Jaramillo v. Anderson et al
MEMORANDUM DECISION and Order. It is hereby ordered that Plaintiffs Complaint is DISMISSED with prejudice for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted. Signed by Judge Clark Waddoups on 4/20/2012. (kpf)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF UTAH
PAUL R. JARAMILLO,
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND
Case No. 2:11-CV-548 CW
SALT LAKE LEGAL DEFENDER ASS'N
District Judge Clark Waddoups
Plaintiff, Paul R. Jaramillo, an inmate at Salt Lake County
Adult Detention Center, filed this pro se civil rights suit, see
42 U.S.C.S. § 1983 (2012), proceeding in forma pauperis.
id. § 1915.
His complaint is now before the Court for screening.
See id. § 1915(e).
A. Standard of Review
This Court shall dismiss any claims in a complaint filed in
forma pauperis if they are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief
against an immune defendant.
See id. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
"Dismissal of a pro se complaint for failure to state a claim is
proper only where it is obvious that the plaintiff cannot prevail
on the facts he has alleged and it would be futile to give him an
opportunity to amend."
Perkins v. Kan. Dep't of Corrs., 165 F.3d
803, 806 (10th Cir. 1999).
When reviewing the sufficiency of a
complaint the Court "presumes all of plaintiff's factual
allegations are true and construes them in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff."
Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106,
1109 (10th Cir. 1991).
Because Plaintiff is proceeding pro se the Court must
construe his pleadings "liberally" and hold them "to a less
stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers."
Id. at 1110.
However, "[t]he broad reading of the plaintiff’s
complaint does not relieve [him] of the burden of alleging
sufficient facts on which a recognized legal claim could be
While Plaintiff need not describe every fact in
specific detail, "conclusory allegations without supporting
factual averments are insufficient to state a claim on which
relief can be based."
B. Plaintiff's Allegations
Plaintiff's Complaint alleges ineffective-assistance-ofcounsel claims against Patrick L. Anderson, Michael Sikora, and
Legal Defender Association, his public defenders in his
apparently ongoing state criminal case.
He attacks them for not
requesting DNA and fingerprint analysis and for not following up
on certain motions.
He requests new counsel.
C. Improper Defendants
To establish a cause of action under § 1983, Plaintiff must
allege (1) the deprivation of a federal right by (2) a person
acting under color of state law (without immunity).
Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980); Watson v. City of Kansas City,
857 F.2d 690, 694 (10th Cir. 1988).
The Complaint names defendants based on their role as
Plaintiff's public defenders.
"However, the Supreme Court has
stated that 'a public defender does not act under color of state
law when performing a lawyer's traditional functions as counsel
to a defendant in a criminal proceeding.'"
Garza v. Bandy, No.
08-3152, 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 17440, at *4 (10th Cir. Aug. 13,
2008) (unpublished) (quoting Polk County v. Dodson, 454 U.S. 312,
Additionally, "'even though the defective
performance of defense counsel may cause the trial process to
deprive an accused person of his liberty in an unconstitutional
manner, the lawyer who may be responsible for the
unconstitutional state action does not himself act under color of
state law within the meaning of § 1983.'"
Id. (quoting Briscoe
v. LaHue, 460 U.S. 325, 329 n. 6 (1983)).
Further, any concerns
regarding ineffective assistance of counsel in this (what3
appears-to-be) current state criminal case should be brought to
the trial court's attention. Thus, Plaintiff's claims against
Defendants may not proceed here.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's Complaint is DISMISSED
with prejudice, under 28 U.S.C.S. § 1915(e)(2)(B) (2012), for
failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted.
neither liberal interpretation of Plaintiff's claims nor
opportunity to amend would lead to a different result.
DATED this 20th day of April, 2012.
BY THE COURT:
United States District Judge
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