Crump v. Plummer

Filing 30

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO REOPEN ACTION. Signed by Judge Richard Seeborg on 12/28/11. (Attachments: # 1 Appendix Certificate of Service)(cl, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/28/2011)

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1 2 *E-Filed 12/28/11* 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED SATES DISTRICT COURT 8 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 SAN FRANCISCO DIVISION United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 14 ORDER DENYING MOTION TO REOPEN ACTION Petitioner, 12 13 No. C 11-4920 RS (PR) STEVE CRUMP, v. CHARLES PLUMMER, Respondent. 15 / 16 17 This is a closed federal habeas corpus action filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 by 18 a pro se state prisoner. The action was dismissed, and judgment entered in favor of 19 respondent, because the petition appeared to be in truth a civil rights complaint. 20 Petitioner now has filed an amended petition, which makes it clear that he is 21 challenging his pre-trial detention on state charges of making terrorist threats and identity 22 theft. Petitioner asks for the Court to order his immediate release on grounds of malicious 23 prosecution, false arrest, and retaliation. The Court construes the amended petition as 24 containing a motion to reopen the action. So construed, it is DENIED on grounds of 25 abstention. 26 27 Under principles of comity and federalism, a federal court should not interfere with ongoing state criminal proceedings by granting injunctive or declaratory relief absent 28 No. C 11-4920 RS (PR) ORDER DENYING MOT. TO REOPEN 1 extraordinary circumstances. See Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 43–54 (1971). More 2 specifically, federal courts should not enjoin pending state criminal prosecutions absent a 3 showing of the state’s bad faith or harassment, or a showing that the statute challenged is 4 “flagrantly and patently violative of express constitutional prohibitions.” Younger, 401 U.S. 5 at 46, 53–54. Younger abstention is required when (1) state proceedings, judicial in nature, 6 are pending; (2) the state proceedings involve important state interests; and (3) the state 7 proceedings afford adequate opportunity to raise the constitutional issue. See Middlesex 8 County Ethics Comm. v. Garden State Bar Ass’n, 457 U.S. 423, 432 (1982). 9 Abstention is appropriate here because all of the elements of Younger are present. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 Nothing in the petition suggests there are extraordinary circumstances requiring this Court’s 11 interference in state court criminal proceedings. As to the first Younger element, the 12 record demonstrates that petitioner’s state court proceedings are ongoing. As to the second 13 Younger element, the Supreme Court has held that “a proper respect for state functions,” 14 such as ongoing criminal trial proceedings, is an important issue of state interest. See Preiser 15 v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 491–92 (1973) (quoting Younger, 401 U.S. at 44). As to the 16 third prong of Younger, the Court finds no reason that plaintiff cannot pursue his 17 constitutional claims in state court. Furthermore, any interference by this Court in the state 18 court proceedings would cause results disapproved of by Younger. SJSVCCPAC v. City of 19 San Jose, 546 F.3d 1087, 1092 (9th Cir. 2008) (citing cases). Thus, Younger abstention is 20 applicable here. 21 When Younger applies, and the party seeks injunctive relief, as petitioner does here by 22 asking the Court to order his immediate release, federal courts should dismiss the action in its 23 entirety. See Colorado River Water Conserv. Dist. v. U.S., 424 U.S. 800, 816 n.22 (1976). 24 Accordingly, petitioner’s motion to reopen the action is DENIED on grounds of abstention. 25 IT IS SO ORDERED. 26 DATED: December 28, 2011 RICHARD SEEBORG United States District Judge 27 28 2 No. C 11-4920 RS (PR) ORDER DENYING MOT. TO REOPEN

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