United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DECLINING SERVICE AND GRANTING LEAVE TO
A. TSUCHIDA United States Magistrate Judge.
Eric Arnette, a pro-se prisoner incarcerated at the
Washington Corrections Center (WCC), submitted a 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 complaint against the State of Washington and
King County. The Court DECLINES to serve the complaint
because, as discussed in more detail below, the complaint
contains numerous deficiencies. However, the Court GRANTS Mr.
Arnette leave to file an amended complaint by May 26, 2017.
Arnette alleges that his assigned counsel, who was related to
the judge in his criminal case, provided ineffective
assistance of counsel and violated his right to conflict free
counsel by failing to properly advise him as to his plea. Mr.
Arnette also claims that his right to a speedy trial was
violated and that his case should have gone to trial in
January 2017. Dkt. 4-1. Mr. Arnette asks the Court to help
him file a lawsuit. Id.
inmate such as plaintiff may bring an action for violation of
his constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 if he
can show that (1) a state actor (2) violated his
constitutional rights. Gibson v. United States, 781
F.2d 1334, 1338 (9th Cir. 1986). However, based on the facts
alleged in his complaint, Mr. Arnette fails to state a viable
claim for relief under § 1983.
Arnette seeks relief in this § 1983 action for conduct
that led to his conviction. However, he has not alleged that
the conviction has been invalidated.
person confined by government is challenging the very fact or
duration of his physical imprisonment, and the relief he
seeks will determine that he is or was entitled to immediate
release or a speedier release from that imprisonment, his
sole federal remedy is a writ of habeas corpus. Preiser
v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 500 (1973). To recover
damages for an alleged unconstitutional conviction or
imprisonment, or for other harm caused by actions whose
unlawfulness would render a conviction or sentence invalid, a
§ 1983 plaintiff must prove that the conviction or
sentence has been reversed on direct appeal, expunged by
executive order, declared invalid by a state tribunal
authorized to make such determination, or called into
question by a federal court's issuance of a writ of
habeas corpus, 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994).
addition, prisoners in state custody who wish to challenge
their confinement in federal court by a petition for writ of
habeas corpus are first required to exhaust state judicial
remedies, either on direct appeal or through collateral
proceedings, by presenting the highest state court available
with a fair opportunity to rule on the merits of each and
every issue they seek to raise in federal court. See
28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(c); Granberry v. Greer, 481
U.S. 129, 134 (1987); Rose v. Lundy, 455
U.S. 509 (1982); McNeeley v. Arave, 842 F.2d 230,
231 (9th Cir. 1988).
remedies must be exhausted except in unusual circumstances.
Granberry, supra, at 134. If state remedies
have not been exhausted, the district court must dismiss the
petition. Rose, supra, at 510; Guizar v.
Estelle, 843 F.2d 371, 372 (9th Cir. 1988).
As a dismissal solely for failure to exhaust is not a
dismissal on the merits, Howard v. Lewis, 905 F.2d
1318, 1322-23 (9th Cir. 1990), it is not a bar to
returning to federal court after state remedies have been
claims relating to Mr. Arnette's criminal conviction are
not yet cognizable § 1983 claims and he must show cause
why his claims should not be dismissed.
State of Washington and King County as Defendants
addition, plaintiff has failed to name proper parties to his
complaint. Neither a state nor its officials acting in their
official capacities are “persons” within the
meaning of § 1983. Will v. Michigan Department of
State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989). States and state
agencies are immune from suit in federal court under the
Eleventh Amendment unless a state expressly waives its
constitutional immunity. Alden v. Maine, 527 U.S.
706 (1999). The State of Washington has not waived its
Eleventh Amendment ...