Bonilla v. Cullen

Filing 5

ORDER OF DISMISSAL; TERMINATING ALL PENDING MOTIONS. Signed by Judge Claudia Wilken on 1/24/2012. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service)(ndr, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/24/2012)

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1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 IN RE STEVEN BONILLA, 4 Plaintiff. 5 / 6 Nos. C C C C C 11-6306 11-6307 12-0026 12-0027 12-0206 CW CW CW CW CW (PR) (PR) (PR) (PR) (PR) ORDER OF DISMISSAL; TERMINATING ALL PENDING MOTIONS 7 8 BACKGROUND 9 Plaintiff Steven Bonilla has been sentenced to death by the United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 Superior Court of California for the County of Alameda. He is 11 incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison. Although his state 12 habeas case currently is being litigated, he filed a request for 13 appointment of counsel for his future federal habeas litigation in 14 this Court. See Bonilla v. Ayers, No. C 08-0471 CW (PR). Pursuant 15 to Habeas Local Rule 2254-25, this Court granted his request for 16 appointment of counsel and referred the matter to the Northern 17 District's Selection Board for the recommendation of qualified 18 counsel to represent Plaintiff in his federal habeas proceedings. 19 Additionally, pursuant to Habeas Local Rule 2254-24(a), the Court 20 granted Plaintiff's concurrent request for a stay of execution. 21 Although Plaintiff's state habeas case is pending before the 22 California Supreme Court, Plaintiff has filed numerous pro se 23 requests and motions in C 08-0471. All of the requests and motions 24 have been denied by this Court or withdrawn by Plaintiff. 25 Additionally, between June 1 and October 31, 2011, Plaintiff 26 filed in this Court thirty-four pro se civil rights actions under 27 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 28 The Court dismissed all of those actions for the 1 reason that the allegations in the complaints do not state a claim 2 for relief under § 1983, either because Plaintiff seeks relief that 3 can be pursued only in a habeas corpus action or because his 4 allegations fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. 5 Additionally, several actions were dismissed as duplicative of 6 actions previously reviewed and dismissed by the Court. 7 Now pending before the Court are five new pro se civil rights 8 actions filed by Plaintiff. 9 actions are DISMISSED. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 12 For the reasons discussed below, the DISCUSSION A. False Arrest/False Imprisonment In two actions, Plaintiff claims he was falsely arrested and 13 is falsely imprisoned. 14 Attorney's Office, No. C 11-6307 CW (PR); Bonilla v. Superior Court 15 of Alameda County, No. C 11-6306 CW (PR). 16 seeks release from custody. 17 of action are "independent" from a petition for a writ of habeas 18 corpus, because they challenge the lack of probable cause to arrest 19 him, not the validity of his conviction. 20 See Bonilla v. Alameda County District Based on such claims, he Plaintiff maintains that these causes Plaintiff's contention is without merit. As the Court has 21 explained previously to Plaintiff in several Orders, any claim by 22 Plaintiff that he is entitled to "immediate or speedier release" 23 from confinement may be asserted only in a petition for a writ of 24 habeas corpus. 25 (2011)(internal citation and quotation omitted). 26 above two actions are DISMISSED without prejudice to Plaintiff's 27 bringing his claims in a federal habeas petition. 28 City of Santa Rosa, 49 F.3d 583, 586 (9th Cir. 1995). See Skinner v. Switzer, 131 S. Ct. 1289, 1293 2 Accordingly, the See Trimble v. 1 Further, any claim for damages based on allegations of false 2 arrest and false imprisonment can be brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 3 only after Plaintiff's conviction has been found invalid. 4 Smithart v. Towery, 79 F.3d 951, 952 (9th Cir. 1996). (Heck v. 5 Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), bars plaintiff's claims that 6 defendants lacked probable cause to arrest him and brought 7 unfounded criminal charges against him). 8 extent Plaintiff seeks damages based on his alleged false arrest 9 and imprisonment, the above two actions are DISMISSED for failure Accordingly, to the 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California See to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. 