United States District Court, D. Utah
MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER OF DISMISSAL
WADDOUPS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Amended Complaint here alleges civil-rights violations
regarding Plaintiff's prosecution and conviction by the
State of Utah for a crime occurring on August 1, 1994. The
procedural facts are best described by the Utah Supreme Court
in State v. Rudolph, 970 P.2d 1221 (Utah 1998):
The State charged Rudolph with aggravated burglary,
aggravated sexual assault, and violation of a protective
order. He appeared pro se with the assistance of standby
counsel. Following a jury trial in late 1994, he was
convicted of and sentenced on the charges of aggravated
burglary and violation of a protective order, but was
acquitted on the charge of aggravated sexual assault.
Rudolph appealed his convictions to this court. Because
significant portions of the trial transcript were incomplete
due to technical problems with the court reporter's
machinery, we summarily reversed his convictions and remanded
his case to the trial court for a new trial on the aggravated
burglary and violation of a protective order charges. On
remand, the trial judge, Judge Timothy R. Hanson, recused
himself, and the case was reassigned to Judge Pat B. Brian.
In February 1996, Rudolph's new trial began, and he again
appeared pro se. However, during the redirect examination of
the State's first witness, the court granted
Rudolph's motion for a mistrial. He also moved to recuse
Judge Brian from further proceedings in the case. Although
Judge Brian apparently granted this motion, he continued to
preside over Rudolph's third trial.
At the third jury trial, Rudolph was represented by
court-appointed counsel. He was again convicted of aggravated
burglary and violation of a protective order and was
sentenced to concurrent prison terms as prescribed by
statute. Rudolph now appeals from these convictions.
Id. at 1223-1224.
names these defendants: Timothy Hanson (judge at one of
Plaintiff's criminal trials); Karen Stam (Plaintiff's
public defender); Charles Behrens, Barbara Byrne, and
Katherine Bernards Goodman (prosecutors); Erin Riley
(Assistant Attorney General representing State in
Plaintiff's state post-conviction proceeding); Michael
Sibbett, Keith Hamilton, Jesse Gallegos, and Curtis Garner
(Utah Board of Pardons and Parole (BOP)
members). Service of the Amended Complaint on
Hanson, Byrne, Sibbett, and Hamilton remains unexecuted.
Pending motions to dismiss have been filed by Stam, Behrens
and Bernard Goodman (together), Riley, Gallegos, and Garner.
Court ordered service on all defendants in this case;
however, despite extra efforts, Hanson, Byrne, Sibbett, and
Hamilton remain unserved. Even so, the Court exercises its
screening authority to dismiss these defendants.
Standard of Review
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. 28
U.S.C.S. § 1915(e)(2)(B) (2017).
"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 a complaint's sufficiency
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).
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 based."
Id. 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." Id.