United States District Court, D. Utah
MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER TO SHOW
J. Shelby, District Judge
Daniel Thomas Gerardy, filed this pro se civil
rights suit, see 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983 (2019),
proceeding in forma pauperis. See 28
id. § 1915. Having now screened the Complaint,
(Doc. No. 3), under its statutory review function,
Court orders Plaintiff to show cause why the Complaint should
not be dismissed for failure to identify an appropriate
defendant and lack of jurisdiction.
on the latest information available to the Court, Plaintiff
is incarcerated in New Mexico, with Utah warrants pending.
Plaintiff names Utah Seventh District Court as the only
defendant. He asserts that Defendant violated his federal
constitutional rights by maintaining criminal charges against
him and warrants for his arrest. As remedy, he asks the Court
to dismiss the charges and warrants.
Grounds for Dismissal
evaluating the propriety of dismissing claims for failure to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, this Court
takes all well-pleaded factual assertions as true and regards
them in a light most advantageous to the plaintiff. Ridge
at Red Hawk L.L.C. v. Schneider, 493 F.3d 1174, 1177
(10th Cir. 2007). Dismissal is appropriate when, viewing
those facts as true, the plaintiff has not posed a
"plausible" right to relief. See Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007); Robbins
v. Oklahoma, 519 F.3d 1242, 1247-48 (10th Cir. 2008).
"The burden is on the plaintiff to frame a
'complaint with enough factual matter (taken as true) to
suggest' that he or she is entitled to relief."
Robbins, 519 F.3d at 1247 (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 556). When a civil rights complaint contains
"bare assertions," involving "nothing more
than a 'formulaic recitation of the elements' of a
constitutional . . . claim," the Court considers those
assertions "conclusory and not entitled to" an
assumption of truth. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 1951 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at
554-55). In other words, "the mere metaphysical
possibility that some plaintiff could prove
some set of facts in support of the pleaded claims
is insufficient; the complaint must give the court reason to
believe this plaintiff has a reasonable likelihood
of mustering factual support for these claims."
Red Hawk, 493 F.3d at 1177 (italics in original).
Court must construe pro se "'pleadings
liberally,' applying a less stringent standard than is
applicable to pleadings filed by lawyers. Th[e] court,
however, will not supply additional factual allegations to
round out a plaintiff's complaint or construct a legal
theory on a plaintiff's behalf." Whitney v. New
Mexico, 113 F.3d 1170, 1173-74 (10th Cir. 1997)
(citations omitted). In the Tenth Circuit, this means that if
this Court can reasonably read the pleadings "to state a
valid claim on which the plaintiff could prevail, it should
do so despite the plaintiff's failure to cite proper
legal authority, his confusion of various legal theories, his
poor syntax and sentence construction, or his unfamiliarity
with pleading requirements." Hall v. Bellmon,
935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). Still, it is not
"the proper function of the district court to assume the
role of advocate for the pro se litigant." Id.;
see also Peterson v. Shanks, 149 F.3d 1140, 1143
(10th Cir. 1998) (citing Dunn v. White, 880 F.2d
1188, 1197 (10th Cir. 1989) (per curiam)).
Seventh District Court is not an entity that may be sued
under § 1983. “It is clear that a state court
simply is not a ‘person' or a juridical entity
capable of being sued under § 1983.” Magee v.
Alexander, No. 16-14697, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184918,
at *4 (E.D. La. Nov. 4, 2016); see also Harris v.
Champion, 51 F.3d 901, 905-06 (10th Cir. 1995) (holding
state court properly dismissed under § 1983 because
“governmental entity that is an arm of the state for
Eleventh Amendment purposes” is not
“person”); Coopersmith v. Colorado, 465
F.2d 993, 994 (10th Cir. 1972) (stating state courts not
“persons” under § 1983); Rey v.
Hostetler, No. 18-3210- SAC, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
30164, at * (D. Kan. Feb. 26, 2019) (“The defendant . .
. County Court is an arm of the State, and therefore, it is
not a ‘person' suable under § 1983.”
(citing Will v. Michigan Dep't of State Police,
491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989))); Agrawal v. Courts of
Okla., No. CIV-18-396-D, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13591, at
*5 (W.D. Okla. July 9, 2018) (unpublished) (dismissing claims
sua sponte because “courts are not suable
Issues in Ongoing Criminal Case
asks that his state charges and warrants be dismissed here.
Court proposes to deny relief under the Younger
abstention doctrine. See Housley v. Williams, No.
92-6110, 1993 U.S. App. LEXIS 5592, at *8 (10th Cir. Mar. 12,
1993) (unpublished); Cen v. Castro, No. C 02-2094
PJH (PR), 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9314, at *2 (N.D. Cal. May 1,
2002). After all, "[t]he rule of exhaustion in federal
habeas corpus actions is rooted in considerations of
federal-state comity," as defined in Younger v.
Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 44 (1971). Preiser v.
Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 491 (1973). The abstention
analysis has three parts: "First, is there a pending
state judicial proceeding; 'second, do the proceedings
implicate important state interests; and third, is there an
adequate opportunity in the state proceedings to raise
constitutional challenges.'" Oltremari ex rel.
McDaniel v. Kan. Social & Rehab. Serv., 871 F.Supp.
1331, 1356 (D. Kan. 1994) (quoting Middlesex County
Ethics Comm. v. Garden State Bar Ass'n, 457 U.S.
423, 432 (1982)).
the analysis here, the Court first determines based on the
information in the complaint that there is a pending state
judicial proceeding. Second, although this is a federal
civil-rights case, "'[t]he importance of the state
interest may be demonstrated by the fact that the noncriminal
proceedings bear a close relationship to proceedings criminal
in nature.'" Oltremariex rel
McDaniel, 871 F.Supp. at 1356 (quoting Middlesex
County Ethics Comm., 457 U.S. at 432). Considering that
Petitioner actually attacks--both here and in state
court--ongoing criminal proceedings, the Court concludes the
issues in this noncriminal civil-rights case clearly are
integral to "proceedings criminal in nature," and,
consequently, involve an important state interest.
Id. Finally, Petitioner has an adequate chance to
raise any of his federal ...