11 B. 12 Delay In State Habeas Proceedings In Bonilla v. California Supreme Court, No. C 12-0026 CW (PR), 13 Plaintiff claims the California Supreme Court is violating his 14 constitutional rights by refusing to issue an opinion in his death 15 penalty appeal. 16 is being denied his constitutional right to pursue damages claims 17 under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against those who are responsible for his 18 wrongful conviction. 19 He maintains that, as a result of such delay, he The Court construes this action as a request for mandamus 20 relief, that is, a request that this Court direct the state court 21 to rule on Plaintiff's pending appeal. 22 cannot be granted. 23 jurisdiction to issue mandamus to direct state courts in the 24 performance of their duties; thus, an action brought to compel a 25 state court to take or refrain from some action is frivolous as a 26 matter of law. 27 1160, 1161-62 (9th Cir. 1991); see Dunlap v. Corbin, 532 F. Supp. 28 183, 187 (D. Ariz. 1981) (federal court cannot direct state court So construed, the request Federal district courts are without Demos v. United States District Court, 925 F.2d 3 1 to provide speedy trial). 2 Further, Plaintiff's claim that he is being denied his right 3 to pursue claims for damages related to his wrongful conviction is 4 without merit. 5 Orders, Heck, supra, holds that no cause of action for damages 6 accrues under § 1983 until Plaintiff's conviction has been 7 overturned. 8 freestanding constitutional or statutory right for Plaintiff to 9 pursue, prior to reversal of his conviction, any claim for damages As the Court has explained to Plaintiff in previous In other words, Heck makes clear that there exists no United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 or injunctive relief that, if successful, necessarily would call 11 into question the validity of his conviction or confinement. 12 Moreover, the statute of limitations will not start to run on any 13 such claims until they have accrued. 14 Accordingly, the above action fails to state a claim for 15 relief and is DISMISSED. 16 C. 17 Prosecutorial Misconduct In Bonilla v. Cullen, No. C 12-0027 CW (PR), Plaintiff seeks 18 to have his conviction vacated on grounds of prosecutorial 19 misconduct. 20 reviewed and addressed by the Court, sounds in habeas corpus and is 21 not cognizable in a civil rights action. 22 action is DISMISSED. 23 D. 24 This claim, which is duplicative of claims previously Accordingly, the above California Supreme Court Policy In Bonilla v. California Supreme Court, No. C 12-0206 CW (PR), 25 Plaintiff challenges the constitutionality of the California 26 Supreme Court's policy requiring that an attorney be appointed to 27 represent capital defendants in all automatic appeals. 28 reviewed and dismissed this same claim on abstention grounds, under 4 This Court 1 Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 43-54 (1971), in two of Plaintiff's 2 previous actions. 3 3181 CW (PR); Bonilla v. Supreme Court of Cal., C 11-3441 CW (PR). 4 Accordingly, the above action is DISMISSED as duplicative. See Bonilla v. Supreme Court of Cal., No. C 11- 5 CONCLUSION 6 For the foregoing reasons, the Court orders as follows: 7 The following five actions are DISMISSED without prejudice and without leave to amend for failure to state a claim upon which 9 relief may be granted: Bonilla v. Superior Court of Alameda County, 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 8 C 11-6306; Bonilla v. Alameda County District Attorney's Office, C 11 11-6307; Bonilla v. California Supreme Court, C 12-0026; Bonilla v. 12 Cullen, C 12-0027; Bonilla v. California Supreme Court, C 12-0206. 13 14 Leave to proceed in forma pauperis in the above actions is DENIED.1 15 The Clerk of the Court shall enter judgment in each of the 16 above actions, terminate all pending motions therein, and close the 17 files. 18 in C 08-0471. The Clerk of the Court also shall file a copy of this Order 19 IT IS SO ORDERED. 20 Dated: 1/24/2012 21 CLAUDIA WILKEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 22 23 24 1 25 26 27 28 The Court recently informed Plaintiff that, in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), he no longer qualifies to proceed in forma pauperis in any civil rights action he files in this Court. See In re Steven Bonilla, Nos. C 11-3180, et seq. CW (PR), Order of Dismissal at 6:23-7:19. In the instant matter, however, the Court will not provide Plaintiff with the option of paying, in full, the $350.00 filing fee for each of the five actions addressed in the present Order, because the actions are without legal merit. 5

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