Hawes v. Simmons et al

Filing 6

ORDER OF DISMISSAL. Signed by Judge William Alsup on 6/1/15. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service)(dt, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/2/2015)

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1 2 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 3 4 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 6 7 TERRY HAWES, Plaintiff, 8 KELLY SIMMONS; JERRY BROWN, 11 Defendants. For the Northern District of California United States District Court ORDER OF DISMISSAL v. 9 10 No. C 15-1580 WHA (PR) 12 / 13 INTRODUCTION 14 This is a pro se civil rights complaint filed by a California prisoner proceeding pro se 15 under 42 U.S.C. 1983. He claims that the judge in his criminal trial violated his constitutional 16 rights. For the reasons discussed below, the complaint is DISMISSED without prejudice. 17 DISCUSSION 18 A. STANDARD OF REVIEW 19 Federal courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in which prisoners seek 20 redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. 21 1915A(a). In its review the court must identify any cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims 22 which are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seek 23 monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id. at 1915A(b)(1),(2). 24 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only "a short and plain statement of the 25 claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." "Specific facts are not necessary; the 26 statement need only '"give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . . claim is and the grounds 27 upon which it rests."'" Erickson v. Pardus, 127 S. Ct. 2197, 2200 (2007) (citations omitted). 28 1 Although in order to state a claim a complaint “does not need detailed factual allegations, . . . a 2 plaintiff's obligation to provide the 'grounds of his 'entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than 3 labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not 4 do. . . . Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative 5 level." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007) (citations omitted). A 6 complaint must proffer "enough facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face." Id. 7 at 1974. Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 8 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and (2) 11 For the Northern District of California To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: 10 United States District Court 9 that the violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 12 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). 13 B. 14 LEGAL CLAIMS Plaintiff claims that defendant Simmons, the judge at his criminal trial, violated his right 15 to due process by finding him incompetent but later granting his request to proceed with his 16 criminal proceedings pro se. He wants the judge and the Governor of California to pay him 25 17 million dollars. 18 Plaintiff’s claims are barred. The United States Supreme Court has held that to recover 19 damages for an allegedly unconstitutional confinement, or for other harm caused by actions 20 whose unlawfulness would render the confinement invalid, a plaintiff must prove that the 21 judgment has been reversed on direct appeal, expunged by executive order, declared invalid by 22 a state tribunal authorized to make such determination, or called into question by a federal 23 court's issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. Heck v. Humphrey, 114 S. Ct. 2364, 2372 (1994). 24 Plaintiff’s success on his claims that the trial judge violated his right to due process in the 25 course of his criminal trial would necessarily imply the invalidity of his resulting conviction, 26 sentence and present commitment. Accordingly, plaintiff’s claims are dismissed without 27 prejudice until and unless his conviction is overturned or otherwise called into question. See 28 generally Alvarez-Machain v. United States, 107 F.3d 696, 700-01 (9th Cir. 1997). 2 1 CONCLUSION 2 For the reasons set out above, this action is DISMISSED without prejudice. 3 The clerk shall enter judgment and close the file. 4 IT IS SO ORDERED. 5 Dated: June 6 1 , 2015. WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 7 8 9 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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