no merit to the underlying action and so no reason to grant leave to amend.” Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1128, n.8.

         B. Plaintiff's Complaint

         Here, Plaintiff's complaint clearly fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted because he is asking this Court to issue an order regarding how the work in another case should be conducted. This Court knows of no authority for the proposition that one district judge can order another district judge to handle a particular case in a particular manner.[1] Moreover, the relief Plaintiff seeks is unrealistic and frivolous, as judicial staff work for and at the direction of the judges. Finally, judges and their staff are absolutely immune from suit when performing judicial responsibilities. See In re Castillo, 297 F.3d 940, 947 (9th Cir. 2002), as amended (Sept. 6, 2002) (absolute judicial immunity is afforded to judges for acts performed by the judge that relate to the judicial process); Ashelman v. Pope, 793 F.2d 1072, 1075 (9th Cir. 1986)(“Judicial immunity applies ‘however erroneous the act may have been, and however injurious in its consequences it may have proved to the plaintiff ” Id. (quoting Cleavinger v. Saxner, 474 U.S. 193 (1985)); Mullis v. U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Dist. of Nev., 828 F.2d 1385, 1390 (9th Cir. 1987)(“[c]ourt clerks have absolute quasi-judicial immunity from damages for civil rights violations when they perform tasks that are an integral part of the judicial process.”); Samuel v. Michaud, 980 F.Supp.1381, 1403 (D. Idaho 1996)(conspiracy allegations against federal clerks “precluded from suit by the doctrine of absolute quasi-judicial immunity). Therefore, the complaint is frivolous and fails to state a claim.

         II. Conclusion and Order

         Good cause appearing, the Court:

1) DISMISSES this civil action, Raiser v. United States District Court for the Southern District of California, 19cv 1571-CAB-WVG, as frivolous and for failing to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and (ii);
2) DENIES Plaintiffs Motions to Proceed IFP as moot (Doc. No. 2, );
3) DENIES Plaintiffs Motion for Leave to Electronically File Documents [Doc. No. 5] as moot;
4) CERTIFIES that an IFP appeal of this Order of dismissal would not be taken in good faith pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3). See Coppedge v. United States,369 U.S. 438, 445 (1962); Gardner v. Pogue,558 F.2d 548, 550 (9th Cir. 1977) (indigent appellant is permitted to ...

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