United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
MICHAEL C. ROWE, Plaintiff,
SHERIFF TY TRENARY, et al., Defendants.
ORDER DECLINING TO SERVE COMPLAINT AND GRANTING
PLAINTIFF LEAVE TO AMEND
Alice Theiler United States Magistrate Judge.
Michael Rowe has submitted to this Court for filing a civil
rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court,
having reviewed plaintiff's complaint, hereby finds and
ORDERS as follows:
Plaintiff is currently confined at the Snohomish County Jail
in Everett, Washington. (See Dkt. 1-1 at 2.) The
claims asserted by plaintiff in this action arise out of his
arrest on March 6, 2017 on bench warrants which had been
quashed by the Snohomish County Superior Court earlier that
same day. According to plaintiff, he went to court on March
6, 2017 and had two outstanding bench warrants quashed but
approximately eight hours later, following a traffic stop, he
was arrested on those same warrants. (Dkt. 1-1 at 3.)
Plaintiff asserts that the Clerk of the Snohomish County
Superior Court caused his “false arrest and false
imprisonment” by failing to timely enter the
information regarding the quashed warrants into the NCIC
further asserts that the police officer who effectuated the
traffic stop which resulted in his arrest failed to review
the court papers in plaintiff's possession showing that
the warrants had been quashed, and took plaintiff to jail.
(Id.) Plaintiff alleges that the police
officer's actions constituted a false arrest and resulted
in plaintiff's false imprisonment. (Id.)
Finally, plaintiff asserts that for approximately one day, no
one at the Snohomish County Jail would listen to his
explanation about the warrants having been quashed, but that
once he found an officer who would listen to his explanation
a court appearance was scheduled and he was released later
that same day. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that he was
held in jail past the time when they knew he didn't
actually have any warrants, and that this constituted false
identifies Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary, Snohomish
County Superior Court Clerk Sonya Kraski, and Bothell Police
Officer Briels as defendants in this action. (See
id. at 2-3.) Plaintiff seeks monetary relief, and an
order directing the Snohomish County Superior Court to enter
information regarding new and quashed warrants into its
computer system in a more timely fashion. (Id. at
order to sustain a cause of action under §1983 a
plaintiff must show (1) that he suffered a violation of
rights protected by the Constitution or created by federal
statute, and (2) that the violation was proximately caused by
a person acting under color of state or federal law. See
Crumpton v. Gates, 947 F.2d 1418, 1420 (9th Cir. 1991).
To satisfy the second prong, a plaintiff must allege facts
showing how individually named defendants caused or
personally participated in causing the harm alleged in the
complaint. See Arnold v. IBM, 637 F.2d 1350, 1355
(9th Cir. 1981). A defendant cannot be held liable solely on
the basis of supervisory responsibility or position.
Monell v. Department of Social Servs., of City of New
York, 436 U.S. 658, 691-694 (1978). Rather, a plaintiff
must allege that a defendant's own conduct violated his
civil rights. City of Canton, Ohio v. Harris, 489
U.S. 378, 385-90 (1989).
Court declines to order that plaintiff's complaint be
served on defendants because the complaint is deficient in
the following respects:
(a) While plaintiff alleges in his complaint that the
defendants' actions resulted in his false arrest and
false imprisonment, he fails to specifically allege that
defendants violated a federal constitutional right. Moreover,
the facts thus far alleged by plaintiff do not appear to
implicate federal constitutional concerns. Plaintiff is
advised that mere negligence does not give rise to a cause of
action under § 1983. If plaintiff wishes to proceed with
this action, he must identify the federal constitutional
right which he believes was violated by the conduct of each
defendant, and he must allege facts demonstrating that he
suffered some harm of federal constitutional dimension.
(b) Plaintiff identifies Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary
as a defendant in this action, but he fails to allege any
specific claim against this defendant in the body of his
complaint. It appears that plaintiff may be seeking to have
Sheriff Trenary held liable for the actions of employees at
the Snohomish County Jail based solely on his supervisory
position. As noted above, this is not permissible in an
action brought under § 1983.
(c) Plaintiff identifies the Clerk of the Snohomish County
Superior Court as a defendant in this civil rights action,
but he fails to demonstrate that this defendant is subject to
suit under § 1983. The United States Court of Appeals
for the Ninth Circuit has held that “[c]ourt clerks
have absolute quasi-judicial immunity from damages for civil
rights violations when they perform tasks that are an
integral part of the judicial process.” Mullis v.
United States Bankruptcy Court, 828 F.2d 1385, 1390 (9th
Cir. 1987). The processing of court orders, such as those
quashing warrants, would appear to be a task that is
“an integral part of the judicial process.” If
plaintiff wishes to proceed against the Clerk of the
Snohomish County Superior Court, he must not only identify a
viable constitutional claim, he must demonstrate that this
individual is not entitled to immunity in this action.
Plaintiff may file an amended complaint curing the above
noted deficiencies within thirty (30)
days of the date on which this Order is signed.
The amended complaint must carry the same case number as this
one. If no amended complaint is timely filed, the Court will
recommend that this action be dismissed under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B) for failure to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted.
is advised that an amended pleading operates as a
complete substitute for an original pleading.
See Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1262 (9th
Cir.) (citing Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard Feiner
& Co., Inc., 896 F.2d 1542, 1546 (9th Cir. 1990) (as
amended), cert. denied, 506 U.S. 915 (1992). Thus,
any amended complaint must clearly identify the defendant(s),
the constitutional claim(s) asserted, the specific facts
which plaintiff believes support each claim, and the specific
Clerk is directed to send plaintiff the appropriate forms so
that he may file an amended complaint. The Clerk is further
directed to send copies of this Order ...