United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DISMISSING ACTION
Derrick K. Watson United States District Judge
Plaintiff Phillip Osuna, a pretrial detainee, has commenced
this prisoner civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. ECF. No. 1. Osuna alleges that the Honorable
Paul B.K. Wong, Circuit Court of the First Circuit
(“circuit court”), State of Hawaii, and City and
County of Honolulu Deputy Prosecutor Chasid Mila Sapolu have
violated his civil rights during his ongoing criminal
proceedings in State v. Osuna, 1PC151001574 (filed
Sept. 21, 2015). Osuna seeks an emergency hearing regarding
his claims. For the following reasons, this action is
is incarcerated at the Oahu Community Correctional Center
(“OCCC”), awaiting trial in 1PC151001574.
See eCourt Kokua:
visited Jan. 31, 2017). Osuna is represented by John M. Schum,
Esq. Id. Trial call is currently set for the week of
March 20, 2017. Id.
alleges that Deputy Prosecutor Sapolu violated his right to
due process by “stacking” his charges, and Judge
Wong is compounding this violation by denying his motions to
dismiss his case or suppress unidentified evidence. Osuna
further alleges that Judge Wong's failure to grant his
motions to suppress and dismiss constitute evidence of Judge
courts must screen all cases in which prisoners seek redress
from a governmental entity, officer, or employee, or seek to
proceed without prepayment of the civil filing fees.
See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(b)(2) and 1915A(a).
The court must identify cognizable claims and dismiss those
claims that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim
on which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id.
at §§ 1915(b)(2) and 1915A(b).
complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual
allegations are not required, but “[t]hreadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). Moreover, a plaintiff must demonstrate that each
defendant personally participated in the deprivation of his
rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th
pleadings of pro se prisoners must still be liberally
construed and given the benefit of any doubt. Blaisdell
v. Frappiea, 729 F.3d 1237, 1241 (9th Cir. 2013);
Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010).
However, “the liberal pleading standard . . . applies
only to a plaintiff's factual allegations.”
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989).
“[A] liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint
may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not
initially pled.” Bruns v. Nat'l Credit Union
Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting
Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir.
1982)). A plaintiff must identify specific facts supporting
the existence of substantively plausible claims for relief.
Johnson v. City of Shelby, 135 S.Ct. 346, 347 (2014)
(per curiam) (citation omitted). Leave to amend should be
granted if it appears possible that the plaintiff can correct
the complaint's defects. Lopez v. Smith, 203
F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000).
Wong and Deputy Prosecutor Sapolu are absolutely immune from
liability for damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for actions
taken in their official capacities. See Ashelman v.
Pope, 793 F.2d 1072, 1078 (9th Cir. 1986) (citing
Bradley v. Fisher, 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 335, 347
(1872)); Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 427, 430
(1976)) (holding prosecutors are entitled to absolute
immunity from civil rights suits when they engage in
activities “intimately associated with the judicial
phase of the criminal process”). Judge Wong's
denial of Osuna's motions and Sapolu's decisions
regarding which charges to bring are clearly official acts
subject to absolute immunity. Osuna fails to state a claim
against Judge Wong and Deputy Prosecutor Sapolu, and these
claims are DISMISSED.
Younger and Rooker-Feldman Abstention Doctrines
challenges to ongoing state criminal proceedings in federal
court are barred by the abstention doctrine set forth in
Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971).
Younger abstention applies regardless of whether the
applicant seeks declaratory or injunctive relief, or damages.
See Mann v. Jett, 781 F.2d 1448, 1449 (9th Cir.
1986) (per curiam); Gilbertson v. Albright, 381 F.3d
965, 984 (9th Cir. 2004) (holding Younger abstention
applies equally to damages actions as to actions seeking
declaratory and injunctive relief). If a claim for
declaratory or injunctive relief is raised, the federal court
should abstain and dismiss without ...