Smith v. Public Defenders Office et al

Filing 10

ORDER OF DISMISSAL. Signed by Judge Claudia Wilken on 4/11/2012. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service)(ndr, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/11/2012)

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1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 ANTHONY X. SMITH, 4 5 6 Plaintiff, ORDER OF DISMISSAL v. PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE, et al., 7 Defendants. 8 9 No. C 11-5796 CW (PR) / Plaintiff, a prisoner of the State of California, has filed United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 this pro se civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 11 been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. 12 that the attorneys who represented him in his criminal proceedings 13 in 1986 did not provide him with the effective assistance of 14 counsel. He has Plaintiff alleges He seeks monetary damages. 15 STANDARD OF REVIEW 16 A federal court must conduct a preliminary screening in any 17 case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or 18 officer or employee of a governmental entity. 19 In its review, the court must identify any cognizable claims and 20 dismiss any claims that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a 21 claim upon which relief may be granted or seek monetary relief from 22 a defendant who is immune from such relief. 23 Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. 24 Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988). 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Id. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). Balistreri v. 25 To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must 26 allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the 27 Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and 28 1 (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting 2 under the color of State law. 3 (1988). 4 5 West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 DISCUSSION Plaintiff seeks monetary damages for alleged inadequate 6 representation by his criminal defense attorneys. 7 allegations do not state a claim upon which relief may be granted 8 because he cannot pursue any claim for damages or injunctive relief 9 under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 that, if successful, necessarily would call Plaintiff's United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 into question the validity of his conviction or confinement. 11 v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), holds that in order to state a 12 claim for relief for an allegedly unconstitutional conviction or 13 term of imprisonment, or for other harm caused by actions whose 14 unlawfulness would render a conviction or sentence invalid, a 15 plaintiff asserting a violation of § 1983 must prove that the 16 conviction or sentence has been reversed or declared invalid. 17 at 486-87. 18 demonstrate the invalidity of the confinement or its duration, the 19 § 1983 lawsuit is barred, irrespective of whether the plaintiff 20 seeks monetary damages or equitable relief. 21 544 U.S. 74, 81 (2005). 22 Heck Id. If success in the § 1983 lawsuit would necessarily Wilkinson v. Dotson, Here, Plaintiff's complaint seeks damages from the attorneys 23 who allegedly failed to provide him with adequate representation in 24 his criminal proceedings. 25 would call into question the validity of Plaintiff's conviction. Such claims, if successful, necessarily 26 27 28 2 1 Accordingly, the complaint is DISMISSED without leave to amend. 2 See Heck, 512 U.S. at 487.1 3 4 CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons, the complaint is DISMISSED without 5 leave to amend and without prejudice for failure to state a claim 6 upon which relief may be granted. 7 8 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 The Clerk of the Court shall close the file and enter judgment. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: 4/11/2012 CLAUDIA WILKEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 25 26 27 28 After he filed the present complaint, Plaintiff filed a sixteen-page document titled "Notice and Memorandum." Docket no. 7. The contents of the document are difficult to decipher and Plaintiff's intent in filing it is not clear. To the extent he intended the document to supplement his ineffective assistance of counsel claim, it fails to revive that barred claim. To the extent he intended to raise claims concerning other matters, he must file a new and separate complaint raising those claims. 3

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