United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ERIC M. STROEVE, #A6051620, Plaintiff,
BEN LOWENTHAL, SHELLY MIYASHIRO, and LANCE YORITA, Defendants.
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT IN PART AND DIRECTING
Derrick K. Watson, United States District Judge
Plaintiff Eric M. Stroeve alleges that Defendants Maui County
Deputy Public Defender Ben Lowenthal, Deputy Prosecutor
Shelly Miyashiro, and Police Officer Lance Yorita violated
his civil rights when Yorita allegedly used excessive force
during his arrest, and Lowenthal and Yorita denied him a fair
trial. Compl. ECF No. 1. Stroeve also alleges the Maui County
Police Department lost his personal property valued at $170
after his arrest.
excessive force claim against Officer Yorita as named in his
individual capacity states a claim and shall be served.
Officer Yorita is required to file a response after service
is effected. 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(g)(2).
remaining claims against Lowenthal, Miyashiro, and Yorita (in
his official capacity) are DISMISSED with prejudice, and his
lost property claim is DISMISSED without prejudice.
Court must conduct a pre-answer screening of prisoner
complaints pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and
1915A(a). Byrd v. Phoenix Police Dep't, 885 F.3d
639, 641 (9th Cir. 2018). Claims that are frivolous,
malicious, fail to state a claim for relief, or seek damages
from defendants who are immune from suit must be dismissed.
See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir.
2000) (en banc) (discussing § 1915(e)(2)); Rhodes v.
Robinson, 621 F.3d 1002, 1004 (9th Cir. 2010)
(discussing § 1915A(b)).
complaint must “contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks omitted).
“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Id. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
8(a)(2) requires a complaint to contain a “short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Detailed factual allegations are
not required, but a complaint must allege enough facts to
provide both “fair notice” of the claim asserted
and “the grounds upon which [that claim] rests.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 &
n.3 (2007) (citation and quotation marks omitted); see
also Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (stating Rule 8
“demands more than an unadorned,
litigants' pleadings must be liberally construed, and all
doubts should be resolved in their favor. Hebbe v.
Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations
omitted). The court must grant leave to amend if it appears
the plaintiff can correct the defects in the complaint,
Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1130, but if a claim or complaint
cannot be saved by amendment, dismissal with prejudice is
appropriate. Sylvia Landfield Tr. v. City of L.A.,
729 F.3d 1189, 1196 (9th Cir. 2013).
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege that: (1) a right secured by the Constitution or laws
of the United States was violated, and (2) the alleged
violation was committed by a person acting under color of
state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48
(1988). A plaintiff must also allege that he suffered a
specific injury as a result of the defendant's conduct
and an affirmative link between the injury and the violation
of his rights. See Monell v. Dep't of Social
Servs., 436 U.S. 658 (1978); Rizzo v. Goode,
423 U.S. 362, 371-72, 377 (1976).
Claims Against Maui County Deputy Prosecutor
alleges that Miyashiro conspired with Yorita to present
perjured evidence against him at trial, resulting in
Stroeve's conviction for resisting arrest. See
Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID #7. He seeks compensatory damages
and injunctive relief vacating his convictions.
are absolutely immune from civil suits for damages under
§ 1983 that challenge activities related to the
initiation and presentation of criminal prosecutions.
Imbler v. Patchtman, 424 U.S. 409, 424-28, 431
(1976); see also Van de Kamp v. Goldstein, 555 U.S.
335, 342-43 (2009); Botello v. Gammick, 413 F.3d
971, 975 (9th Cir. 2005); Demery v. Kupperman, 735
F.2d 1139, 1144 (9th Cir. 1984) (holding prosecutorial
immunity extends to actions during both the pre-trial and
post-trial phase of a case). To the extent Stroeve seeks
damages against Miyashiro for actions she took in preparation
for or during trial, he fails to state a claim for relief.
extent Stroeve seeks an order vacating his convictions based
on Miyashiro's alleged prosecutorial misconduct at his
trial, those claims are barred until those convictions have
been reversed on appeal, expunged, or set aside by state or
federal court issuing a writ of habeas corpus. See Heck
v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994) (barring
damages actions predicated on an allegedly wrongful
conviction until that conviction has been overturned);
Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74, 82 (2005) (barring
declaratory or injunctive relief until the challenged
conviction is overturned). When a prisoner challenges the
legality or duration of his custody, or raises a