Alford v. Pacifica Police Department

Filing 9

ORDER DISMISSING IN PART, STAYING, AND ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSING CASE. Signed by Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley on 4/27/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service)(ahm, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/27/2017)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 AARON ROBERT ALFORD, 7 Plaintiff, 8 v. 9 PACIFICA POLICE DEPARTMENT, 10 ORDER DISMISSING IN PART, STAYING, AND ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSING CASE Defendant. 11 United States District Court Northern District of California Case No.17-cv-00524-JSC 12 INTRODUCTION 13 Plaintiff, a pretrial detainee in San Mateo County, filed this pro se civil rights complaint 14 15 under 42 U.S.C. ' 1983 against the Pacifica Police Department.1 Plaintiff’s application to proceed 16 in forma pauperis is granted in a separate order. For the reasons explained below, the complaint is 17 dismissed with leave to amend. STANDARD OF REVIEW 18 Federal courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in which prisoners seek 19 20 redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 21 1915A(a). The Court must identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of 22 the complaint, if the complaint “is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief 23 may be granted,” or “seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.” Id. 24 § 1915A(b). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 25 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short and plain statement of the 26 27 1 28 Plaintiff consented to the jurisdiction of a United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). (Dkt. 7.) 1 claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” “Specific facts are not necessary; the 2 statement need only give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . . claim is and the grounds upon 3 which it rests.” Erickson v. Pardus, 127 S. Ct. 2197, 2200 (2007) (citations omitted). Although to 4 state a claim a complaint “does not need detailed factual allegations, . . . a plaintiff's obligation to 5 provide the grounds of his entitle[ment] to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a 6 formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. . . . Factual allegations must 7 be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 8 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007) (citations omitted). A complaint must proffer “enough facts to 9 state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 1974. 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. ' 1983, a plaintiff must allege two elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). LEGAL CLAIMS 14 15 16 17 Plaintiff complains that his arrest, current incarceration, and prosecution are unlawful. He seeks to have all the charges pending against him dismissed, and he claims that he is entitled to money damages. As to the dismissal of his charges, a writ of habeas corpus is the “exclusive remedy” for an inmate who seeks “immediate or speedier release” from confinement. Skinner v. 18 Switzer, 561 U.S. 521, 525 (2011). A civil rights complaint seeking habeas relief should be 19 dismissed without prejudice to bringing it as a petition for writ of habeas corpus. Trimble v. City 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 of Santa Rosa, 49 F.3d 583, 586 (9th Cir. 1995). Therefore, Plaintiff’s claim seeking to dismiss his criminal charges must be dismissed without prejudice to refiling in a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Because Plaintiff’s claims would --- if proven true --- invalidate his currently pending charges, his claims for money damages are stayed until his criminal prosecution ends. See Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 393-94 (2007). If Plaintiff is convicted, his claims for money damages will be dismissed; if he is not convicted, his claims for money damages may proceed at that time. See id. at 394. 28 2 1 CONCLUSION 2 3 The complaint is DISMISSED IN PART. The claims seeking dismissal of the charges 4 against Plaintiff are DISMISSED without prejudice to refiling in a petition for a writ of habeas 5 corpus filed in a new case. The case is otherwise STAYED pending resolution of Plaintiff’s 6 criminal proceedings. If Plaintiff wants to proceed with his remaining claims, i.e. his claims for 7 money damages, he must file a motion to lift the stay within 28 days of the date his criminal 8 proceedings are resolved in state court. 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 The Clerk shall administratively close the file. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: April 27, 2017 12 13 JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY United States Magistrate Judge 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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